This is something of personal topic, and may not be of interest here, although perhaps others may have had similar experiences.
For some years now I’ve changed my approach to holding on to “stuff”. In the past I was quite the hoarder. I had to have a copy of everything myself, from old consoles and computer parts, to stacks of CDRs containing of all sorts digital information. But I came to the realisation that among other problems, this desire to hold on to things often came at the expense of personal freedom. Freedom to easily move, to clean, to feel uncluttered. To not feel loss if something should happen to any of those things. Freedom to focus on what matters most.
That revelation started a journey, as I began to quickly reduce my physical belongings down to few core items that I would use regularly. My goal was simple: I would only keep things that provided not potential but real value. For anything else I would instead use community services or buy the item temporarily for only as long as I would use it and then resell it (as I did with the Xbox One to play Crimson Dragon in 2013). Most of my day to day belongings can now fit into a single tramping (hiking) pack, and the few things I’ve kept in storage could easily be disposed of. I became a minimalist, and based on conversations I’ve had, one further ahead on my journey than most others who have embraced this philosophy appear to be. But there was something missing.
Recently my 4TB external harddrive died and I lost a very large collection of files.
This loss was surprisingly liberating. While my digital archive didn’t restrict my physical freedom very much, the mental overhead of caring about those files did. I don’t plan on replacing the drive; I’ll just stream (or temporarily download) music, video, and games from the cloud from now on and use the archives built by others. In a sense, digital minimalism might be the final piece of the puzzle in my journey to only holding on to things - be they physical or virtual - that provide real value to me. I’ll care less about keeping files for a rainy day and instead just keep a small collection of personal photos and documents. Apart from this site and some code repositories, there’s very little that I have stored in the public cloud that I would be unhappy to lose.
(One thing of value that I did lose in the harddrive’s death were the Panzer Dragoon prototypes. Hopefully someone in the community can upload these somewhere online so that we don’t lose them.)
So there’s a little story that I thought others might find interesting. Can anyone else relate? Or do you find value in holding onto your old things (e.g. old consoles and collections of physical games)?