Sorting papers, part 1

Practical advice – throw everything away.
When you put your books in order, the time will come for the papers. These can be letters falling out of the mail stand, and school announcements on the fridge, an invitation to an old class meeting next to the phone, a mountain of newspapers, that has built up on the table in the last few days. There are several places in the house, in which papers seem to pile up unexpectedly like drifts of snow.

Theoretically, there should be less papers at home than in the office, but the reality is different. My clients usually throw away two 45 liter bags. The largest number of bags is so far 15. I hear from customers a lot, that their paper shredders are clogged. It is extremely difficult to manage such an enormous amount of paper, yet I meet extraordinary clients from time to time, whose archiving skills take my breath away. When i ask: “How do you handle so much paperwork?”, they give me very precise answers.

"The documents for the children are in this folder. I keep the recipes here. Newspaper clippings here, manuals for electrical appliances in this box…”The system is so painstakingly developed, that sometimes I get lost in their argument. I admit, that I hate sorting papers! I do not use binders at home, I do not attach papers to them or mark them with stickers. This system works well in an office environment, in which many people use the same documents, but there is no need to use it at home.

My basic rule about sorting papers is: throw them all away. My clients are surprised, when they hear it, but there is nothing more annoying than papers. They bring no joy, whether, how neatly they are arranged. That's why I advise you, to throw everything away, which does not fall into the following categories: what is currently in use, what is needed for a certain period of time and what should be kept indefinitely.

I want to underline, that talking about the papers, I do not mean notes of sentimental value, such as love letters and diaries. Sorting the latter will slow down your pace of disposing of the pages significantly. Limit yourself to sorting papers at first, which bring you no joy at all, and complete the task in one go. Letters from friends and loved ones should be left for last, when you deal with items of sentimental value.