With computers – as with life – it’s pretty easy to let things spin out of control, especially when it comes to organization. But for your Mac (and probably for your life as well), having a messy file system can have many negative impacts. Fortunately, these negative impacts are easy to avoid. Here are four great reasons to keep your Mac’s file system properly organized, and some tips on how to clean your Mac in order to keep it running smoothly.

Make Your Mac Run Faster

The more organized your files are, the less likely it is that you will have duplicate files on your computer. Duplicate files, especially those that are memory-hogging like photos and videos, can slow down your Mac. In order to speed up your Mac, you’ll want to get rid of any duplicate files you can find. Then, in order to avoid this problem in the future, you’ll want to re-vamp your filing system so you don’t end up creating any new duplicates. It may help to create a map of where your folders and sub-folders go in order for you to properly visualize where to store those documents.

Find the Documents You Need Quicker

When you’re dealing with paper files, it’s obviously easier to find what you’re looking for when your files are well organized. The same goes for Macs. While the Spotlight is a good tool for locating a missing document, it won’t help you out much when you don’t remember the name of the document you’re looking for. A better approach is to come up with a filing system that works and stick with it. This usually means fewer folders, and creating a logical organization system based on hierarchies and similarity of documents.

Save Time By Doing It Now Rather Than Doing It Later

A great reason to keep your files organized now is to save you from wasting time organizing them later. Think of doing the dishes: If you wash everything as soon as you’re done using it, you save time in the long run. But if you let the dishes pile up, you’ll have to set aside a bug chunk of time in order to clean everything up. The same goes for your Mac files – keep everything organized as you go so you don’t end up with a big mess to sort through.

Simplify Your Mac, Simplify Your Life

The final reason to keep your Mac’s file system properly organized is that having an organized electronic filing system will help you keep the rest of your life organized as well. Once you have all of your computer’s documents filed in a way that makes them easy to access and that doesn’t clutter up your computer, you’ll have more free time to be able to apply these helpful organizational principles to the rest of your life.

Think of these organizational skills as habits, rather than chores. If you maintain good habits, you’ll avoid having to do too many chores. And as you do, you’ll end up with a Mac computer that runs much faster as well.