I am a saver of documents. Maybe it's because of the former legal secretary in me who rears her head every time I hold a piece of paper in my hand and whispers, "Don't throw that out. You might need it some day."
I save cards and letters because rereading them always makes me smile. I save old envelopes and scraps of paper on which I've written someone's address or phone number or noted a few words of the lyrics to a song I liked and want to hear again. I know it isn't necessary to save a utility receipt once the new bill, showing a payment, has arrived via mail or email, yet I still had some receipts from as far back as 2009.
There are important documents in my files, of course, ones that need to be kept. In fact, I was looking for one of those over the weekend and became annoyed with myself because I couldn't find it where I knew it should be. That one misplaced document (I did find it later) started a purge-and-shred project that has consumed several hours each day this week.
The reason this job is taking so long is that I'm consolidating all those scraps of information into computerized lists before shredding or filing them, and sometimes that leads me down rabbit trails. I still haven't finished, but my mountain of paperwork is now a stashable molehill, and I've reached a good, temporary stopping point.
Now I need to put up my hands and step away from the shredder for a few days. I'm having company next week, and there are other chores to be tackled around here, areas to be cleaned that are more visible than the inside of my file drawers. I will get back to this project, though, and finish it.
In the meantime, what are some of your best tips for taming the paperwork monster?