How to control paper piles

P1000066My 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.

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