We've all heard of hoarders... what about digital hoarders?

I remember when I was a teenager, I used to hoard all sort of stuff... "I might need it one day", I used to tell myself, and over the years I accumulated a lot of stuff.
It did not rise to the level of Compulsive hoarding, but I suspect the underlying psychological root causes may be related.
I have found that reduction of physical clutter seems always to go hand in hand with reduction of mental clutter. If I feel anxious, worried or stuck about certain things, my bedside table is just that little untidier. Perhaps it's because my mental resources are busy worrying, so I feel I don't have time for "minor" tasks such as de-cluttering or tidying up.
With age I have improved, however, and whenever I come across something that objectively needs chucking I don't hesitate.

Having said that, I do have a tendency to be a "digital hoarder". I have tens of Gigabytes of stuff - all at my fingertips, and it's so easy to store, what with storage costs decreasing every year... I thought I had come up with the term myself but, as it turns out, it is a thing!

Because of its non-physical nature, the condition does not show itself through physical clutter, meaning that it does not get classified as hoarding disorder.[5] As a consequence, it is often not recognized as a medical condition.[5] However, because digitization has greatly facilitated acquiring and storing large quanta of information (in terms of time and costs involved), digital hoarding tends to be a slow-moving progression, because even those affected by it do not display typical behaviors associated with hoarding
So, I'm wondering: is digital hoarding just an electronic version of the more traditional form? Does it have similar root causes?

Do you have a tendency to hoard, either physically or digitally?


Staff member
Does a Windows Desktop smothered with over 100 icons class as digital hoarding? :D

I've cleaned up much of the mess but it always creeps back!