How to control paper piles

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 organisation system from house to house. It took me years to realise I didn’t actually need all this paper.

notebooks

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 my file organiser holds only the important stuff  such as birth certificates, passports and the latest bills. The best part is the annual paper cull takes less than half an hour.

I still have a tendency to collect paper but I will again never expand beyond the portable concertina file.

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