I love paper….

Paper is my weakness. (Well, ONE of my weaknesses….chocolate, fabric, and pretty boxes being some of the others.)

I have finally learned how to walk PAST a stationery shop, or if not past, out with empty hands.

I LOVE paper. Pads, notebooks, pretty envelopes, calendars, greeting cards— well you get the idea.

I don’t love bills. I do love magazines, and newspapers, however. And scrapbooking paper. And organizers with pretty covers.

And the funny (sad funny, not funny ha-ha) thing is, I don’t USE them nearly as much as I should.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hoard them, but I am very reluctant to use these papers. It pains me to cut into a pretty scrapbook page, I am loathe to write on (and possibly run out of!) a cute note pad. I forget to mail out ‘snail mail’ greeting cards.

Therefore, the majority of my grocery lists are on the backs of envelopes, or the clean side of a piece of printing paper I scrounged from work when I thought of something that needed noting.

Yes, it IS the more ecologically sound way to do things. But if I am living off of randomly sized scraps of paper, why do I keep buying such cute little note pads?

file1

This is a result of LAST year’s attempt. I keep my papers here, next to my computer in the studio. All of the household files and all of Timmy’s stuff is in a file drawer in the den. And on the dining room table, and in the pile next to his monitor. The remainder of mine is sitting stacked, in both vertical and horizontal piles, somewhere.

So, lets get to FLINGING. Below, you will find links to a series of internet articles that should give you a bit of comfort and confidence that you can, indeed, throw out most of what you have saved.

What you will need to get flinging this time:

  • A shredder. Only shred things with personal info. No sense in burning out the motor.
  • A large paper grocery bag, for all the envelopes, junk mail and marketing inside your bills.
  • New file folders, unless yours are relatively clean and not all rough around the edges, with 5 or 6 crossed out categories already. Splurge, live a little. Buy some colored folders at Staples or Office Max, or go into Michaels Arts and Crafts—in their Dollar area right now they sell pretty file folders (about 4 in a pack)… If you don’t have them all tucked away, make your area a bit less—Forbidding? Uninspiring? Brighten things up.
  • A Sharpie, in a color that you like. (Not one of the almost dried out ones from the back of the junk drawer. Fling that one! Again, treat yourself right.)
  • If you don’t have a drawer, or filing cabinet already, buy something. It doesn’t need to be industrial sized, unless you truly need something that big. It can be a rectangular wicker basket, kept on a bookshelf, or a nice magazine holder, or a plastic tote. The choices are endless, and yours. Just make sure it fits where you want it and that it holds your file folders.

Next, gather as much as you can bear, and settle in somewhere with a flat surface, and an outlet. Turn on some music, or put on a movie you’ve seen before, plug in your shredder and start flinging!

EVERY piece of paper that goes into the shredder or the garbage bag counts.  Keep note of how quickly you surpass 27! When it becomes too much, walk away.

Come back later, fling another 27, or 27 and 27 and 27… as the pile on the table shrinks and the pile in the bag increases, you will probably feel compelled to keep going!

If you do use the backs of old paper as your notepaper of choice, that is fine, and laudable. BUT, it is not an excuse to stop flinging, or to just leave things as they are.

Gather those that are up to the job—(BLANK on the back), and cut/tear them in thirds along the fold lines. Staple 20 or so of the same size together to make note pads. Once the pile of note pads is over an inch tall, start flinging the rest. You KNOW you will receive more paper in the mail today. And tomorrow. And the next day.

Filing Systems…

Get rid of junk mail…

Retention of paper…

More retention of paper…

(Now, a caveat— If any of the links above indicate you NEED to own something THEY SELL in order to accomplish this Flinging task, be aware that is not my intention; I am not recommending any specific file organization purchase via these sites. They are simply the articles that seemed to have the breadth of answers to make Flinging a bit easier.)

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2 thoughts on “I love paper….

  1. Wow! The last two posts, paper & computer clutter are the ones that hit the closest to home for my husband. I’m printing these out for him to look at, and hopefully 2010 will be the year we can get this under control!

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  2. Well, my junk paper of any sort never makes it into the house- keep a recyclig basket in the porch and that helps. Once a week go through the kitchen counters where everything seems to end up and make a keep file, file file and it’s gone file because I don’t need it anymore. I am also in the process of clearing out, throwing out (hard for me if it has any use at all) and generally decluttering. Came across some interesting old films from my grandfather who died in 1929 (Allen F Jacobson). Wonder if the crash had anything to do with his early demise at the age of 40. Now all I have to do is figure out if they are 8 or 16mm and find something to show them on. Ah, the quest continues:)

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