I was weeding my garden the other day, which is an activity I engage in exactly once per year. As you can imagine, with a year’s worth of weeds to clean out, the job wasn’t quick, or easy. I noticed that although I started out strong, by the end of the job, I was hitting only the high-points and trying to finish as quickly as I could. I had had enough.
But as I weeded, it struck me that weeding the garden is much like “weeding” your database. In order to keep your database clean, you need to clean it frequently. Sure, you can clean once per year, but it will be tough work, it will take a long time, and the longer it takes, the less likely you are to clean well. I’ve written about this in the past.
But if you “weed” your database frequently, the job will be smaller and easier. And you’ll be more likely to do it well. So don’t let the weeds get too thick in your database.