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Tamimg the Paper Dragon

Tamimg the Paper Dragon

Paper is a nuisance, though it sometimes holds important information, and it can clutter our work and living spaces beyond measure. Paper comes in the forms of bills, legal documents, letters, cards, subscriptions, notices, parking tickets, catalogs and more. Sorting through it and keeping up on it can feel like a full time job. Many of us would rather it all go away so we choose NOT to deal with it. It piles up on our entry table and counters, we put it into bags and boxes, thinking we can hide it. Well, it’s not going away and NOW is the time to face it!

With the advent of computers. there was the myth that paper would somehow magically disappear. Unfortunately, there is more paper now than ever. Emails that we print out,  not once, twice but sometimes more because we can’t find the first two. We scavenge for important documents that we need for a client meeting. We misplace a variety of articles that get buried in a sea of white. We’ve got to get control of this.

Paper is not the issue. It’s our relationship with it and the decisions we need to make on a daily basis. Being an organizer, I need to practice what iIpreach. I, too, develop mini piles of paper because I don’t make a decision about what to do with the item in the moment and I put it, where? On a flat surface where other paper starts to collect. The only way I can remedy the situation is to make a decision and do something about it–throw it out, file it, shred it, recycle it. Every paper has  a place and goes somewhere.

I recently had my attention brought to a two-tiered wire stacking holder that had papers in it that I had bfeen saving for years! I never even noticed it. It just sat there. Information I thought I would use someday. I hadn’t opened it for years and it was information that I no longer needed. I went through it and purged virtually all of it but a couple of forms. It felt so freeing to do. It allowed me to use the holders for other purposes–to hold relevant material I use daily.

I was working with a client and I noticed she had a horizontally situated paper holder, where the papers lay flat in a basket and are piled atop one another. I told her this was a “dead file.” What I meant is that energetically that file was dead and lifeless, like when you watch TV for hours lying down. You feel listless, dull and drained. Keeping paper in an upright position, especially when it’s active paper, changes the whole feel around it and brings attention to it so you can use and access it. Paper that is stacked in a horizontal holder wastes precious time for you to have to look through layer after layer until you find what you need. When it’s upright, the paper is easier to see and find, especially if it is grouped in like files.

Paper doesn’t have to be a burden. No, it isn’t the most exciting thing to deal with yet, it’s like brushing your teeth–it’s something that you do on a daily basis. Creating a system for yourself for your mail and other documents where you make decisions about each piece with consistency will make a world of difference when managing this dragon. If we change our mind frame about it, we can process it with greater ease and effectiveness. If you need help with this and need help creating a new system, call Creative Space Organizing. We can help you get control of your paper so it doesn’t control you as well as help maximize your time, productivity and creativity.