Once there was a time when I was inflicted with Desktop Clutter Disorder. It happens. Too much of everything begins to clutter the Mac’s Desktop. How do you break the habit? In my 20 years of dealing with clutter on my Mac’s Desktop I’ve come to the conclusion that there are only four ways to help a Mac user overcome this disease.
4 Cheap Ways To Lose Clutter
It’s funny how the Mac Desktop Clutter Disorder mirrors the clutter on a real desk.
Remember when you could see your desk’s top? Add a computer screen and keyboard (or a notebook), then an inbox and a phone; maybe a desk light.
Soon, the papers and folders pile up and the desk becomes a mountaintop of clutter.
Your Mac’s Desktop suffers the same fate. Until I overcame the Disorder (#1 is intervention; my husband made me clean it up; I cried), my clutter remover was a big, empty cardboard box.
I’d shove everything on the desk into the box. Problem solved. When my Mac’s Desktop became similarly cluttered, I’d create a folder, and drag and drop everything from the Desktop into the folder. Problem solved. That’s solution #2.
Solution #3 is the most difficult. It requires organization and discipline. Put files into folders and put folders into the Documents folder and remember where they all are. Easier said than done.
Solution #4 is more modern, costs a few bucks, has a mild learning curve, but you end up with a clean Desktop and a better appreciation for those with OCD.
Cheap Apps To The Rescue
I found a couple of cheap Mac apps that clean up the Mac’s Desktop. Think of it as Mac App Store intervention.
Desktop Tidy works automatically to create a Shadow Desktop folder (see my solution #2 above) and moves whatever’s on the Desktop to a more organized place. All those files and folders are a mere click away, but they’re better organized.
Built in Filters let you find what you need by date or type or whatever. Some files can be ignored and can remain on the Desktop. Any file or folder you need can be restored to the Desktop with a click.
TidyTop is an even less expensive app that kinda sorta does the same thing. It cleans up the Desktop and lets you archive everything, then restore the items you want with a click (even restoring their locations).
If the clutter has you down, and your boss or family hasn’t gone the intervention route, and you can’t bring yourself to use solution #3 above, then either app might help you cope with file and folder madness.
Bah Humbug Alert!
Both Desktop Tidy and TidyTop are available only from the Mac App Store.
That means there’s no try-before-you-buy option. That’s not so bad for TidyTop, which is cheaper at 99-cents. But DesktopTidy costs seven times that amount, well beyond my trivial threshhold (but, to be fair, the automatic tidying function is worth a few bucks).