One of the things I find about trying to live simply and clutter free, is that it takes constant work. You never get to a point where everything is done. I’m actually OK with this fact. Things come into the house. Situations change, and things that were once useful, are no longer needed. The only problem is that day to day, I don’t get to go through of our entire house a cull, so during each school holidays I try to set a few goals. A few extra tasks over and above the everyday things so that the house stays organised and free(ish) of clutter.
These holidays I’ve had on my list to go through the kids craft stuff, dress up clothes, as well as going through our filing cabinet and clear out the years random paperwork that had accumulated. I had gone through some of the paper work when I was on maternity leave after having Toby, but as he is about to turn five, you can probably imagine how much superfluous stuff there was in those drawers.
I kid you not. I found the instruction manuals for our first mobile phones that we bought in 2000 (remember the Nokia 5110 and the snake game?), instruction manuals and receipts for baby equipment bought when Hannah was a baby (and now passed on to family and friends), payslips from 2009, and paperwork for a car we sold in 2010. There was paperwork in there, that should never have been kept in the first place.
In all, I culled close to a full drawer of unneeded paperwork. As I worked I sorted the unwanted paper into two piles. The first was full of paper without personal details: instructions booklets and the like. I put these straight into the recycling bin. The second pile contained papers with personal details. They will be our fire starters next time we have a bonfire.
At the same time I re-organised the files to better suit our needs. I removed superfluous files (we don’t get water bills anymore because we are on tank water), and created new ones to help keep the paperwork we do need, in better order.
In the five years since I last did a bit of a sort out, lots of things have changed. We now get a lot of our bills and paper work emailed to us rather than having a paper copy (which I much prefer). Also I have worked out that we really do not need to keep half the stuff we had. Stuff for tax, and to do with insurance etc we absolutely need, but instruction booklets for small items, receipt from piano lessons, we need to just get rid of straight away. My hope is now that it has been sorted properly, we will find it easier to keep tidy, and will be more ruthless about what we do keep. I will let you know how it goes!
So we are only a few days into the school holidays, and I’ve already kicked a goal…. and I’m feeling pretty pleased about it too!
Do you set holiday goals? Are you terrible at dealing with paperwork or are you a bit of a ninja? Do you remember the 5110?