A friend of mine is moving to a new home and getting a new computer at the same time. Hard to say which will be the most disorienting... Anyway, she's one of those people who doesn't have a lot of files, so she just keeps them all in her My Documents folder. She has a few dozen spreadsheets, a few Word documents, and piles of pictures.
To make it easier for her to figure out what to keep and what to move, we started by sorting all the files by date to pinpoint old stuff that she could simply delete. (That's what I did in the first image below. These, by the way, are some old files of mine, not my friends.) Then we sorted them by type so we could create separate CD backups for documents, spreadsheets, and pictures. (The second image below is sorted by file type.)
Here are the same files, sorted by type.
My friend was surprised to see me just click on the column headings for name, type, and date to sort the files by these categories. All we had to do was switch to the Details view in any file folder in Windows XP. (Note that you can also quickly see thumbnail images of your files by clicking on that option in the Views menu, which is really handy for looking at your pictures.)
For more tips on organizing files, check out these articles: Filing frenzy! Organize your documents on your PC and 7 Tips to Manage Your Files Better For more information about viewing files, check out the Viewing Files and Folders Overview in the online documentation for Windows.