Managing Digital Clutter

Do you hoard digital files?  Maybe you can’t seem to dig yourself out of a seemingly endless onslaught of emails?  Melinda Beck’s article, “Drowning in Email, Photos, Files? Hoarding Goes Digital”, published by The Wall Street Journal today, delves into digital clutter and what we can do to organize our digital lives.

Beck writes, “There isn’t a set number of emails in an inbox or photos saved that defines a hoarder.  Accumulating crosses the line into hoarding, experts say, when it is disorganized and dysfunctional and gets in the way of other relationships and responsibilities.”

Do you accumulate emails, photos, music, videos or games to a point that disrupts other aspects of your life?  You’re not alone.  Beck continues, writing: “Christina Villarrreal, a cognitive-behavioral therapist in Oakland, CA says she has clients in the tech industry – young men mostly – who spend so much time and money amassing collections of music or games or gadgets that they withdraw from the real world. ‘They can’t pay their rent or buy food because they have to have this latest piece of equipment to support their habit’, says Dr. Villarreal.”  If you or someone you know accumulates, collects or hoards digital files, read Beck’s article as a starting point for your own research.

What causes hoarding?  Dr. Villarreal noted that “hoarding often starts out as a way to feel good or fill an emptiness in life, but it leaves sufferers even more isolated”.  From another perspective, that of a National Association of Professional Organizer (NAPO) member, founding member of the NAPO-Baltimore Chapter and President of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, Katherine Trezise says hoarding “comes does to fear and indecision.”

Check out Beck’s article for much more information on digital hoarding, digital clutter and a disorganized digital lifestyle.