Tonight my computer told me that it would not save one more mega-giga photo of one more granny square. Which, as we all know, was a tragedy of untold depths, since crocheting, and particularly crocheting granny squares, has become my new raison d’être. I am obsessed. I would sit and do nothing but crochet all day if allowed. However, this is not about crochet, per se. It’s about the full computer. It’s taken three years, but I’ve almost filled up a 500GB hard drive. How do you even do that, fill up a computer?

In my case, it’s photos, music, and digital movies made with my phone. Not even good movies, mind you. Movies of my nephews throwing a toy for my mother’s dog where most of the footage is a blur, or a rug. Movies of a blur of my dog running after something. And those are the good movies. The movies I meant to take. The truly pitiful movies are the accidental ones. The ones that were supposed to just be photos. The ones that are several seconds of one thing, then the camera going sideways, then a voice saying, “Is this thing recording again?” Why do I keep those? There is no good answer to that question.

Except that I am a hoarder. I need a support group.

Another hoarding problem is multiple copies of the same thing in different folders. Well, I’m not positive that that version of the photo (or essay or spreadsheet, whatever) in that folder is exactly the same as the version in the other folder. Too much trouble to compare, just keep both. I have folders called “old stuff” and “from other computer.”

The last two problems are just because of laziness. They are the trash and the downloads folder. I forget to empty the trash. And I never delete anything I download no matter what it is, and no matter that I’m never going to look at it again, because if it were really something I wanted, I would have saved it somewhere else. Or I already have saved it somewhere else, so there are already at least two versions anyway.

Thus, I went on a purge. I deleted everything in the download folder, and then emptied the trash. I also emptied the trash on iPhoto. Did you know that if you delete something in iPhoto that it keeps it in its own private little trash can? You have to empty iPhoto’s trashcan separately and then empty your main trash to actually get rid of a photo. iPhoto WANTS you to be a hoarder.

My purge gained me back 100GB of space. That was fully one-fifth of the total space on the hard drive. It was only a beginning. I have vowed to spend the few spare minutes I’m not crocheting throwing away digital things. I’ve been paring down and getting rid of unwanted physical stuff, why not reflect this in my digital life?

What about you? What are you keeping in virtual reality that you shouldn’t be? I’d love to hear, and if you’re not carrying unneeded digital crap, feel free to gloat.

11 thoughts on “Confessions of a Digital Hoarder

    1. Yup, yup…I keep everything, one never knows when you might need it. Not so many photos and movie clips but documents, snippets, work and rework, old versions and new versions and newer new versions. Manuscripts that are in files titled things like “Work on this version only” or “Sherron’s second betaed Version” from 2012…one never knows.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. I keep everything as well. I don’t buy a computer unless it has at minimum a 1 TB hard drive. I have a 2 tb hard drive I back up everything on in case my computer fails and I use Google photos for pictures and videos. Luckily I have a Pixel so I have unlimited cloud storage for life. Sounds like you need at least an external hard drive Sherron! There’s nothing wrong with hoarding digital media if you ask me. 😊

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  2. Digitally I delete as much as I can often. We have had two Computers quit working probably due to kids downloading stuff and have lost quite a bit of pictures so I have started printing hard copies whenever I find a deal. Hubby on the other hand saved every text and every email from everyone he has ever been in contact with. He filled up his iPhone storage. We even purchased the 200 GB plan for his phone and it wasn’t enough, he still couldn’t take any pictures so he finally broke down and deleted a ten year old string of text messages from his dad. He has purchased hard drive storage devices if a computer is breaking before the cloud or back up servers were widely used. He still has binders and receipts that are unreadable from years before we met. Craziness.

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  3. I have a Dropbox account that is so full I pay $9.95 a month for extra space. Sometimes I will try to shoo all my random crap into some sort of folder system, I after an hour or so I give up and never get done. Who knows what’s on there? They might even find the rest of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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  4. I keep a lot, but not on my computer. I have a paltry solid state drive that only holds 128GB. This is a good reason to keep things lean. I do, however, have a desktop with a one TB drive and a number of external drives that add up to many TBs. I like to collect tv series till I get around to watching them. In HD, they take up phenomenal amounts of space. I have a collection of ebooks, a few thousand photos, LOTS of music. What I’m not using at the moment goes on the external drives. Every year or so I take a look at the drives and decide what I still want and what is totally worthless. I purge, I get rid of duplicates. However, don’t think I’m gloating. I have that file from the previous computer. The sad thing is the file contains a file from the previous computer to that. Nope, no gloating here.

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  5. Articles. Hundreds and hundreds of articles “to read later.” Either in folders with names like “Science” or “Mental illness” or “The Resistance” or saved online using the Pocket app. And every day I save more. And every night I tell myself I’m going to delete them cuz they don’t matter and I’m “never going to read them anyway.” But then I don’t. It’s a problem.

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