Are You an Information Hoarder?

Are You an Information Hoarder?

Are you an information hoarder?  We've all seen those dreadful shows on television that follow people around who stuff their homes, yards, and lives with all sorts of pointless nick knacks, old magazines, and other items.  It's a sad state of affairs, and our hearts goes out to these folks.

I'm sure you don't have such a problem, but are you an information hoarder?  How much old data do you have stranded in your life in reference folders, filing cabinets, and--perhaps most importantly--just recurring in your mind well beyond the "use-by" date.

I know whereof I speak because I have had this habit to a degree in certain areas of my life.  For example, it makes perfect sense to hold on to some mementos from past loves, but how many emails from that person do you still have?  Why?  What does it indicate?

What about filing cabinets full of random information from years ago.  Yes, keep some key information if you want (I do) to remember past experiences or projects, but there is no reason to clutter up your life with this stuff.

I suggest you clean this stuff out.  Just take a small portion of it each day or once a week--whatever timeline is comfortable and realistic for you, review the data and throw away what's no longer useful.  If you aren't sure, you can create a maybe file that you revisit in a few months. Usually by then you will be ready to pitch the info.

Hoarding Information in Your Mind….

More deeply, what emotions, resentments, and annoyances from experiences that happened long ago keep bubbling up into your head?  And you stew on them....  This is perhaps not exactly hoarding, but it is related.  You are clinging to something or not letting it go.

Here's my suggested approach for cleaning out the information hoarded in your mind.  Put your attention on whatever it is that keeps popping up.  Write a sincere and heartfelt journal entry about it.  Be honest and acknowledge your emotions.  Conclude the entry by writing that you are letting this go and making a clean break with that pattern, negative emotion, resentment, worry, or pain.  You can do this, and it will make your life much more joyful.  You just need to learn to get your mind clear and clean of old informational and emotional clutter.

Let It Go

Sometimes information hoarding indicates you are clinging to aspects of your past.  If you can let some of this go--throwing it out of your files, shelves, folders, and mind, you will free up tremendous space and energy.  You will feel lighter and ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the present.

(I do suggest you hold onto all financial documents that have any tax implications forever.  You just don't know when you might need to reconstruct a cost basis for assets you own or prove something to the IRS.)

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