Well, I’ve finally gone and done it…..After weeks and weeks of sly smiles, friendly snickers and outright joshing during virtual meetings, I’ve finally cleaned up my desktop. I sorted through oodles of files, recycled more than I could count, moved folders and documents and organized what was left in a snazzy desktop organizer I created with inspiration from Lexie Chapman on Facebook. To quote Gretchen Rubin, I created an outer order that led to inner calm in less than an hour. And I think you should, too.

Honestly, my desktop did not really bother me. More files meant more exciting projects to work on, right? In person, I am surrounded by piles of books and papers, so seeing piles of icons on my desktop was not really a big deal. It worked for me. But once I actually decided to take the time to sift through each one and then create an inspiring background to help organize them, I knew what I was missing. There is something quite satisfying about opening my laptop and seeing a newly organized desktop waiting for me, complete with an inspiring quote and bitmoji to make me smile. If your desktop could use a good Spring cleaning, then I highly recommend you give this a try. Here are some simple steps:

  1. Think about the kinds of work you want to engage in when you head to your computer. Those are the categories that should be front and center on your desktop, reminding you to engage in them daily. For me, my categories were: family, writing, UA teaching, projects & ideas.
  2. Choose a background. You can choose a cork board, a whiteboard, a colorful wall or any other background template you prefer. I started by creating a simple cork board to pin my icons to. I love sticky notes and have a cork board in my home office, so I figured it was a perfect fit. But honestly, I do not actually use and interact with my cork board at home….it simply houses ‘stuff’. So, I decided to change the background into a whiteboard, something I do use when it is time to brainstorm. I went from boards and pinned sticky notes to a whiteboard with colorfully written categories. That worked for me.
  3. Create your categories. You might designate each section as a sticky note, as a simple text box or any other element that makes you smile when you see it. Be sure to format those sections into colors that brighten your day, too.
  4. Add it to your desktop. Since I use a PC laptop, I right click on my desktop, click properties and upload my image. Simple as that.
  5. Organize! One by one, sort through the folders and files on your desktop. Recycle, rename and organize. The time it takes for this task will vary depending on how stacked your desktop is, but stick with it. The reward is worth it in the end. Once you have your set of folders and files that made the cut, move them around your desktop to the proper categories on your new organizer.
  6. Admire your work! You'd be surprised just how much a clean desktop does for your piece of mind. I mean, we look at our desktop each and every day, so why not make it work in our favor?

Here was my finished product the first time I gave this a try: 

It looks good, right?! Honestly, I never realized just how much a streamlined and beautiful desktop matters. But it does. A lot. It does something for my mind and the energy I bring to my work and I'm certain it can for you, too. Have you given this a try? I’ve love to hear about your experiences and see the kind of desktop organizer you created!

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