7 Tips to Organize Disk Space on Your Mac

Procrastination has crawled into our homes. It lurks inside our computers. You know it’s there when each new folder you create is called a... “New Folder”. When your Downloads folder looks like primordial chaos and mere visiting it makes you cringe. So here go a few tips to help you cut through disorder and make you feel like an organized person (even if you are not.)

1) If you have trouble finding your files
The next time you’ll be desperately searching for a file on your drive, upon finding it, put the file in
the first place you looked. That’s probably its most logical home anyway.
Next up, grow a habit of looking through files on your Mac at least once a year. Gamify the
process by inventing something like “Mac Junk Day” and set the reminder for that date. The very
act of cleaning does make us feel better, biochemically, it’s a scientific fact — here’s a proof.

2) When your Desktop is a mess
Create a folder named “Ok to delete” on your Desktop. Dump there all temporary docs, blurred
party pictures, and more useless stuff, so you can later delete everything in one go.

Did you know, that keeping your Desktop clean helps your Mac boot faster? It’s because your
macOS treats every icon on your Desktop as a tiny active window, and it has to waste memory
resources to process them.

3) Color tags are your friends
Color tags on your Mac are there for a purpose. It’s one of those friendly macOS touches that can
make a Windows user envious. When saving a file, attach a color tag to it, so you can arrange
things according to your own logic. Need to quickly locate “yellow” files? Just click the yellow tag
in the Finder sidebar or type “yellow” in the search field above.

You can also rename or create your own tags in Finder Preferences if the default
Work/Home/Urgent classification seems too limiting.

4) Try some special decluttering apps
There are tons of dedicated Mac housekeeping apps to keep the clutter down. Most of them have
free versions, like EasyFind, that is a good Spotlight alternative that helps you search for even
un-indexed files. Check out one of these free file-organization solutions:
  • Duplicate File Finder Remover, to locate gigabytes worth of cloned data;
  • Mac Cleanup Tool that finds large and old files, system junk, all sorts of backups and other data that just takes up your space;
  • Blik, a tool that breaks your documents into stylish visual collections.

5) It’s all in the name
The art of naming your files right is a mysterious skill very few people possess. Besides never,
ever leaving your files as “Untitled”, here are a couple more guiding tips:
  • Add an underscore “_” symbol to the front of an important file keep it listed at the top of a folder. For example, _Bills/.
  • Add tags and metadata to a file’s name using ”Get info” command in the right-click menu.
  • As a general rule, use lowercase letters - they look more tidy.
  • When downloading something small just for one time, simply save the file as “Delete.”

6) An amazing instant folder creating trick
This tip could be a game changer if dragging folders on your Mac has always been, literally,
a drag. Need to sort stacks of images into different folders? Select a group of files, then right-click the
selection to see the “New Folder with Selection” option appear. Give the folder a name and your
files will end up inside it automatically. The less clicking and dragging files around.

Or, alternatively, select a group of files and hold Ctrl + Cmd + N. It does the same.

7) Keep it minimal, simple...Zen
If you haven’t read this Japanese-inspired book on decluttering your life, make it your starting
point. One of the golden rules mentioned there says that if you haven’t used some item for at
least a year, you, probably, don’t need it at all. So, learn to let go of things. Applying that to your
Mac that would be Trash bins, Downloads, Unused apps etc.

To wrap it up, here are a few more decluttering tips:
  • When downloading something small just for one time, simply save the file as “Delete”;
  • Customize Finder sidebar by dragging there your most-visited folders;
  • In browser, don't keep more than 9 opened tabs at a time (this way all page titles are visible);
  • If you're on macOS High Sierra, try the Optimized Storage feature, it does magic!;
  • For quicker access to a folder, drag and drop it to the Dock (between the divider line and Trash);
  • Archive older documents by year and move them to an external drive.

Hope these tips will add some purpose and meaning to your Mac life. Stay tuned!

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