What have you left behind?

It’s astonishing the sheer mountain of stuff that my Dad has left behind. I’m a packrat, like him. I tend to keep things which I really do not need as there’s a little voice in my head that says “wait, you might need that later.” No, I really don’t need it later, but hey, you never know!

Lately I’ve been getting alerts from Google regarding the amount of storage I had been using in my account. The Cloud bit wasn’t as surprising as the amount of email I kept. Keep in mind that over the past 26 years I have worked in technology, I have been very strict with email.

As time carries on and technology improves, we don’t really stop to think about how much “stuff” we have accumulated. I recall when Microsoft Outlook (an email application) would outright crash if the user kept over 2GB of email.

To put this in perspective, 2GB for the sake of argument equals 2,000,000,000 bytes. If you consider the average size of an email to be around 75KB (75,000 bytes), not counting attached files, that’s roughly 26,000 emails. How much junk mail do you have around you right now?

I cannot tell you how many times I was called into an office because the user exceeded 2GB of mail, 26,000 emails, and Outlook just plain died. The fix was simple, delete old emails, delete what was not needed, get it below 2GB and magically everything would work again.

Nowadays with services like Gmail, it’s common to see folks easily sail past that number. How many folks in their private life actually take the time to do some cleanup? Heck, I deleted the entirety of my Facebook and Instagram presence to clean it up and took 2 month break as well.

Back to my Gmail. I’ve got about 19GB of storage, that includes my cloud storage and my email. My Gmail was over 5GB, paired with my other “crap” they were happily suggesting I drop a few dollars to upgrade. Here’s an idea, how about I cleanup?

I literally had emails dating back 13 years. Stuff I haven’t looked at since I was in my 20s. Since I’m a nerd, I made sure to back it up, and then I proceeded to purge over 28,000 emails. Everything from 2018 back is now gone and I’ve gone from over 5GB to under 1GB. Not bad.

Maybe some day I’ll delete the backup too. Who knows, I might need it!

So stop and think for a second, what’ve you left behind?

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