Saturday, January 23, 2016

Saturday Special: Keep or Toss?

Last night, I had my post for today ready to go -- that was the first part of the plan. The second part was that I'd get up, type up my blog and post it.

Photo: Ladyheart via Morguefile
In reality, Mother Nature dumped two feet of snow (and still counting) on us. As I lay in bed this morning, contemplating the day ahead, I decided that today was the day to tackle my student files. I figured I'd sort through everything, purge what I could (anything more than a year old) and get on with my day. Logical, really, as the office re-organization I undertook over break now meant I had specific homes for lots of previously homeless, drifting papers.

More than three hours, a full trash bag of shredding and a 6" stack of recyclable paper later, I'm finally sitting at my laptop, writing this -- entirely different -- blog.

For me, having the guideline of what to keep and what to toss was the motivation for undertaking a project that left me feeling not only accomplished, but also lighter (as a result of everything I got rid of). There's room in my file drawers, and I have a system that means I can safely drop things in the file folders and run onto the next thing, in keeping with my default organizational style.

Funny, actually, since file cabinets are rarely my choice of container. In this case, however, they're the perfect tool, despite my I need to see it personal style, because I'm using them for archived information. I don't need to access these papers often, if at all, but I can't yet get rid of them, so  a file cabinet with color-coded, labeled files is the perfect place for them. When it comes to day-to-day paperwork, however, file cabinets remain a disaster waiting to happen -- for me, anyway.

Looking to lighten your own files, but have no idea what to keep and what to toss? If you're confused, you're not alone. According to Consumer Reports, about half of us have no idea what to keep and for how long.

If you, like me, are motivated by guidelines that allow you to lighten your load in a guilt-free fashion, check out the IRS guidelines for tax-related paperwork here and other paperwork keep or toss guidelines from Consumer Reports here.

Whether you're shoveling snow or papers this weekend, stay warm and safe.

No comments:

Post a Comment