That is my current downsizing focus right now: PAPER. Papers on my desk top, papers on my kitchen counters and in their drawers. Papers “organized” into notebooks, papers filed into folders, papers sticking out of books. Magazine clippings, recipe print-outs, sticky notes, scrap paper and of course the ever-growing, ever constant PILES of papers in my in-box that I need to get to on that imaginary and magical appointment otherwise known as “Some Day.”
Sure, it sounds easy. Just toss it all. Open trash can, pour it all in. How hard is that? Recycle. Shred. Simply scoop it all up and dump. And I guess it would be that easy if I didn’t actually LOOK at them. The trap is known as: “Hmm, what have we here…???”
Looking at them was my big mistake! Ohhhhhhh…..I really want to make that porcini spaghetti sauce/fermented ketchup/incredible-sounding flourless chocolate-hazelnut cake with the dusting of whatever on top. Ooooooo….what great ideas for my preschoolers’ play time….wow, that salt sugar lavender-y bath bomb thing sure sounds luxurious….what good lecture notes I took four years ago…and yes, Some Day I will I will I will (I promise) replicate that magazine picture of the amazing room I have been saving for the past 14 years into my own living space. Yes Siree. And I will of course read the eight inches of articles and ebooks and “thought you’d like” stuff, too. Some Day. Just not, you know, today.
So even in my culling, I still find myself seeking a “Better Way to Organize.” I think of new (prettier) notebooks, better filing systems, and using glue sticks. The problem is that most of these papers WERE “organized”. Files of recipes, all organized. Piles of herb notes, all in one place. Lots of homeschool papers: all on perfectly good shelves. By grade level.
But did I read them often? No. Did I reference them on a regular basis? No. Did I ever think, “Oh, I want to try a craft from within the files and files of tutorials I’ve saved.” No. Instead, I kept everything because it was good, interesting, or inspiring. The problem was, the problem IS, is that piles of paper everywhere I look isn’t good, interesting, nor inspiring. Instead, it is….well…just piles of junky papers all over the place.
So far I’ve gotten rid of one full and ridiculously heavy kitchen garbage sack of papers. The rest…well…let’s just say I’m *trying* to toss out. I guess I shouldn’t have looked! I saved about 1/2 inch of recipes, and promised myself that whatever I don’t actually make within the next three months is going into the wood stove. I’m handwriting herb notes and recipes into a little notebook, and I figure that whatever isn’t worth the time to copy isn’t worth the effort to save. I kept some rough drafts of mine with the understanding that I ought to at least work on them by the end of the year, too.
My goal right now is to have my horizontal surfaces and drawers cleared of papers by the end of the week. It feels a little nuts but I’m actually energized by the process because my goal is ever before me: a clean, refreshing, relaxing home full of space and without the reminder that I have papers to plow through, file or–more likely–ignore and watch grow (does that happen at your house, too?) before giving my eyes and mind a rest and readiness for something more creative or worthwhile.
Part of me wishes I could have just chucked it all, sight unseen. I suppose I’m not that
foolish brave. But in trying to give myself parameters, I am hoping to seriously tame the paper monster. With regards to dealing with papers, Some Day has arrived.