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Death To My Paper Clutter!

July 20, 2011

My husband must think I’ve lost my mind.  Two weeks ago I stayed awake until 7am rearranging our furniture and I have spent quite a few nights since then sorting through our years worth of old paper work until 3am and even later.  I have avoided it for so long because it was so overwhelming to me, but it just continued to grow.

But I am sick of being a slave to our stuff!  I had just had enough and decided it was going to be done no matter what.  I took advantage of the fact that it’s Summer and I don’t have to drive anyone anywhere at the moment, I have fewer students right now, and the weather is still quite cool.  Also, I’m enjoying a long period of health, so I wasn’t going to have better timing than this.  My oldest son is also great about taking care of his siblings early in the morning, so I can sleep in if needed.  Still, I’ve been waking up around 8am so I can continue being productive.  Most of the organizing I’ve been doing after the kids go to bed, but my son even helped me, saying he enjoyed it.  WHAT?!  I wish he had told me that a long time ago.  Hahahaha.

So our town had a recycling event with free paper shredding and I really had to jump at that opportunity.  We shredded at least three boxes of papers and I still found more stuff to shred after that.  I knew it was going to be a big task, but it was even harder than I thought.  I told myself, “Well, duh!  You let it build for years and you’re not going to get rid of it overnight.”  I always want instant results.  To do a little bit at a time, I don’t see the difference at the end of the day.  I think it’s the same with weight loss.  Whoopdie doo!  I lost three pounds!  Not very rewarding when you have no idea where you lost that fat, but you have to keep chipping away at it and recognize you’re working hard.

As I worked many hours only to see a still cluttered home at the end of the day, I took pictures before and after so I could see the results.  That was encouraging.  It was really exciting when I realized all of my papers were going to fit in one filing drawer.

I am thrilled to say that I now have no boxes of random paper anywhere.  It’s all in the one drawer and with this sense of accomplishment, I feel like I can tackle other odds and ends.  I’m going to apply this attitude towards other things in my life like getting out of debt.  Sometimes I think, “A $400 payment isn’t going to make that big a difference.  Our balance will still be in the $5,000 range next month.”  But then I’m less likely to push myself to pay even that amount because it seems so impossible and feels like it will be years before it’s finally paid off.

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