Decluttering: Letting go of the paper

Having finally admitted that my paper mountain was getting out of control, I decided that I had to do something about it. It would have to be in a piecemeal fashion as I never have more than 30-60 minutes to spend at one time.


Thanks to Wiertz Sébastien for use of this photo -

To start with, I got all my various piles together and made up my mind that it was a ‘one touch’ exercise. In other words, I had to decide what action was required to get rid of a piece of paper on the pile and then carry out the WHOLE action. For example, if I needed to phone the mortgage company, then I would do that and then also file the paperwork if needed. In this way, I was not creating another subfile of filing or shredding. Occasionally I did have a very small pile but I made myself go and file or shred on a regular basis.

I have been doing this, once or twice a week, over a few weeks now and, amazingly, I am starting to get to the bottom of the pile. I have even managed to add several items to our paper recycling, including several articles on how to use numbering and tabs on Word that I had printed out from a website. I was going to keep them (!!) but then saw that I had printed the articles in August 2007! Since I had not got round to reading them for the last 6 years (and now use the new version of Word anyway), I decided to let them go.  And they have been in a file on my desk all that time.

It is odd how we all keep things for ages that we never even look at or use, yet find it hard to get rid of, even dedicated declutterers!

What have you held on to and never used? Be honest!


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