Tag Archives: paper purge


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!

My Heirs Are Happier!

I spent part of today going though a box of papers. [Papers and books make up much of the boxed “stuff” here.]


paper piles

(from images.google.com, image is NOT mine!)

I found our original mortgage paperwork, from 1982? Why we still had this I don’t know. The only thing I can think of is that until a while back, I just moved boxes back and forth mostly and didn’t go through them often, so this got moved, from California to Georgia to Florida to New England and then within New England, until I found these papers again, today.

Out they go into the shredding pile!

One more foray into the stack of boxes found something long missing: the photo album. Now I can file the pics in one or two manila envelopes here which have been waiting for this event.


Today’s Purge

is approx. 4 notebooks worth of info from when I was a day trader, back before people did that. I traded computer stocks, mostly, before the computer dot-com boom/bust. Made money, but not a lot. Always either ahead of the curve or at the tail end — that’s me!

Among the notebooks with my day trading records was one other, a writing notebook, where I tracked what I’d submitted, where, the class comments I got from the writing classes I took, etc. Interesting to see so many “old friends.” That notebook I almost entirely kept intact, unlike the financial stuff.

This writings are over 20 years old, from 1982 or so. I was tech. writing for a living and trying to find a way to free-lance instead. This predates the day trading, by a year or two.

My reluctance to toss the writing is for mining purposes. I may be able to transform an old piece into something new. Everything is fodder for a writer.

My reluctance to toss the financial stuff is that it’s the record of something I did, and did well, if not spectacularly, for a while. Like the cards from my childhood sf catalog, none of it is useful, now — but getting rid of the debris means that the triumph is over. Which of course is nonsense. I still did whatever I did without the artifacts to “prove” it and remind myself.  The catalog cards have been slowly but surely turned into gift tags, Christmas cards and tossed. The financial stuff will get shredded and recycled.

Unchanged are the facts that I made a card catalog of about 500 sf paperbacks in junior high and I made money for about two years day trading. Without the “documentation” to prove it or remind myself, the facts remain. And who cares anyway, except me?  I turned the card catalog into a piece of the memoir. The day trading isn’t important to the growth of my self-esteem, so it’s not there.

But it’s four empty notebooks, about 8″ of paper that won’t need housing any more — and that, definitely, is a PLUS!