By Kelly Reark
Uncluttering: A great New Year’s resolution for all of us. Clutter comes in many forms. We advise our sellers to de-clutter their homes when preparing them for the real estate market. We shred old papers in an effort to clean out our offices of unnecessary transaction documents. We send clothes from our stuffed closets to local shelters. We gasp when watching Hoarders or Clean House on TV and plead with our friends to intervene, “If my house ever gets that messy…”
So what about our electronic clutter? Did you know that we humans have created more data in the past year than we have created in the past 5,000 years? Did you know that the number of text messages sent every day exceeds the total population of the planet, and that it has been estimated that only 61 percent of the global population even has a phone?
Just thinking about the 413 messages I have kept as part of my e-mail “necessities” makes me shudder. I have 36 folders that organize my email messages for just one of my e-mail addresses. And I have four e-mail addresses. I have 2 gigabytes of information stored on my computer, all in files for future reference. I have an external hard drive with 800 MB of space, and about half of that is occupied. I take a ton of photos, and some of those are pushing 24 MB each. Even with those, there is still a lot of data filing going on. What am I doing with all of this?! At the rate information is being created, I will NEVER read it all again. And if I do take the time to review it all again, I will be in a perpetual state of catch-up with all the new stuff coming in daily.
Are you nodding? Uh oh – friends, I think we need an electronic intervention! We have to get the data flow under control! With all of this data building up at an alarming rate, let’s choose a New Year’s resolution to be more conscientious about the data we keep. Let’s make a resolution to hit the DELETE key more often on the crazy forwarded e-mails and bad, blurry photos. Let’s be more productive by disconnecting occasionally from the constant flow of Facebook and Twitter. Let’s be selective about what we keep so that what we REALLY want to reflect on five years from now is easier to find, and more appreciated…
Anyone else feeling hypocritical for telling a seller to tame down the ceramic cow collection?
(Some facts are from the “Did You Know?” video by Scott McLeod, Karl Fisch, and Jeff Bronman, available on YouTube.)