Programs, documents, music files, photographs, games and all sorts of ‘stuff’ scattered through your computer in haphazard fashion? What to do. Well, you file your files.

Select your Documents Folder: Left-click on your Start button, and then left-click on Documents.

Make a folder: Right-click your mouse in the Documents folder. From the drop down menu, choose New and left-click on that. From the next menu, choose Folder. You now have a file folder named New Folder to store your “stuff”.

Rename: Now, you right click on your new file folder, and choose Rename. If you want to put your recipe files there, you could rename it “Recipes”. Type in the name you have chosen.

Moving files : To put files into the folder, you have two choices. You can “drag” the files to the folder(by placing your cursor on the file, hold down the left mouse button, and drag it over on top of the folder, then release the mouse button).The second way is to left-click your mouse on the file to highlight it, then look on the left side of your screen. On the menu there you will find both Copy and Move commands. For practice, you should first only Copy your file. (The Copy command makes a duplicate of your file and puts it in the folder).When you click on Copy, you will be asked where the file is to be sent. (This is why it’s important, especially for beginners, to put your folder someplace easily found. I found it easiest to set up new file folders directly in the Documents folder.) Choose where to send the file, and at the bottom of the dialog box, click Copy.

You aren’t done: Once you understand using file folders, you might want to make a subfolder (A folder within a folder). Essentially, this is the same process as making the original folder. Let’s say in your Recipes file folder you created earlier and you want to specify various meat dishes. Inside your Recipes folder, you right click and choose Folder. Name it (by typing over the text “New Folder”), and you are ready to refine your recipe filing system. In subfolders, you can set up beef, chicken, desserts, or whatever other divisions you wish to make. When you feel you have mastered the process of copying files into folders, you can move files around another way. Both with individual files, and with folders, you can highlight them, and click on Move (instead of Copy) to tell the computer where you want the file to go. It will disappear from the current location and go to the new file folder location.

Batch files: Another helpful trick here is to move more than one file at a time. If you have a number of files together, left-click to highlight the first file, move your cursor over to the last file you want from that batch, hold down the Shift key, then left-click again. The computer will automatically highlight all the files between the first file you marked and the last file you marked. When you Copy or Move your files, it will be a “batch move”, which makes the process much faster, especially if you are sorting out and moving a lot of files.

I would strongly suggest you start working with dummy files, or files of little importance until you are comfortable with the process.