I have a confession. I have an organizing task that has been weighing on me for years. It is a digital organizational issue, which is easier for me to procrastinate about because it isn’t cluttering up my physical space. But digital organization is always lurking on my computer waiting to pop up at any moment.
A little background…
Over eight years ago I was given an iPod as an appreciation gift at work. I was very excited about it because not only was it a new iPod (I didn’t have one), it was the “U2 Special Edition” iPod. It was black with a red dial and the signatures of the band on the back – very cool. It also came with a certificate to get “The Complete U2” music set for only $50 – a $200 savings! What a deal! I couldn’t pass it up. So I bought it…
I had no idea what I was getting into. It was indeed the complete U2 set: tons of live performances, different versions of the same song, plus all the classics. I had over 900 U2 songs. While I like U2, I’m not nearly as infatuated with them as I am with Foo Fighters or John Legend, but I never get to hear either of those artists because U2 had taken over my music library.
I had several options on how to handle this plethora of U2 songs:
- Go through each song and only keep the ones I like – with over 900 songs, this would take forever.
- Put the songs on an external hard drive “just in case I need them someday” – I will never need them.
- Just delete the songs and move on – WINNER!
It was time to let go. Accept the fact that eight years ago I spent $50 on music I never liked. It’s okay. I decided to keep U2’s “Best of…” albums and delete the rest.
Or so I thought – next time I played songs from iTunes, a random U2 song came up – WHAT?!?!?! All the songs were back in my music library. It probably had to do with my iCloud settings, but I didn’t even try to figure out the details. While it was tad annoying, it reinforced that I made the right decision…it was even easier to delete the songs the second time!
For some reason it is much easier to purge actual CD’s than the digital music files – why? Maybe because I feel like someone will enjoy the CD’s if I donate them. With the digital files, no one can use them in the future. They are just gone. I’m sure there are ways around this, but figuring it out is not a high priority for me. I have bigger fish to fry.
As I continue to improve my organization, I need to remember that digital files clutter up my world just as much as physical clutter. Sometimes it is good to say, “I will live without you”, press delete, and move on.