Happy Earth Day!
This week I’m tackling paper clutter piles that have been ignored in our bedroom. My employer hosts an annual confidential paper shredding event in honor of Earth Day that I always take part in. It’s a great way to get a large amount of sensitive paper clutter out of the house at one time.
The First Major Shredding Event
The first year I took part in the event was my first serious effort in getting rid of unnecessary paperwork. When I found out about the shredding event three years ago, it motivated me to shred years of monthly utility bills and credit card statements that I had been keeping unnecessarily.
I used to have a working paper shredder, but it died several years ago. I’m not sure why, but I still have it! I think that I was hoping it would someday start working again or my handy husband would be able to fix it. Neither of those things are going to happen – so in the trash it goes!
My Paper Bags
Throughout the year, I continually put all the papers that need to be shredded into a paper bag that I hold onto until Earth Day. Here’s what I had for this year:
There would be a much larger pile of papers here, but at the beginning of the year, I went through and recycled a large pile of old letters, expired insurance policy packets, and drawings that had been stored in my filing cabinet. I loved reading through the letters, but also didn’t feel the need to keep them anymore.
I did go through the file drawer to try to gather other papers that could be shredded as well. Some instruction manuals, magazine clippings, and other monthly bills that had been stacked in a pile were put in the shred bag.
I LOVE magazines. Our local recycling program has magazines that you can subscribe to with your recycling points. I was so excited about this little perk that I subscribed to 2-3 magazines the first year. I discovered that I really don’t have time to read through 2-3 magazines a month – they were piling up unread. Life is just too busy.
I also used to pull pages out of the magazines to refer to later, but I realized that I never look at them later. I’ve started putting a note in my phone with the information that I want to keep or look up later. As soon as I’m done, I put it in the recycling bin. That has helped me keep the magazine clutter to a minimum. Limiting myself to only one magazine a year also helps!
Everything was recycled or filed away in the bottom of this file cabinet. The small pile of papers next to the file cabinet are things I’m still considering whether to keep or not. I’m hoping to attempt to go paperless in the future and get rid of the file cabinet all together.
Next time, I’ll share the paper filing system that has been really helpful.
What are the ways you keep your paper clutter at bay? I’d love to hear!