July 20, 2015
Here’s the real deal from a Virgin Paper Purger
By Donna Wade
- Have a plan - paper has a reproductive system all on its own - one piece turns into a thousand right before your eyes
- Be intentional about uninterrupted time for this task; give yourself a start and end time
- Plan more time than you think you will need: I planned to purge in one day but in actuality it took me four days
- You will get frustrated after a few hours so give yourself time to look at each piece of paper. If not, you will start rushing and shredding just to get finished and will run the risk of destroying something important
- Try to touch each item of paper ONCE; if you don’t know where something should go – have a “Go Back To” pile- if not, you will get stuck – and frustrated
- Have lots of folders, pens/markers, staplers, staple removers and paper clips and labels – then create your categories:
- Paid Bills
- Identify where you will put the finished products- e.g. a file cabinet/safe
- Get rid of fear! Think about how long you really need to save something; don’t be too sentimental- do you really need the wedding announcement for the couple who divorced 6 years ago; or, do you really want to keep your great grand aunt’s funeral program from 20 years ago?
- Get rid of the mounds of discarded or shredded paper at intervals; I suggest every 2 hours, if not the task will appear more daunting than it is- the purging will allow you to see progress, even if it seems small
- Once everything else is neatly catalogued and filed- revisit your “Go Back To” pile. You will be surprised how easy it will be to go through it once you are organized. Exhale! The feeling is similar to realizing you have lost weight!! Truly!
Lastly - VOW to keep up what you have started- Never go back!
- Open all mail daily and immediately discard/ shred what you don’t need/want; place the others in a designated receptacle
- Spend 1 hour a week going through the pile each week (e.g. a lazy or rainy Sunday afternoon)
- Do a more thorough purge every 6 months to keep current