Tag Archives: dealing with the mess


My email provider has been bugging me to increase the size of my email file. I don’t want to, as the bulk of what I’ve kept are unread promo emails. So, I started culling email last night. I used to have I think it was 80,000 unread emails. These days that’s down to 28,000.

This morning I was standing in front of the wood stove, something I do in the winter a fair amount. I’ve discovered that the most productive thing I can do while standing there is sort papers. This morning it was going through the last of the yesterday’s ads and coupons. That’s done. Sometime later this morning, I’ll grab a slug of papers out of a box and start on those.  Or, I’ll go through the coupon folder and make sure I know what expires this week.

Sorting paper while standing in front of the wood stove is remarkably productive and gets a job done which isn’t my fave (how I got all the papers to start with).

We didn’t make it to the dump yesterday and when we went Saturday, we just took 2 bags of books. I’ve generated another small bag and DH has it and will donate those today.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

This is exactly like the frugal food idea, that is, have a method in place (a recipe) to deal with the excess and use it, regularly. It’s new for me.

I have cookbooks for using left-overs, but I hadn’t, until recently, made up a list of what to do with specific items.


(Image not mine, don’t know where I got it, sorry!)

I didn’t have a plan, for email or for food stuffs, until recently. The paperwork I’ve been doing for a while, especially going through the Sunday papers before we acquire a new set, but not necessarily the going through the file/toss papers — receipts, bills, etc.

So, less stuff: unwanted electronic data, paperwork, books, and less food waste. It’s all good!

More Learning & Being Minimalist

One thing there are still a lot of here are boxes of unfiled papers. I started going through one of these today.

After I realized I was looking at cancelled checks from the 1980s and 1990s, the batch was going in the shred bin. . .  .


Except it occurred to me that the old paperwork, if shredded would work just fine instead of the newspapers we’ve been buying to help with the wood stove. (We’ve been predominately heating with wood for the past 2 years.) Instead of buying a local paper, or two, I figure I have enough old checks, statements, etc. for our burn paper for the rest of the year, and maybe more than that. This means a few things:

  1. We won’t be paying Staples to destroy these papers.
  2. We won’t be buying as many local papers.
  3. There will be fewer boxes of “stuff” (papers) in the house.

All good!

This is like the bit with the boxes from the ornaments. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before! If I was still counting things, I’d be estatic, as I’ve probably shred or marked to shred 200+ pieces of paper today.

This may seem obvious to you, but the shift in mindset from having kept this stuff, including the paperwork, because we might need it, to using it as firestarter is huge.

One more indication things are real different here than previously!

Note: we burned everything I’d shredded the first day. The following day (today) I’ve shredded more and added it to the paper bin. A big check on being consistent!