There are some particularly delightful advantages to gain from working from home — a healthier work/life balance and constant access to the biscuit tin, for example! — but there are also a few downsides to grapple with.

One of these downsides is the difficulty of keeping all of your online files and documents in good order, particularly if you have to do a lot of digital ‘admin’ on a weekly basis. If you’re not careful, even a laptop with truly capacious memory will be hard-pressed to store all of your documents, and you could find yourself running out of space. So, you’re probably asking, what can you do to get yourself out of this particular pickle?

The answer is quite simple! All you need to do is read on, and you will discover a number of helpful techniques and tools that you can use each day to free up additional space on your laptop. Not only that, you will also be able to keep all of your virtual work admin safely stowed away, and easy to find when needed!

Reduce Your File Sizes With A PDF Compressor

One of the most hassle-free ways to free up some much-needed extra space on your laptop is to shrink your bulkier files down to a more manageable size. PDFs, in particular, can be rather robust, and take up a lot of room on your hard drive. If you can significantly reduce their size it stands to reason that the result will be an abundance of new space to spare.

But how do you go about scaling down your PDFs? Well, thanks to the innovations of Smallpdf, this is now a simple task. Their quick and flexible PDF compression service will reduce the size of your files by up to 99 per cent, without diminishing the quality of each file. All you need to do is upload your file to their PDF compressor page, choose what level of compression you want to achieve, and then download and save your newly svelte file. Job done!

Start Pruning

Once you’ve shrunk your larger files down to a fraction of their former size, it’s time to have a careful hunt through all of your saved documents in search of any that you no longer need. You may be surprised how many duplicate files you have stowed away, as well as old documents that are actually no longer relevant and can be sent to your virtual trash can without a smidgeon of guilt.

During your hunt, you should also be on the lookout for temporary files that are taking up too much room on your hard drive. These may include cached internet files, as well as previous updates, and thumbnails. Deleting these individually can help to free up some immediate space, although the unfortunate truth is that, like the Terminator, they will be back.

As a result, you might want to try using a laptop spring-cleaning program such as CCleaner or handy Windows features such as Storage Sense and Disk Cleanup. These features can help you quickly and conveniently peruse any files and apps that are no longer necessary and jettison them. You may be surprised how much space some of your apps are currently taking up, and because many of them run in the background, you may find that they are slowing down your laptop into the bargain. Consequently, by doing some artful pruning, you will not only create more space on your hard drive but you will also help your laptop to function more effectively.

That being said, you do have to be careful not to become too much of a computer clean freak and delete apps and files that are actually vital for the well-being of your laptop. Always hesitate and double-check before you press the Delete button, just to make sure you’re not getting rid of anything vital.

Invest In Some Extra Storage

Once you’ve run through all of the different tools and techniques you can use to free up some of the space you already have, it may be time to think about finding ways to gain some extra room into the bargain.

For instance, you could think about upgrading your laptop’s hard drive, if possible. If you’re rather handy with a screwdriver then you can install it yourself, but if not you can ask a tech-savvy friend to help. Before purchasing, do your research first, however, to make sure that the drive you’re hoping to get is suitable for your laptop.

On the other hand, if it isn’t possible to improve your laptop’s available space with the help of a new hard drive, you can use other tools instead, like flash drives and SD cards. These provide some convenient extra space in a portable device that you can easily transfer to another device if need be.

Embrace The Space You’ll Find In The Cloud

When you run a business from home, you need to keep track of a wide variety of different documents depending on your line of work — from invoices and order forms to copies of your self-employed tax returns.

Speaking of tax, there will probably be a sizeable number of documents that you will have to keep in online storage for years, in case of an inspection. By keeping them securely filed away, you can be sure that your returns have all been filed correctly.

Of course, the downside of this is that all of those files will take up a significant portion of space on your laptop’s hard drive — unless you choose to store them externally. Cloud storage can be an invaluable help in this scenario, so don’t hesitate to explore the convenient storage solutions provided by cloud services like Dropbox, or OneDrive if you have a Windows laptop.

There are a number of benefits to using cloud storage, so if you haven’t embraced this innovation yet then you may be pleasantly surprised by the advantages it affords you. For example, cloud storage services provide a relatively safe and expansive space for you to store all of your documents, which means you won’t have to worry about losing them all if your laptop gets damaged. After all, you never know when an unfortunate coffee spillage may occur that will destroy your device and all of the files it contains, with no hope of retrieving them.

Another benefit of cloud storage is the convenience you will enjoy when it comes to editing and sharing files. This is because cloud services have a ‘sync’ function, so when you make a change to a particular document that you have stored on the cloud, it will sync those changes on every device and for every user who has access to that file.

Finally, while you might think that storing your extra documents on the cloud will leave them open to hackers, the truth is that cloud services are actually relatively secure compared to hard drives. This is because they use encryption to ensure that only the right people can read your files, with the help of an encryption key.


Running your own business from home can be challenging at the best of times, and you need to be able to rely on your laptop. Finding clever and convenient ways to free up some space and keep all of your files safely stored away will help you keep your work-related stress levels down, and can also bring you a range of other benefits to boot.