When You Realize You’re An Information Hoarder

I love my wife completely. It’s because of the things she does. I find her fascinating because in many situations, she gets me thinking about things that otherwise I might not have ever even thought about. What makes us good together is that we like many of the same things, yet it is often the things that we don’t always share a common interest that pique my interest to see why it is that she loves the things she loves. For instance, we both love reality television shows. I don’t always love all of the ones that interest her, but I watch often wanting to see what she sees that I may be missing out on.149252754

One such show happens to be those shows about hoarding. I tend not to be able to handle such gross addictions because of how depressing it can be, as well as how much I know it must embarrass those who know it’s exposing their inner sanctum to the scrutiny of not just the people who want to save them from their plight, but also to a world that really may not understand them.  I find that my wife loves it for the psychological aspects of learning the how and whys that led them to be in their current state of demise.

Most of the people who are in these shows will eventually admit that it has to do with a loss of some sort or another; loss of a loved one, a job, self esteem or something along those lines. In thinking about this today, I wondered about we who live in this Information Age. Everyday you turn around, people are uploading and downloading information by the gigabyte. With so much information at the ready to be absorbed and assimilated, I wonder if we’re creating hoarders of another sort; information hoards.

Have you discovered that you are constantly downloading information that you swear you’ll get around to one day using, only to come to a conclusion months and years down the road it is either outdated, useless, you have no time or further need of it, yet you can’t compel yourself to get rid of it? Do you find yourself having multiple copies of the same information apart from backup files for the likely possibility of a crashed hard drive? Do you notice that you have disks or drives full, you computer and the formats are obsolete, although you haven’t the foggiest idea why you don’t have the heart to rid of any of it? If any of this sounds remotely familiar, you too may be an information hog.

Just as in these shows about hoarding, you may want to consider the following (all tips are adapted from Matt Paxton’s Tips for Decluttering:

  • Determine what you need versus what you want.
  • Organize files and folders.
  • Appropriately file things away.
  • Delete or repurpose files you no longer need in their current format.
  • Share info that at one time served you well.
  • Bounce old information off of people close to you. See what is still applicable for you.
  • Respect personal space if using a shared device.
  • Periodically sweep your folders in the same way you’d spring clean your home.

QUESTION: Have you observed yourself becoming an information hoarder? What are some best practices you have for preventing becoming one?

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