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Friday, April 8, 2016

Spring Cleaning Your Mac-Article 4-You're a Space Hog Admit It and deal with it

I’ve gone through a lot of technical advice in the preceding three Spring Cleaning articles. Now it’s time for some heart-to-heart conversation.

Some of us, such as myself, love to collect stuff. We find it hard to get rid of old stuff that we might need some day. That day may be in 2040.

So here are some more tips on cleaning your physical and digital “stuff”.


1. Go back to the article I referenced on “How to DeClutter Like a Boss” Read it. Learn it. Live it.

2. With regard to people who just can’t help stuffing their computers with stuff, I offer this advice:

If you want to copy your digital voice recorder to your computer and take up another gigabyte, stop it. Learn how to copy data to an external hard drive. 

If you want to install the newest version of Microsoft Office, check to see that you don’t have the last 3 version of Office on your computer. 

I’m talking about the installation file you downloaded, the updates that you downloaded, and the installation of Office 97 that you kept. And Office XP and Office 2003 and Office 2007 and Office 2013. I know I’m talking about the Windows versions of Office; but Lord Almighty, I’ve seen Mac users who just kept installing the next version without uninstalling the old versions first. 

So follow the rule of 3: For every new application that you bought, take out three other apps.

3. For those of you who insist on paper copies of every document, strive to break that bad habit. You’re not the National Archives or the Library of Congress.

If you keep printing it out because the text is too small, I have some ideas.

First, did you know that you can zoom your Mac’s screen by holding down the Control key and rolling the mouse wheel?

Go to the System Preferences app which looks like a gear in your Dock:


System Preferences icon


System Preferences will display all of the individual Preference Panes. You want the Accessibility Preference Pane.


System Preferences showing all the preference panes


 Now you want to select Zoom and set it up.


Accessibility Preference Pane


You want “Scroll Gesture” whose default modifier key is the Control key, same as for Windows. Make sure the box to the left has a tick mark in it.


As a more elaborate answer, you may want to purchase an iPad or other tablet where you can enlarge the on-screen text by just spreading your fingers on the screen. 

In any case, if you print stuff out just to look at it once, GET A SHREDDER! 


As for those of you with bulging bookcases full of loose-leaf notebooks, I refer you to Joe Kissells Take Control of Your Paperless Office.

You don’t need every document and picture in your possession. For instance, is a database of pictures that you can search. Want puppies? You got it. Want Kate Upton, the model? You got it. Want Kate Upton with a puppy? That, too, is available. 

So now, read the article about How to DeClutter Like a Boss again. and again and again. Just don’t print it out.


Now for some fun. Here’s Jerry Seinfeld on stuff. Enjoy. I’m off to clear off my couch for the umpteenth time.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog





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