I felt compelled recently to go through the files on my computer and either delete them, move them to Evernote, or otherwise arrange them so I can actually find what I’m looking for. Late last night, I finished digging through all the files in my Documents folder.
It’s amazing the stuff you accumulate on your hard drive over the years. I still had files that I moved from the last Windows desktop nine years ago (shortly before I had my stroke), receipts and manuals for things we no longer have, notes I wrote to myself that I had intended as springboards for stories, a whole bunch of files Mary had created and can’t remember, folders for software that I have siting around and never use because so many things can be done in the browser, you name it. I got a lot of things moved to Evernote and deleted from the hard drive, and a lot more just deleted off the hard drive because they’re no longer relevant.
My next task is to do the same for the files in my Downloads folder. I actually have several iterations of the Downloads folder; every few months I copy it to my external drive and delete everything out of it, only to fill it up again. I have no idea what’s in the folders. Or the contents of the Pictures folder, or the Movies folder, or any folder, for that matter. I look at some of the crap I’ve kept and say to myself, “Why did I keep this crap?”
And I figured it out: it’s the “I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it” mentality. I’ve always been that way. My mother was the same; when we cleaned her house out after she died, we found half a dozen curling irons on a shelf in a closet, none of which worked. No idea why she was keeping them; it’s not as though you can have them repaired.
from The Sound of One Hand Typing