Until an hour ago this screen had 36 little icons spattered about, all vying for my attention before I was ready to give them any. It’s easy to leave files where they land as we work, but finding something after a while is like rummaging through a jumbled junk drawer for one AAA battery. Some of you are already organized computer-wise and do it as automatically as brushing your teeth. You distribute files into appropriate folders, back up every day (every hour?), empty the trash regularly, and don’t cling to precious little snapshots of kitties and such. You, can stop reading now. For the rest of us….
      Facing a clear screen in the morning helps you focus on the task at hand faster because you’re not distracted by the cluttery bits of information in front of you. Remember what is feels like after you tackle a really messy house? Aaahhhh.
   Emails are great. Emails are evil. There’s a good reason the delete key is placed so conveniently on the upper edge of the keyboard. I know, “You might need that later.” But really, how many times have you actually dug one out from the distant past? Even if it contains a great web address, you’ll forget which email it’s in anyway. I know a woman who reads an email then deletes it, no matter what. I also know someone who has every email she’s ever received still in her inbox. The mass of us seem to land somewhere in between.
     Simplification is the key to living a more peaceful life, and lower blood pressure is a worthy goal. The word “clutter” usually means extra stuff around the house or garage or office, but a concentrated cleaning up effort means you’ll be clutter-free, at least for a little while. Computer clutter multiplies faster, squaring itself every week or so if you insist of saving every email, photo, and file that you receive.
      Consider cleaning your electronic house, but get ruthless: Tuck away desktop icons, delete emails, organize photos, empty the trash. Giving your brain less to think about and sort out— mental clutter — will help an overworked brain calm down. Get ruthless and consider it stress therapy.