The inspiration for this article came from helping a family sort through more than 70 years of memories---no,make that more than 70 years of paperwork! Clearing paper is personal and time-consuming. That’s why we say...paper always prompts emotional response.

This is an organizing task best managed in small doses-start small, but start now!

Life’s paperwork takes various forms and means different things to different people. When we’re talking paper, we’re talking...

BOOKS – Hardcover, Paperback, Children’s, Telephone, Postal Codebooks...
GREETING CARDS – old, new, funny, serious; hand-made, works of art...
LETTERS – love letters, ordinary letters, good news, bad news or no news at all!
MAGAZINES – hobby, fashion, decorating, scientific, travel, education...

Now we’ve identified some of the culprits; here are some suggestions for dealing with them:

Books are like “old friends” so they are often difficult to “let go of”. Consider sharing a book you enjoyed with someone who will also enjoy it? No strings attached! Ask them to pass it along to someone they think will enjoy it, when they’ve finished reading it. Sharing is warm-fuzzy!

Take a walk down “memory lane” and select a few of these treasured items to keep. Discard the rest. Making collages and scrapbooking are popular activities these days–why not give them a try?

Some magazines seem just too good to throw away or recycle. Be ruthless! A pile of magazines may yield only a few pages of treasured ideas that can be easily filed and retrieved. The space you’ve liberated on shelves, in cupboards and around your home will continue to amaze you!

Remember when technological advances promised us a “paper-less” society? Trends show we’re drowning in more paper than ever before... not less!

We don’t trust “technology” to keep track of our documents, so we’re printing and saving hard copies of our information in traditional filing cabinets.

                                                                  What’s wrong with this picture?

Karen Shinn

Karen Shinn

Downsizing Diva Co-Founder. Toronto East & North York

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