Digital Clutter

I have years and years of documents, projects, photos, and music stored on my two external hard drives.

I probably haven’t opened 75% of these files in the past two years.

Nowadays, when I have a few minutes to an hour to sit at my home PC and do some “work” — post-processing photos, mostly, either for uploading to Flickr and the blog or to print for my photo album — sometimes I find that I can’t find what I’m looking for.

All I wanted to do was to print a couple of collages I’d put together a few months back. (I’m printing multiple photos on one page, as an experiment, laid out like you’d see on Flickr with the photos resized so they fit nicely in even rows.)

I couldn’t find my damn Photoshop files.

Had I saved them in their own Project folder? Did I put them on the Desktop, since I knew I’d be accessing them soon? How about just in the folder with the other photos from the fair?

I finally did find them, and got them uploaded to print. In the process, I discovered how hopelessly behind I am in printing individual photos for the family photo album.

I need a new process. We live in this highly mobile era where I can (and sometimes do) order prints straight from my iPhone, yet I also want to print film photos and photos from my Nikon, and keep them all in chronological order in the photo album (mostly).

I can’t make myself prioritize clearing digital clutter over clearing physical clutter, though. I’m bad with both, honestly, and it comes from not putting things in their place as soon as possible — or not having a place designated for the thing, and just putting it somewhere for now.

All I know is that clutter is frustrating, whether it be physical or digital, and it keeps me from being efficient at whatever I’m trying to accomplish. I’m seriously going to just have to carve out some time to deal with the clutter.

All of it.

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