The presupposition that Macs are the choice for the user who wants a hassle free, take it out of the box and get on with it experience is simply a lie. This may very well be the experience Mac users get for a while, but soon enough the system (like every other computer) becomes a little sluggish, and not as speedy as it was in its younger days.
Increasingly, it is becoming apparent that if a user requires their Mac for anything other than rudimentary tasks, it has to have a deep clean every now and again otherwise it will get a little sluggish. Should this be at the stage you are with your mac now, I suggest you read on, there are some important free utilities available which should help this problem become resolved.
The first place to begin is by downloading a utility named 'OnyX'. This is available through the Apple downloads section of the site and allows a user to run maintenance 'repairs', trash any files and caches which the utility deems unnecessary.
The next step is to take a look at the login items which startup as your Mac does. These can be surprisingly high as some programs choose to open at login without permission. This option menu can be found and edited by clicking: Apple, System Preferences, Accounts, Login Items.
Finally, assuming that diligent users have made sure that their hard drives are clean of files which are not used or not needed then a good way to get some extra space is by using another utility called 'Xslimmer'. This program strips out unnecessary code imbedded in your software and can save a great deal of hard drive space.
It should be said that none of these fixes will make your system ultimately faster than it was when it was first bought. They will however clean the Mac so that it doesn't become so sluggish and cumbersome when performing even the most rudimentary tasks.