Big Old Mess

There are between 200 and 300 CDs in this bedroom. A dozen are commercial music discs, the others various forms of data - mp3, DivXes of TV programmes and films, raw footage taken for my MA film, scans of entire books, system backups, wordprocessed short stories, sound samples, a video diary I kept for a few months, files for music tracks I've made or mixed, and most of all, software.

It's got to the state where I can't find anything without a half hour search, during which I will find something that I needed but failed to find the previous week. So, time to rationalise, be ruthless, and tidy up the bedroom while I'm about it.

Once upon a time, there was filing system, but there's always more categories than boxes, and there's always more tasks than time. Some discs contain mixed data, much is duplicated, and most is redundant. Except that I never know what will suddenly be useful in six months.

So I have to ask myself: Do I want to keep the video diary that chronicles six months of my life when I ran an art gallery and my mother almost died from a tumour? Most of what I said into the camera was tedious and sometimes pretentious.

Just how meticulously can I sort through 75 discs of software, most of which won't work properly, is no longer useful, or has been superceeded?

There's 30 discs of specially shot video fragments which two years ago I wove into a satirical film - how many might be useful in a future video project?

You know, I think it might be more than 300.
Okay, I've started putting the video fragments onto DVD, and in the process discovered some mp3s and documents that I'd completely forgotten about. I must have put them on the CDRs because they were floating around on the hard disk, the CDR had some unused space, and backing store was expensive and not-to-be-wasted at the time. This would have been back in 2001.