I’m a Physical Minimalist but a Digital Hoarder

The Autumn Film  |  The Ship and the Sea  |  CD Release Party  |   March 5, 2010-15

I only own a few things (15 at the time of writing that post, now up to 60 if you include a record player and accessories I’m about to give away).  Physical things that is.  Digitally, if you were to look at my life, I am nothing short of a compulsive hoarder.

It is all hidden of course.  You would never know of my 10 GB of email (I’ve never deleted even one since 2004).  My photos?  They live in three places online.  My social graph is a mess.  I post similar things to redundant social networks.  At first guess, I have over 200 GB of data online.

It is ok, I’ll just blog about it on one of the 122 domains I own.

People seem to be fascinated with the physical minimalism project.  Digital Hoarding doesn’t seem to be much of a problem though… it is just accepted the amount of stuff you can have (NYTimes Bits covered this earlier this year).

Is there a ‘so what?’  I don’t think there really is.  We can have a ton of stuff online and it doesn’t *really* matter.  Or is hoarding in your mind, and it doesn’t matter if it is physical or digital, the act of excess will impact your life in some way or another eventually.

This post was backed up in two places before posting.

I have a 99GB problem but accepting it ain’t one.

  • I started my physical item minimalism a few years go and currently everything I own (excluding my bed) fits in a green Honda Accord. Recently I’ve been working on slimming down my digital goods as well. Or the ones that matter. 

    I let most of the domains I registered for projects I never made. Having them wasn’t a burden but it did save me money which can be a weigh on the mind. 

    I’m working on hitting #inboxzero as a full inbox makes me stressed. I’m hovering at 100 right now which isn’t too bad. Part of my solution is unsubscribing from mailing lists left, right, and center. If all I ever do is archive it I probably don’t need it at all.

    Some digital troves don’t bother me. Games on Steam, items in Google Docs, Google eBooks, for example are either searchable or don’t require any work to maintain. Others like emails and todos do make me stressed.

    If it costs me time, money, or mental anxiety I try to slim it down.

  • tim rapp

    nice Odub reference.  thanks to this comment I’m probably now up to 2 kb of data online.

  • Just hope you never ever ever get sued and then deposed.

  • I’m with you on this one… http://pmerrill.com/tag/collecting/

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