My thing for paper started when I was a teenager and my dad gave me a two drawer metal filing cabinet. I promptly filled it with paper: essays I’d written, magazine clippings, birthday cards and running results. I spent years lugging this monster organisational system from house to house. It took me years to realise I didn’t actually need all this paper.
Periodically I’d try to sort through the papers but it was an excruciatingly slow process. Eventually I weeded the contents down to fit into a single drawer filing cabinet. But the crunch came when we decided to move overseas. The filing cabinet couldn’t come with us.
So I purged again, but this time it was different. I only kept what was absolutely essential which allowed me to fit the papers into a single small portable concertina file. I wouldn’t say the papers “spark joy” exactly, but I do need them. Some papers I digitised such as sporting and health records but mostly I just recycled the papers when I realised I almost never referred to them.
These days the file organiser holds only the important stuff such as birth certificates, passports and the latests bills – nothing else will fit. The best part is the annual paper cull takes less than half an hour.
I still have a tendcy to collect paper but I will again never expand beyond the portable concertina file.