For ten years ago, I would probably try to achieve the same as you have. Back then, I saved every email I received, every email and news posting I did and every little file that passed through my home directory (I also did quite a lot of programming at that time).
Eight years ago, I lost it all. Not due to a disk crash or anything like it. Nope, user error all the way. I was devastated, and unable to do any work for the next couple of days. But life goes on, and I had to say to myself that it's only bits and bytes, and nothing important.
Today, I could not care less. What I have learned from that experience (and a few similar ones) is that you rarely search through old stuff to find important information. Every once in a while there is something you should have taken care of, that you deleted, but nothing that is really really important (we often make stuff to be more important that it really is).
These days I regularly clean out my home directory, deleting old emails (both received and sent), scripts I no longer need and other similar stuff. Every time I change a job, I completely wipe out my home directory. That sound like a nightmare to you I guess? :-)