Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hoarding Hoards and the Hoarders Who Hoard them


Folks, I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but there is a whole new form of pack- rattery of which to beware.   It's even more insidious that the usual kind because it takes up very little physical  space. It's called e-hoarding, and apparently I have fallen victim to it.  In fact, I'm nearly positive that it was e-hoarding, and not just old age and fickle fingers, that ailed Della the Demon Possessed Laptop.

I discovered it  much the same way that one discovers any hoarding:  I opened the door. 

It all started Friday evening when the Man of the Place came home, plugged in new Dellie, and asked an innocent question:

Do you want me to save things from your old computer onto the new one? 

Why, yes I did. 

I had photos on there for one thing. I need my photos. And no, I didn't want to save them to a thumb drive at that moment. At that moment, I just wanted to get the new Dellie up and running.  He accommodated me and began to save them.

It took 11 hours and 30 minutes.
 No lie.  

I took this pictorial evidence about two hours into the project.
 Apparently, it takes that long to save over 17,000 photographs.

Oh, how I wish I were exaggerating like usual, but I'm not. I really and truly have that many photos. (And I wonder why I go through one shiny red Kodak a year...)

Technology has made it entirely too easy to point, click, upload... and save.  

If the photos were my only problem, it would be bad enough, but they weren't.  I have three email accounts full of un-deleted old messages as well.

And then, I have the bookmarks.   

I have both Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, you see, and between the two of them, I had roughly  two million bookmarks.  (OK, that part might be a tad exaggerated,  but I still have hundreds... at least.)  They're all organized of course. I have them secreted away in tidy little folders.

 As I said  in THIS POST last summer,  however, that's not really organization. 
It's storganization, and it's still hoarding. 

I have folders for bill paying and folders for Bible study... folders for current events and folders for genealogical research...folders for teaching and folders for speaking... folders for decorating and folders for crafts.   Folders for recipes...

I started those recipe folders before the days of Pinterest.  (Another e-hoarding nightmare waiting to happen.).  Most of them have never even been tried, like Dr. Oz's Cherry Pork Chops.  I like cherries, and I like pork chops, but I'm not sure I would like them together, and I'm not even fond of Dr. Oz.

But there they were, storganized on the computer between my recipe for German chocolate cake and a misfiled youtube of Ronnie Milsap singing, "What a Difference You've Made In My Life".

The Practical One has a name for this. She calls it Crazy Pants. Folks, I stand here today in my crazy pants to make this full confession:  Hi. I'm Debbie, and I'm an e-hoarder. 

There. It felt good to get it all out in the open.

Since I spent last summer dealing with my physical storganization problem, I'm dubbing the summer of 2013 as the summer I face down cyber storganization and live to tell the tale.

I started purging yesterday, and like the true over achiever that I am, I spent  wasted an entire day plunked in front of the computer(s) trying to tackle the problem. We hoarders aren't really known for our moderation. What we are known for is a tendency to hippity hop down rabbit trails whenever we start looking at our schtuff.  Clearly, I need a better plan.

That's why I'm asking you to Talk Back this Tuesday.

 Are you an e-hoarder, or do you have a firm grip on your computer storage?  
Do you have a system that works for you?  

And while we're at it... 

I would love to know how you manage that
Pinterest disaster waiting to happen, too...


Anonymous said...

De-bor-ah, I.ve told you before you do not need fifty pictures of the same five piece place setting. Two at the most. You do not need fifty pictures of a field of flowers, just two, You do not need fifty pictures of me and Elvis. One will do. On the other hand, every picture of the grandchildren must stay. Just saying.

Linda W said...

I'm still laughing about the cherry pork chops and the Crazy Pants comment.

Can honestly say/boast/admit I'm not an e-hoarder, however, that doesn't mean I don't hoard anything. My hoarding seems to be of the physical nature and stored/hidden away in plastic totes. In saying this, I think e-hoarding is a better way to go. After all, you don't have to "see" the stuff that's tucked away.

Welcome, New Dellie, you have such fun ahead!

Sonja Goodson said...

I've got nothing! Nothing except a big burst of laughter as I read about MYSELF in these words! Especially loved... "I like cherries, and I like pork chops, but I'm not sure I would like them together, and I'm not even fond of Dr. Oz."

Wish I had some words of wisdom, but this whole thing is ringing way too close to home!

Sooner Laura said...

I don't even want to know how many pictures I have stored on computer hard drives and external hard drives (in case the computer crashes) but I guarantee that I have 3 copies of some (at least)...I organize pictures in folders but I have trouble keeping up. Then I have computer failure or just fear of losing pictures and I back stuff up and don't delete other copies. I don't have so many other files though, you have me beat on those! But pictures, yes I guess I hoard them. I try occasionally to clean that up and it does take HOURS and then I quit for oh, like maybe 6 months before I have time to work on it again. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Vee said...

Yes. I save my photos on an exterior hard drive named Lacie and she had better live up to her promises. I label photo folders by year, month, date first so they stay in line. I resize every photo and label it, then I delete the rest. I'd like to say that I can do this quickly, but it takes about a half an hour daily unless I slow down my photo taking, which I have tried to do.

As for Pinterest, I just found out that I can file alphabetically, which made me positively giddy. Other than that, it's a free for all on somebody else's storage space...perfect.

Crazy Pants you say? Okay, me too.

Ann said...

LOL .... Whoops! I, at present, have over 3000 emails in my inbox. Most, I will admit, are political or shopping in nature. And all of those are unopened.
I do try to get all personal emails opened...when I can find them.
As for photos, we did buy a separate storage drive to ease the crowdedness on our main computer.
As usual. Debbie, you point out things that we otherwise would not realize!

Miss Merry said...

You are so much fun! Thanks for speaking for all of us!

Lorrie said...

Oh dear. I see myself here. I don't even know how many photos I have stored on my computer. I am trying to be better about deleting - asking myself - "Would I print this?" and if not, delete!
Pinterest is great because as Vee has said, it's not stored on my computer. The danger I have is pinning madly and not making anything. Trying to stop that.

The Decorative Dreamer said...

You are definitely not alone! I have just begun to organize photos and downloads under folders...pictures by year then month. Downloads seem to be a bit of a problem and I have tried to group them in folders under like topics. My Mr. has been after me for some time to get the pics off the PC and into a thumb drive, hard drive, whatever. Heck, I felt like I am doing good just to get them all out of my camera and onto the computer. LOL! No real solutions here, just camaraderie!

Gina said...

Weeeell, I might be a slight e hoarder. You've definitely made me wonder. I guess I'll have to check the next time I sit down to the computer and see just how bad it is.

You cracked me up about the cherry pork chops!

Angel said...

HA! I guess you could call me a little "crazy pants" too because even though I don't like clutter and purge every so often to stay sane, I am also "sentimental" when it comes to holding on to old photos.

Thanks to your post, I now know the truth.

Sentimental = E-hoarder :)

Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

i enjoy photos - but i must admit i have no where close to what you have. wow!! you have tons!! ha. ha!! ( :

enjoy those views. maybe a delete a few or two. ha. ha!!

no spring chicken said...

Hmm. I don't know... I'm not ready to open that door. :)

Blessings, Debbie

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Cherry pork chops sounds tasty to me :)

I don't have my photos or files organized on my computer (and I have two with Chrome and Firefox on both). My daughter is always getting on me to organize my stuff in file folders and to save things to an external harddrive. She is super organized that way!

LOL! E-Hoarders could be a spinoff realty tv show from the other Hoarders show!

W. Latane Barton said...

Oh my word, I can so relate, Debbie. I think I will take a look at my computer and see if I can clean it up a tad. It might be faster if I do. You can consider yourself my inspiration!

Crickit said...

I agree with Debbie above! Wish I could give you some very good advice but I am also not ready to open that door or BOX, quite yet! :)

Debbie said...

Oh I originally thought this was my answer to boxes and boxes and bags and albums full of pictures...unorganized and overwhelming. But now I have folders and folders and folders of pictures unorganized and also overwhelming...sigh. BUT! It does take up much less space. I have nightmares about losing them though. I have back-up, but still! haha Enjoy the rest of your day!

Sharon said...

Ah...this is where you are. At the bottom of a whole bunch of e-hoarding schtuff.

I can't really say that I'm an e-hoarder - though I do have way too many emails in my 4 accounts - (got you by one). And I have semi-purged only one of them so far. I seem to reserve my hoarding for the real world of drawers and closets and shelves and...

I've got more to say, but suddenly I feel like I need some fresh air!

Good luck!

Debbiedoo's said...

Ummm can I join the group? My computer is pretty loaded up and I too need to get rid of the thousand pictures of one roo's eye I took, LOL..it'c crazy Debbie! I just cleaned out my pinterest boards and feel good about that. One step at a time, or one day at a time as they say:)

Barbara F. said...

I LOVE the very first comment from "anonymous", and methinks it is someone you know, by the way they are 'saying' Deb-or-ah! Some tablescaping gals take waaaayyyy too many photos (of the same dishes). Just saying'. lol xo

Sue said...

I had to go and check ~ only 12,000 photos on my computer. I won't count the emails on 2 accounts and my downloads and bookmarks ... well... e-hoarder am I. But I am still working on my physical stuff so the e-stuff will have to wait.
I will anxiously await your solution!

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

OK, friend, now you've crossed the line! There are some things we bloggers just don't have to admit to the world -- aren't there? Does everyone really need to know that at last count I had 30,000+ mostly unorganized pics ... and who knows how many untried recipes ... and folders (real and on my computer) full of blog post schtuff? And that's just the beginning. A year ago I started tackling those pics -- when there were only 24,000 -- but I never got them all sorted ... and, of course, I'm still taking pics by the hundreds month. If you figure out how to get on top of this fiasco, please tell us ... since you opened this can of worms! (BTW, it's really nice to meet your New Dellie!)

Dianne said...

I'm finding myself grieving over the old Dellie much more today--I had no idea that life had dealt her such hard blows and that the burdens she carried were so heavy.

Hoping the new Dellie has lighter burdens to bear--

Janette's Sage/Simply Your Decor said...

I am laughing too hard to comment! Well I will anyway, through the laughter. I love my Pinterest, and since you haven't allowed us to follow you on Pinterest then maybe that is why I have it under control, you might overload mine!! LOL
Pictures...now that is another story and now I have a grandson. I have a separate storage place for them after the computer ate all of Benjamin's birth pictures.

Good luck...have fun!!!

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

What I've been trying (so wish comments would let me italicize:@) to do is, add one or two pics to a post then deleting all the rest of them. That way I only save 1-2 if I think I might use them again. Every once in a while I force myself purge some of my bookmarks, I mean "smoked Gouda and pineapple stuffed jalapenos"... really Lynn??? Yea, I feel your pain:@)

Denise said...

Poor poor Della. No wonder she died. She was truly overloaded. I hope New Dellie is up for the challenge. I have very little e anything on my computer. Mostly because I don't know how. Yes. That's sad considering my college degree. I can see where Pinterest could become a problem. I try to check boards and purge occasionally.

Hope you don't get overloaded yourself. And for heaven's sake, DON'T delete the pictures of the grandchildren!!

Babs said...

LOL, I have to say I'm not a hoarder. I go through my pc every so often and delete things I haven't used for a while...not photos of the family, but other stuff. I don't have a plan..just when the spirit hits me. I'm bad about bookmarking sites and never going back to them, or can't remember what they are. Good luck with your purging.

Chatty Crone said...

I have to think about this - I would say I have it a little bit - but then not too much. I go thru saving periods and then I purge and then I save and then I purge - I don't really know if I have a lot or not. I know I have a lot of pictures - how many I don't know - lol.

Maryann said...

I would be a hoarder as well. Realized it was a problem when my husband tried to add software for my scanner and had no room.He was baffled because I have only had this computer less than a year, how could I used all the space so quickly...my problem is photos. I break out in a sweat whenever I have to delete. I think the answer for me is an external hard drive...but then, isn't that like an electronic rubbermaid bin? Time to purge!

Denise at Forest Manor said...

Hi Debbie,

How I love your sense of humor and your wonderful style of writing! :) Yes, I'm most likely an e-hoarder; I was just looking at my bazillion e-mails a few minutes ago and thinking I've definitely got to do some purging. I'm a cyber space hoarder and a real-life hoarder, too, it seems. That's one reason I won't be able to post as much this summer; I've got to do what you did last summer. Pictures are something I really need to purge, and I find that harder to do than anything, as I often go back and use old pictures for posts and headers. E-mails and pictures are my biggest hoarding problem; so far, Pinterest is not too badly out of control. I stopped using bookmarks when I learned to use Pinterest.

I'm really glad you have your new Della up and running. Thank goodness our hubbies are patient enough to set those computers up for us, huh? I hope you have a wonderful week! :)


Creations By Cindy said...

Laughing this morning as I read this! I just got my Dell cleaned up! Amazing at how much faster he seemed to be! LOL! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

kitty said...

Thanks for the morning chuckle, Debbie! I know I'm guilty as a hoarder of recipes! I cut them out and hoard them away. I take pics of them in magazines at the hairdressers with my phone. You never know, I might just need that ONE recipe (but where the heck is it??).

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

E-hoarding. So there's a name for it! My name is Katherine, and I am an e-hoarder. I was a closet e-hoarder, now I can come out! I thought I was the only one with over 2000 emails (that I've read.) Why do we keep the ones we've read already?? The unread ones I do purge often, but still have in the three-digits with them. I feel so much better knowing there's a lot of us out there - a sisterhood! Let's go to lunch! LOL!

As for Pinterest - I LOVE IT!!! It has set me from from wanting to BUY pretties - I just pin them now and go look at them often! Hee-hee! Let's keep Pinterest around! I do wonder what will be next, there's always something new coming up to use up our time.

Great post!


Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Ooops, I meant "set me free."

Another thing I like about Pinterest is that it takes the pressure off having to "comment" or "repin" to the person who pinned from you. It also tells me a lot about people with their taste. Such as my grandson's fiance, since I don't know her, I can see what she likes. And I've found a lot of new "kindred spirit friends" who like the same things I do! Love it! (For now, we are fickle ladies though and could soon replace it with something even better!!) LOL!


FrouFrouBritches said...

Oh, Debbie....I feel your pain. I, too, am an ehoarder/crazy pants. I mean, what if next year sometime, I NEED that picture from two summers ago showing my dog chewing on a pillow shaped like a giant cat or what if I need fourteen recipes for summer cocktails even though we never have company and I rarely drink. Ya never know when that stuff will come in handy, right? Just know you're not alone in this.

Ms.Daisy said...

You are so much fun to read, and I'm still laughing about cherries and pork chops. I always know I'm in for a treat whenever I stop by. So busy this summer, I really haven't had time to blog, although, I'm trying to write another Garden Road story (it's on the back burner for now). I've sold my home and downsizing is much harder than upsizing let me tell you! Hope your summer is full of fun and laughter.


Laurie Ritchey said...

Debbie, I could have written this post, but it wouldn't have been as cleverly written as yours, and I probably haven't yet admitted to myself that I have a problem with computer storage. I recently began deleting emails from one of my accts that went back to Christmas! That's just one of my accts. I'm afraid to see the date on the other acct. And don't even get me started on pictures. It would probably take days to switch my photos over to a new computer. If I knew how to bookmark and put things in files, I'm sure I'd have those too. Right now, I just have a VERY long Favorites list, which makes it impossible to find anything. If I lived to be 200, and cooked something new every night, I couldn't ever cook the recipes that are stored on a private blog on my computer! OK, I'll say it with you, I am a crazy pants e-hoarder, and I need to do something about it. Thanks for the inspiration. Now I just need to get somebody to motivate me. laurie

Ivy and Elephants said...

I think all us bloggers need to have some type of help! Definitely a hoarder (both types!)

Lynn Richards said...

Computer storage? You mean like a closet that we shut the door on and it bangs open two seconds later and everything comes spilling out on your head?

I have no answer for this. Except that I'm lazy and I have fallen for the fast paced life of the internet. Who has time to go through seven billion photos when all I have to do is click and hustle through ten million blogs?

BUT, I have noticed the rainbow wheel menacing about on my screen and I will take heed to your suggestions of cleaning up.
If you figure out a plan you could make millions on it with an e-book. I could store it in my bookmarks...

Mrs.Rabe said...

Wowzer! I'd hate to see how long it would take to do mine. I do tend to go on purges - getting rid of things, both on the computer and at home. Although at the moment you would know that from my bedroom - the storage spot, apparently of school materials, wreath making materials and store stuff. I'm pretending it is not stacked up, and soon it will all be in it's proper places.



Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh. my. goodness. I want to hide my face in shame. I just put my old computer in the side of my office... because it was just too much to try to do... and, it would have crowded out the new one immediately. Well, immediately is a relative term... it would NOT have been done in an immediate sense of time... more like the HOURS you mentioned. But, I could NOT let my hoards of e-crap go. It is still sitting there in the corner of my office... Now, this one is nigh on FULL, too. I think I could need an intervention. ;) GOOD LUCK, Debbie!!!! I'm tucking my tail and hiding under the bed. ~ tanna

Dayle @ A Collection of This and That said...

OMW! 17,000 photos? OMW! I thought I had a lot. HA!

Truth is, if I kept all of the pics I ever took on my desktop, I might even surpass that number, but I use thumb/flash drives a lot for storing images, after I've uploaded them to my desktop and sorted and purged them. I also have pic folders by year, then sub-folders by month. That helps break down what could be an overwhelming task into 12 tidy folders.

And lately, I've been deleting a LOT of images, images that are near-duplicates, or images that I can easily recreate, such as pics of things around the house or yard. If I can recreate it, why keep it? Trust me, I haven't totally gone down the deleting path, but I'm getting there with baby steps. And it has felt wonderfully freeing so far.

You're not totally alone, dear Debbie. And we're here for you. :)

Canadagirl said...

I can relate too well. ((sigh)) I should purge all my e-stuff. It has been too long sense the last visit. I hope you understand I just needed to step away for a short time. Pray that I can pop in more often. Miss you.

Blessings and ((HUGS))

Kathryn Ross said...

Gah! You have just described ME! Oh - I didn't realize I was in such a serious condition until you made it painfully evident - though - I daresay you are far more advanced. Blogging longer than me, I suppose. Is this what I have to look forward to???

And - speaking of new "Kodaks" - mine is a new Sony Cybershot after the debacle at the tea room this past Tuesday - blog post coming up on that soon - when I dropped my trusty little Canon and that was all she shot! Memory card in tact, I innocently plugged my new camera into my dinosaur HP expecting the photo share program would pop up with install directions and wasn't I beside myself when - in fact - I had to face the hard reality of outdated electronics that weren't hi-speed enough. My endless supply of IT guys at church found me a link to download a re-fit and I was finally in business - but not until EVERY PHOTO IN MY FILES were imported into the new program. Now - I have them saved in TWO places on my hard-drive.

I dread the day a new "Dellie" comes to my house. I don't think I can handle the stress.

For the time, though - I am back in business. See you round Blogland!

Barbara Neubeck said...

Hi Debbie.....I'm laughing at your wonderful way of highlighting a problem some of us have,,,,clearing out the excess on the computer always sounds good ...but it's so hard to do....
I don't do Pinterest .... it scares me.. I could spend all day collecting 'things' I'll never use..so I JUST DON'T GO THERE!!
I can honestly say I'm on top of my e-mails....the idea of a lot of e-mails waiting to be checked brings on a panic attack, I like to see no e-mails...

I definately have too many photos....

It doesn't matter what approach we use ...avoidance or organization...e-hording is hard to control...
Good luck
Hugs ... Barb xx

xinex said...

I have 2 external harddrives where I transfer stuff, mostly photos, when my desktop drive is getting full. I had filled a 500 GB drive, now working on a Terrabyte. I think it's half full. My daughter had the perfect name for me, an "Organized Hoarder"....Christine

Debbie Petras said...

I believe this is my first visit to your blog but we have many common blogger friends. After Janette mentioned you in her recent post, I realized I needed to come and visit. So glad I did! You see I too am an e-hoarder! I admit it. My computer crashed last week and I was lost. I have more than 30,000 photos on my computer. Yes that's true. I take photos all the time every day. I also had a book I've been writing in Word. Did I back it up? No. I'm told that it can be found since it would be on the hard disc but right now I can't afford to have it fixed. So my hubby found an old laptop that I'm currently using. But I feel lost without my photos and bookmarks.

You must be a kindred spirit as my husband and I were married in 1984 too. Happy Anniversary.

Blessings and love,

Pur et Simple said...

You are fun! You make me laugh until the tears come! Thanks for being real.

I'm not a clutter bug - so not really a hoarder either. I'm still trying to get things organized on my computer - so I have no advice to offer there. As for Pinterest...I'm probably the only one who has CHOSEN to not "do" Facebook or Pinterest. While I think the idea behind them both is fine, FOR ME - Pinterest would incite coveting and dissatisfaction, and discontentment. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.
:-) Enjoy your day.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, I think I need to sign up for e-hoarders anonymous too. I don't think I have the same tolerance level as you, but I'm pretty close. ;)
I have four email accounts and each needs purging. I have a few photo folders but not as many. It's strange because I'm the TOTAL opposite when it comes to my home. I get rid of everything in site if it's not nailed down. Thanks buddy. Now I'm obsessing about my computer clutter. ;) I think I might purchase a couple of memory sticks. Those take up no room for your pics.
A good summer project for rainy days.

Sharlotte said...

E-hoarder...yes. And what gets me is that I thought technology was to make things simpler.*#!
For me it hasn't...it just makes more work. You see, I tend to forget where I put things and sometimes I forget the really cool names of files to put things in. Call me old fashioned, but I like to get my hands on the "hard copy" to move it around from file to file or toss.

I too MAKE myself sit down and organize. The problem is that I know just enough technology to get myself into trouble but can't figure out how to get myself out of trouble. Case in point: switching to WORDPRESS from Blogger. My son assured me it was easier...nope, (at least for me)..and I LOST pictures along the way from my post. AND my Picassa account is full because I didn't change the image size of my pictures...(who knew?)
So, to make a long story short, I organized my pics and have them stored on a external hard drive.
(I actually have to put a date on my calendar to do that...once a month would be a lot easier than once a year!! ha ha)


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