Confessions Of A Compulsive Digital Hoarder

HoarderI have accumulated over 2TB of movies over the years, scattered across 3 external drives. This is not taking into consideration the 2TB drive i lost a few years back to a hard disk crash, also containing movies. As of the last count, i had barely watched a fraction of these movies.

Added to these are a few other drives containing music files (most of which i have never and probably will never listen to), softwares, thousands of digital books that i will never read,  archived emails, documents, and a dump of other digital files.

Many will consider my stash a digital heaven. Think it, chances are that i have it.

However, beneath all this, there is an underlying problem – Hoarding. Digital Hoarding to be precise. I am not the type to delete files. There is always the nagging fear that i just might need them in the future, a psychological condition not much different from those that hoard physical items.

Wikipaedia defines Compulsive Hoarding as “a pattern of behavior that is characterized by the excessive acquisition of and inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects … cause(ing) significant distress or impairment.

Yes, I am a Digital Hoarder. But before you start putting your nose in the air, chances are that you are probably neck deep in it as much as i am. Unfortunately, this is an increasingly common phenomenon and in one way or the other, we are all guilty!

Searching through the digital pile is a time consuming task. Files improperly labelled, duplicate copies of files, not always sure which file is the latest version that i need … trust me, it really can be a jungle at times.

How do i get out of this nightmare?



  • HoardersAnon

    Just let me know where to show up with my new 1TB drive. Hoarder here too. I hoard movies, pdfs, software and software development libraries. 🙂

  • One day, you shall see, unlimited and fast internet, with on demand streaming and it shall set you free…. lol

    On a serious note, I think such impulses stem from the fact that it’s still a chore getting decent internet in nigeria. I used to be like that until I moved to the UK few years ago, and I realised there was no single need to store media locally with an unlimited access and internet speeds of 50mbps on the average.

    Now I consume my music from spotify exclusively, I stream my movies as well from on-line subscription services, softwares? I download as needed, and all my images are synced to my dropbox. The internet/cloud has become my new storage.

    I realised how much my ‘digitude’ has changed, when I was in Nigeria few months ago and needed to play some music and I noticed I didn’t have a single mp3 file on my computer, tablet or phone.

  • spacyzuma

    HAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry for you.

    I learned early, how to control and limit the size of my files.

    All my files are carefully arranged in distinctive folders, with very little duplication. And I regularly delete files I no longer need and feel I have no future need for.
    I’m definitely not a digital hoarder. 😀

    • Spacyzuma

      Wow. 7 years since my last comment. 🙂
      My current status is a 4TB external hdd that contains my collection of videos, audios, documents, programs and other files. This hdd is 99% full and over the past few months I’ve had to delete some tv series, documentaries, and disk images I no longer feel the need to store.

      For fear of the hdd crashing and losing all my data, I have a 2nd 4TB hdd that’s the exact copy of the 1st.

      Because I keep downloading movies and TV series, I may have to buy 2 new ExHDDs. One will be for just videos.

      I now agree that I’m a digital hoarder, but I’m happy I handle it well.

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