[Downsizing Zeal] When To Save?

Does the hoarding mindset allow clutter to reside within the space it’s allowed to have, unchecked? Yesterday, before going out, I saw a note on the door to my apartment-mansion stating that management would be touring apartments. I’ve already cleared out all the unchecked clutter so I felt confident to let them be. I can invite people over now, whereas in my old place, I could not. I’ve learned to keep my open space saved.

Even though almost everything is accessible, it’s still a mess.

It’s difficult for me to parse out exactly what can go because the hoarding mindset sees everything as one mass rather than individual things. When I look ahead at my shelves of CDs I can sell or donate, if they were in individual boxes labeled “sell” or “donate,” then I could skip over it more, like the boxes I have above them full of CDs I haven’t unboxed in over a year and a half now.

It’s like deciding when to make a new save file in a videogame.

In Axiom Verge, you have the classic three save files, but is there any reason to save a file midway through? You could speedrun to the specific spot you wanted to go back to, so for games that don’t… well… completely rely on plot, you can get away with having just one save file. For Pokémon LeafGreen, I keep save files before I catch almost every Pokémon and I save before using Guillotine, because there’s no reason not to take advantage of save-scumming to catch Pokémon or use an insta-kill move in a single-player game.

FF7 [Steam] has 150 save files, which is almost infinite, right?

That depends on when you save your game. I could make a new save file about once every hour or when there’s a significant plot event that’s difficult to recreate in-game, which is what I did initially and may still do, but the dependent factor is how important something might be for me. There was a line that Elena said in the Mythril Mines that I enjoyed, and thought about keeping after I left that area without a screenshot and having saved about one hour of plot prior, but I found the quote in a walkthrough: “It’s all right, Rude! I know you don’t like speeches, so don’t force it![1]”

Let’s meander less: I’m saving when it’s important and hard to replicate.

The things I want to keep as I decide how I want to proceed in life should represent things that I like that aren’t easily found online or elsewhere. Since I’ve been physically unable to do much of anything besides wake up, go to my computer, use the restroom, and stand long enough to cook food, I haven’t made much progress in deciding what to save and what to save over, if you will, but I think approaching life from various perspectives like this can be helpful.

We should keep things relative to how we feel about them.

I can keep all those LeafGreen save files because they’re nearly insignificant in file size. Although I don’t feel much need to retrieve catching any particular Pokémon, they’re fine enough mementos to keep. In the screenshot above, I kept a save file just before going through the Kalm scene because that’s a plot-heavy section that, playing through it for the first time in… over twenty years?!… I see things differently. Not just because I’m older and I know most of the plot details, but because studying linguistics and storytelling shows interesting bits in the dialogue, particularly for Tifa’s.

If save files are like bookmarks, then should we, similarly only save our bookmarks?

If you have problems with hoarding too much stuff, like I do, then I would say it’s OK to be more critical of the number of bookmarks you keep in your book of life. It’s like picking up a book where every line is highlighted or entire pages with highlighting lines in their marginalia. When everything is saved, nothing is special. If I were playing a game or reading a book, I’d rather use the particular information I learned at that moment, rather than wait for later to refer to a specific section. If I were to need to refer to it years later, then it might be easier to replay/reread that section or guess where it is than extensively mark-up the game with save files or the book with scribbles.

Similarly, how often do I refer to all of these things I own?

Since I’ve been mostly sedentary while my back heals up from whatever problem it’s going through, I’ve been assessing how I spend my time, and almost all of it is spent here – at my primary laptop – writing or playing videogames. Since I haven’t done much with physical media, even books, in close to a month that should tell me that I don’t have much interest in keeping the stuff I haven’t interacted with much. Of course, there are some things that I don’t use often now that it’s warm out – I should put away my winter jacket – but why keep CDs I’m not excited to listen to anymore?

When I took that drive out, I chose a reliable favorite than a random unheard CD.

If there are random CDs I own that I bought cheaply that I don’t want to listen to, why keep them? Partially because I previously had wanted a large collection of diverse CDs. Partially because I might enjoy the CD. Partially because, well, current events have made the notion of bringing a stack of CDs somewhere to sell nearly inconceivable, but I imagine there will be a day soon – maybe when this essay publishes – where I can sell off these underappreciated CDs.

It’s like saving over save files.

As our interests change, and as we progress in games, we have to decide when we want to save certain memories and when we can save over them.

I’ll save my noteworthy files.

Quotes[1] I like how this quote reveals information about Elena and Rude. Elena is concerned over something Rude probably said to her in private, but she’s more concerned over helping him than worrying about Rude’s potential insecurity.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: I had taken this screenshot twice because I had thought about writing something like this, so last night, I prepped the screenshot, and wrote today. The result was a little weird, but this is a complex topic that addresses hoarding from multiple perspectives, so I’m about as clear and coherent as I can be with figuring out why I hoard so much…  junk.
Related: Other Downsizing Zeal and Media Meandry essays.
Screenshot: FF7.
Written On: 2020 May 14 [4:17pm to 5:05pm while listening to Oxymoron.]
Last Edited: 2020 May 14 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]


My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.