desktop iconsDoes your computer have so many desktop icons on it that you can’t see the background image? If so, it may be time to do some decluttering and organizing. These unused and unneeded icons equate to a form of digital clutter.

This post pertains to PC’s since I’m a PC girl, not Macs, but here is a link from Apple Support that may help Mac users organize their desktop icons.

Many people download files to their desktop for various reasons.  Those files then become desktop icons. Some may be temporary and then get forgotten after they have served their purpose, while others may be used frequently, so you want them to live on your desktop for easy access.

After a while, your desktop can become so cluttered that you become overwhelmed and can’t find the file or folder that you need when you need it.  Overwhelm leads to stress, and consequently, a productivity malfunction.

In order to avoid overwhelm and optimize productivity, I recommend that you purge and organize your desktop icons. Then take a proactive approach by creating a process for future activities that includes purging those files, or icons, immediately after they serve their purpose.

The first step is to open each file or icon, and determine whether you want to keep it, or if it is no longer needed. Delete, or move those unwanted icons into the recycle bin; possibly another desktop icon. If the recycle bin does not display on your desktop, you may want to move it there for easy access.

Windows has a tool that will arrange your icons for you. You just right click anywhere on the desktop, then click the dropdown menu under Views to use the arrange icons, or auto arrange functions. If that works for you, great, you’re done.  If this tool doesn’t produce the desired result, read on for another approach.

Take a look at the following steps to organize the desktop icons you want to keep, to work effectively for you.  If you discovered a different approach, please share in the comments box below.

Group like desktop icons together

Meaning, move desktop icons related to one another to the same area. An example may pertain to a printer. If you have a smart printer, you may have an icon to launch the program to work with your printer. You may have another icon that links to an online user manual.  Separate these icons from the rest by moving them to an open area.

Determine frequently used desktop icons

Some files, or icons are used more often than others. Those that aren’t used often do not need to be front and center. In order to keep your desktop clean and organized, you may want to create folders to keep the icons you don’t use often together. Frequently used icons should stay on your desktop for quick and easy access.

Creating folders

Right click anywhere on the desktop, click on the dropdown menu to the right of the category New, then click on the Folder icon. Assign a name to indicate the icons that will live in the folder. Then drag and drop the icons in that category into the folder. Folders can then be arranged in the order that works best for you.