Paper is the herpes of my house. It just keeps popping up in the usual places. I cannot get it under control enough to stop spreading. I would venture a guess that every single person reading this just thought of a mess of papers somewhere in their home or office. And your very next thought was “Unnnhhhhh!!!! Noooooooooooo! You can’t make meeeeee!!!!”
Now remember – the general spirit of this project is not to just “get rid of it” or purge bags of stuff from your home, but rather to get a handle on what is there. This might mean letting go of things, but it probably means developing better systems and habits to manage it all. That being said, I suspect that when it comes to paper, a lot of it will need to go in addition to developing systems to allow less into the house in the first place. Ah, dreams!
In terms of papers, the biggest challenges for me are mail, receipts, and OLD papers. No freaking clue what is in my filing thingy. Also… you guys…we all need to get our tax shit together so why not do a little paper de-cluttering while we frantically look for things?
Books are a lot more emotional papers. Absolutely. They say so much about our identity, our past/present/future, our loves, our regrets…our lives. These are usually tinged with nostalgia of all flavours, and each one is a multitude of possible conversations. But, this doesn’t mean you have to keep them all, you know? Or maybe you do and the space they take up doesn’t affect how you feel about your living space in the least. No problem! This means that they are not clutter, right? But if you would like some of that space back, it might be time to think about books. Also, cookbooks. You have probably have too many.
This month I am also going to challenge you to take a good look at your kid’s books. We recently redid the floors in our living room, and removing/replacing All The Things made me take a serious look at the books and toys situation in the play space. I also think that children’s books are potentially less emotional than toys, and we gotta start somewhere so… I will detail my thoughts on books and how I dealt with them breeding like bunnies in the night. My views and what works for my family likely won’t match yours, but examples are always good when you think you might want to maybe think about something, yes? In short, books got banned. (And then went to live on the Big Book Farm in the Sky, so don’t worry. They are very happy there.)
Ah…and in between papers and books are magazines. I have a brand spanking new subscription to Real Simple to get ideas for my de-cluttering efforts (yes, I know it’s online, be quiet) so naturally, for the past two months this has happened:
Look dudes, nobody likes going through papers. You will get paper cuts. You will be like “WHY AM I LIKE THIS WHAT IS ALL THIS SHIT I HAVE SO MUCH DEBT OMFG” but you will get through this. Even if you deal with one pile of paper, you are winning. There are going to be EMOTIONS, and there is going to be relief.
I leave you with the words of the illustrious Josey from My Cheap Version of Therapy:
Oooh…the March theme is timely and perfect…and I hate it. I WILL PERSEVERE THOUGH.
You will hate it. You will persevere.
What are your biggest paper challenges? Where does paper tend to build up in your home? Where does all this f*cking paper even come from?
What is your book situation? Are you looking to thin out your books? What do you do with books you no longer want?
Do you think you have too many kid’s books? Are these books harder to “deal with” than your books?