Physical reality of my hard drive’s reality

Somewhere along the way, I amassed a plethora of files. On my MacBook Pro, I have over 1,000,000 files. This does not count my backup drive at work where I store more files. I use to think it’s nice to have a place where I could store everything digital, but do I really need to keep everything digital?


  • I have 213 apps for my iPhone and iPad. I maybe use 20 on a consistent basis.
  • I have over 12,000 photos in my library, and that’s after I deleted over 2,000 photos a few months ago.
  • I have 701 podcasts (at the moment) in my iTunes library. Half of them I have listened to, roughly. The other half? Well, I want to listen to them, but I don’t have time to always get to them. Still I subscribe to the podcast feed so I build up a massive backlog of podcasts to listen to…someday.
  • I have several hundred home videos that I have yet to watch.
  • Emails? God only knows.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Because of the busyness of the past few months it has only gotten worse. My computer is like a hoarder’s home with stuff stacked to the ceiling and only a little path from room to room to navigate.

It’s a joke. Still, it’s hard for me to delete some of this stuff.

I think part of it stems from journaling. I’ve been journaling on a computer since 1995. When I’m not journaling, I’ve kept a lot of emails from over the years as another way to document the times. That’s expanded to online articles, and the digital photos, and…you get the idea. I have a hard drive of stuff, which a lot of could be deleted. Yet it’s hard for me to do it.

For instance, why can’t I delete a lot of the apps I don’t use? I paid $4.99 for one particular app. It’s been useless since day one, but I don’t want to get rid of it. I’m trying to think of some way to get resale value, like a physical book, but that can’t happen. And, there isn’t a used app store I can go to buy used apps. “This Angry Birds app has a little wear and tear, but it works like new.”

Am I going to watch Heroes season one again? Probably not, so why hold on to the digital files I bought and downloaded from iTunes?

I have several thousand pictures of my boys, and yet I find it hard to delete perfectly good photos of them. Do I need twenty variations of one scene of my boys? No, I do not, and still I keep them all.

And really, is it that important for me to hold on to a podcast or app that I can download again for free?

I need to start deleting. I need to set aside time and go through all my libraries and delete away. However, right now I don’t have time to set aside a couple hours to do that. Instead, I’m trying to take a few minutes here and there to clean up my computer. Doing so will help it run more efficiently. I’ll be able to find files easier. Things will be more organized. Most importantly, I’ll be able to appreciate the files I do want to keep. I want to enjoy photos and videos of my boys now, not on some rainy day in the future.

For an explanation of The RID Project, click here. To read previous updates, click here.

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