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Add a junk drawer to your Mac with Unclutter

A neatly organized, virtual junk drawer, that is.

Matt Elliott/CNET

If, despite your better efforts, files and folders constantly lie strewn across your Mac's desktop, you can either hire a personal assistant to help you clean up your act or turn to an app such as Unclutter. Unclutter acts as a virtual junk drawer for your Mac, holding files, clipboard contents, and notes. It costs $4.99 in the Mac App Store but is currently discounted to $1.99 as part of $2 Tuesday.

When you install Unclutter, it places a small icon in the menu bar. You can call up the Unclutter panel from the menu bar icon or by moving your cursor to the top of the screen and then swiping down with two fingers (MacBook trackpad) or scrolling down (mouse). You can change how to access Unclutter in the app's Preferences.

The Unclutter panel has three sections: Clipboard History, Files and Notes. You can rearrange and resize the sections and hide any that you don't want. You can also drag the sections out of the Unclutter panel and stick them on top of another window, making it convenient for, say, data entry that requires lots of copying and pasting.

The Clipboard History section keeps a list of the text you recently copied, and the Notes section lets you jot quick notes and reminders. Both of the aforementioned sections could be useful, but the Files section is likely the one you'll use most.

You can drag files to the Files section. When you drag a file to the top of your Mac's display, the Unclutter panel appears, ready to catch that which you are about to drop. By default, files dropped on the Unclutter panel remain in their original location, but in Preferences you can set it up so that files are moved to a particular folder, including Dropbox (but not iCloud Drive).

Unclutter is similar to Dropshelf, an app I wrote about last year, but with a better design and superior feature set.