My 32 Day commitment for Spring 2014 is to reduce the paper load in my life. This commitment will be begin at home where I seem to be buried in paper in my home office. We moved into a new home at the beginning of the school year, so much of the paper currently resides in boxes and two tall filing cabinets.
- Change my mind. – Really decide that this goal is worthy of pursuing. Ask myself is this something I really want and why.
- Actively chase my commitment. – Include a daily goal on my daily task list.
- Educate myself on what paper I must keep and for how long I must save it.
DAY ONE – Wednesday, 3/26: I decided on my commitment and created a goal and an action plan. I am feeling positive and even excited. My paper clutter has haunted me for some time and I want a way out. I researched what I need to keep and throw away and found this great guideline – http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Money/Personal-Finance/Managing-Household-Records.shtml. I have dusted off the shredder and ordered a quick scanner, cheap, from a local office supply store. I feel ready.
DAY TWO – Thursday, 3/27: Managed to clean off my desk and empty two boxes. I sorted then stored or shredded. My scanner is not yet here, so I used an empty box to store papers that I need to keep but can scan. The scanner should be here Friday. I also started a donation box for things I have discovered in the boxes that take up physical space in my office but that I know I will never use. I seem to have a lot of stationary. Most all of my correspondence is electronic, so why keep the stationary? I kept a small amount an donated the rest. I also found a box of software – floppy disks, zip disks, CDs, and flash drives. I sorted these into three piles: donate, destroy, and a pile of information I should electronically cull through before wiping clean. I donated and destroyed and stored the other neatly and added a note to my action plan to set time aside to go through these discs and disks. There were odds and ends in the boxes that needed to be sorted, donated, and put away as well. I feel accomplished and well on my way to my goal. I have taken note in my action plan that I will need to develop an easily implemented system to deal with the paper that comes into the house everyday.
DAY THREE – Friday, 3/28: I killed the shredder. It was time. It was ancient and did not shred quite as well as the new shredder do. I scoped the sales and purchased one that was not the most expensive but not the cheapest. I also researched a chose a quick scanner. I love it. I learned to use both pieces of equipment. Having the new shredder and scanner has renewed my excitement about the commitment. The only discouragement is that visually there does not seem to be much progress.
DAY FOUR – Saturday, 3/29: I spent two hours in front of a movie while scanning in medical records and bills. The file drawer in my desk now holds three folders. Wow. Even though I have many boxes to go, I am feeling accomplished. The top of my desk looks good as well as all but one drawer. I need to clean out this last drawer.
DAY FIVE – Sunday, 3/30 – I took today off; although, I managed to work on a few electronic files, finish shredding a large box of culled paper and put the shreds and the paper in the trash…to the curb. I am feeling a little bit guilty about all the paper I am merely tossing. This is not sensitive information, just stuff that needs to be gotten rid of. I put researching recycling bins on my list of things to do.
DAY SIX – Monday, 3/31: Today was not a good day for working on my commitment. My work life has overtaken any home life whatsoever. I did manage to get on the computer for about thirty minutes to work on organizing files I scanned in on on Friday.
DAY SEVEN – Tuesday 4/1: Managed to get through two boxes. These boxes mostly had books and other random items which found homes. I felt rushed, but productive.
DAY EIGHT – Wednesday 4/2: Today was not such a good day in the commitment. We had along day with doctor’s visits and catching up. I am not discouraged though, there is a small stack of emptied and flattened boxes sitting on the floor next to my desk. I could take them out to the garage, but I like the reminder that I am getting something accomplished so the boxes will rest on the floor by the desk for a few more days.
DAY NINE – Thursday 4/3 – I manged to find two boxes full of old bank records. After consulting the paper toss guide I began shredding. I shredded for nearly and hour and tossed two tall kitchen bags of shredded paper in the garbage bin. Woohoo! This is beginning to feel good. This is exactly what I needed to do for the challenge.
DAY TEN – Friday 4/4 – I shredded my way through the second box of bank records. This took an awfully long time – nearly three hours of shredding for both boxes. The shredder shut down a few times giving me breaks while it cooled, but I am ready to move on.
DAY ELEVEN – Saturday 4/5 – A migraine threw me off a bit. I worked at a box, but did not complete it.
DAY TWELVE – Sunday 4/6 – I managed to sort boxes today, ridding the boxes of books from the pile. Now I have access to the filing cabinets. Sigh. I may be feeling a bit overwhelmed.
DAY THIRTEEN – Monday 4/7 -Getting things accomplished in my life is not always easy. There are times that I feel pulled in a half-a-dozen different directions and each direction is as valuable and important as the rest. This is how today was. I was forced to prioritize and my personal commitment to rid myself of paper was left for last. It was simply too late in the evening and I was simply too tired to accomplish anything towards my commitment. I understand that some days will be this way and I am not discouraged.
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