Photo by Todd Kent on Unsplash   

There you are, phone in hand, lined up to get the perfect shot. Or maybe someone’s emailed you an important file, something you need to download and sign to sell your house or get a job.

Except there’s one problem: your device is full. There’s no room to download any files. No room to add another picture. That perfect photo or urgent signature won’t happen. Cue the frustration with technology. 

Until, of course, you realize that it has nothing to do with technology at all. The problem is much simpler than that. The problem is that your garage is full.

Suppose that every single day when you leave your house, you take an object like a newspaper or a photo or a hockey stick and you toss it into your garage. (The concept works just as well if you imagine your basement or closet, but let’s stick with the garage.) You step outside, open the garage door, toss the random item in, and go on your way.

Pretty soon, your garage starts getting full. Not full enough to cause a problem, and definitely not full enough that you need to spend precious time decluttering. But the piles of stuff are getting bigger and there’s barely enough room to park your car. 

Still, it’s no big deal to park in the driveway, so you happily continue adding things to the collection. 

You rarely use any of it, and probably can’t remember half of what you’ve put in there, but you’re sure that it’s very important. Even if it isn’t, you’re way too busy to spend time cleaning it out. Just the thought of it is overwhelming.

You carry on this way for a year or two, maybe more, until one day your garage is full. It just won’t hold another thing.

But you probably don’t swear at it and complain that your garage is too small. You probably don’t even curse garages in general, blaming the entire concept of storage space for your frustration.

Instead, you make an obvious choice. Throw stuff away or get a bigger garage.

It’s exactly the same thing with your device, and even your cloud storage. We add things every day, filling the space with random files and pictures and messages, until one day it won’t hold any more. And we inevitably shake our head in dismay, shocked that technology could fail us like this, even though it’s easier than ever to check the storage on any device and keep track of how much is left.

So next time it happens, just remember that the problem has nothing to do with technology itself. The problem is simply that your garage is full.