I'm a digital hoarder, are you?

This is NOT my house
I have to confess something- for as much as I love organizing and hate clutter- I am kind of a hoarder.  Not in a scary A&E drowning in my own filth type of way....but in the sense that I do sort of  hate to throw stuff away.  I am super sentimental (I still have movie stubs and rose petals from when my husband and I first started dating 10 years ago), and I always have the "But what if someday I need it?" question in the back of my mind.  I am not going to lie- I don't follow the rule about getting rid of stuff that you haven't used or worn in a year.  It's REALLY hard for me to clean out my closet.   In all honesty, I generally tend to save stuff until we run out of room to store it. 

When we were preparing for the arrival of our 2nd child I was forced to clean out an entire room full of "stuff" to make room for a nursery- and I was a hormonal sobbing mess as I threw away binders of notes from classes I took in college....and scraps of paper with encouraging notes on them from friends in high school.  Everything that I saved was neatly tucked away into boxes, but eventually we just ran out of room for the boxes. 

So, if I save all of this kind of crap, even if it means lugging a million boxes in and out of our house every time that we move- you can imagine the kind of junk that you'll find on the hard drive of my computer!  Like, um, every single digital picture I've taken since about 2005, and about 75 versions of my resume and cover letter even though I am a stay at home mom who is not actively searching for a job.

My mission for myself, and you if you chose to accept it, is to backup and delete. If you are a digital hoarder like me, here are some things we can do together to clean up our computer desktops and document files.

-Make a copy of your digital files to be stored some place other than your computer.

Mega CD storage

I realize that some people feel like CDs are almost obsolete for file storage- and yes you could obviously use any one of the million compact flash storage drives that exist- but for some reason I feel like I can't keep track of those tiny things. And then after I have 20 of them, I have no idea what is on any of them until I physically plug it into my computer and check.  I much prefer to store things like pictures on CDs that I can label and store chronologically.  And look how pretty and colorful these are!
-Utilize online storage
There are tons of websites such as http://www.idrive.com/ that offer free or cheap online file backups. Some sites even do it regularly for you so you don't have to worry about it. 

I recently started using Google Documents for a place to keep files like all of those resumes that I can't seem to part with.  The great thing about Google Docs is you can put files there and then edit them from any computer once you are logged into your Google account. The amount of storage that you get for free with Google Docs is pretty substantial, and I personally also have more than 1 Google account. As long as you have any email address you can get a Google account. 

I also try to regularly upload my pictures to http://www.snapfish.com/, even if I don't print them regularly, at least they are stored safely. Snapfish offers unlimited free picture storage as long as you place an order once a year.

-Print and file
There are quite a few things on my computer that I don't really ever need to have the ability to edit again, but I would like to have a copy of, for either business or sentimental reasons.  These things are just begging for me to print them and delete them!
Do yourself a favor, when you print them, skip steps 1 and 2, and put them directly into their final resting place, this way you'll be sure that in the elimination of digital clutter you aren't creating more actual clutter!

1 comment:

  1. I use a service called Dropbox to backup and store all of my digital files. It's so nice to have it all right there on my "desktop" but not actually stored on my computer, so if my computer ever dies or I want to download something really really big - I don't have to worry. My files live on servers somewhere else, but always at my fingertips.



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