Organisations sometimes take a half day or whole day to do spring cleaning around the office. People often don’t look forward to it, don’t feel they have the time, but afterwards are amazed by the amount of items they didn’t need and how much better the office looks. It gives them a sense of satisfaction and everyone talks about how they should do this more often.
So this was the attitude I had yesterday when I decided to do the same with computer files for a few hours. With hard drive sizes increasing there really doesn’t seem to be the need to spring clean that often and with search facilities why bother?
Well you quickly realise you need to know what you are searching for in the first place and after a while your well planned directory structures might not be enough to stop you and others from adding more directories and in different locations over time.
I already store my files at central locations and not across many machines, so that was a good start.
So I started by moving files to correct directories and realised some were not part of the current backup procedure. It is at this stage you could feel like deleting many files, be weary, especially if it is content you created and might one day possibly need again. No point reinventing the wheel.
I deleted a lot of open source software I had such as openoffice installation files that can take up space and linux iso images. Plus I could always download the software again, often obtaining a new version or find an alternative. Also I deleted research folders that I didn't need such as scans, documents, pictures and saved web pages.
So the result? Well I need to spend more time keeping everything organised, found inspiration in some of my previous work and gave me ideas for future projects.
I freed up a lot of disk space, but just as importantly am now more organised.