For me, digital minimalism is not just about how clean and tidy my desktop and website look, but it’s also about minimizing the number of files stored.
Every once in a while, I ‘purge’ my laptop or HDD from unnecessary files.
Every time I do that, it feels like some weights are lifted off from my mind.
However, I don’t just delete anything without asking questions.
In fact, I have a few questions I asked myself before removing a file from my computer.
Here they are.
1. Did you make this?
If it’s my work, if it’s something that I creatively made with effort, then I usually keep them.
You don’t throw away your own paintings, don’t you?
2. Are you involved in this? Are you in there?
Let’s just say there are some photos on your computer.
Are you in there? Did you attend that event? Is your face on the pictures?
If it has nothing to do with you, why bother storing it in the first place?
3. Is this useful for you?
Of course, books are usually useful.
But those infographics you saved from websites like Reddit or 9GAG are usually left forgotten.
We usually save something from the internet not because it’s valuable or useful, but simply because we can.
I mean, it doesn’t cost you anything to save those useless infographics and PDFs, right?
I usually saved them, thinking that one day I’m going to use it to improve my life.
Guess what? That day never comes.
4. Does it entertain you that much?
Is it something you enjoy watching many times over and over?
Even if it does, if it’s available on YouTube or anywhere else you can access easily, don’t store it on your computer.
In my case, there are some rare movies and videos that are hard to obtain and I genuinely love to watch them over and over again, so I keep them.
The rest—those music and funny videos I saved years ago when I was a teenager—got deleted.
5. Is it available easily online? Or is it rare?
I used to
pirate collect animes and movies on my HDD, but at some point, I asked myself, “Why should I hoard these stuff in the first place? It’s not like these files are extremely rare and are going to be gone forever, right? FFS, I’m not the only one with an HDD in this world!”
After realizing that, I slowly get rid of my hoarding mentality.
Just because you can download something doesn’t mean that you should.
Using these questions, I was able to free up my disk space from hundreds of GB of useless files and data.
Everything now is much lighter and faster, but more importantly, less stuff means less stress.