A few weeks ago I set out to reform my towering pile of papers. It was an overwhelming catastrophe.
When I gathered all of the papers together, they buried my dining table. The problems were clear: I saved too many cards and letters, and I had not dealt with incoming papers that should have been tossed sooner.
The grand theme for this makeover was:
Why do I still have this?
When I was younger and single I could save everything, because it really wasn’t too much. I thought it was nice to keep records just in case, and I took pride in how organized it all was.
Gradually as life became busier, I didn’t have time to maintain them all, and eventually I gave up. I didn’t want to look through them, because there were just too many, and it was overwhelming.
It was time to toss them, in a drastic way. I decided to pretend I was moving overseas and could only take a few things with me. That was the motivation I needed.
Kept: A letter from my great-grandma telling me how different Germany is now that they have airplanes and ice.
Tossed: A stack of graduation and wedding cards.
Kept: Pages from my 10th grade journal documenting the first entertaining/tragic months of high school.
Tossed: Certificates rating me “Excellent +” for my high school activities, including a special one that certified I was “worthy of joining the Learning & Liberty Wall of Fame.” Awesome.
Kept: A card from my granny with two dimes taped to the inside.
Tossed: An information manual (literally, a book) with instructions to operate my couch. In French and Spanish.
I tossed over 40 pounds of papers, and I don’t think I can fully express what a relief it is to be free of it. The amount had been a burden, and I am so glad it is gone.
Now all of the papers fit in a few boxes, a couple of folders, and one file box. An improvement, yes?