It didn’t take me nearly as long as I thought to gather them all together (only about 20 minutes). It definitely helped that, in recent years, I’ve switched all my bills and statements to online versions. That’s cut out a massive amount of paper coming to my home every month. I’d highly recommend it!
I didn’t include anything “pretty”, so scrapbook paper, cute notebooks, journaling cards, etc. will be done as part of ‘komono’. For this category, I stuck with more functional, practical papers. I also didn’t include tax documents because they’re already neatly stored in small folders and are absolutely necessary to keep.
Still, the pile was about 6ft. high in total. Obviously I didn’t itemise everything or I’d still be sitting there but, at a rough guess, I’d say there were a bajillion pieces of paper in total.
That Pampers box on the left is half full of user manuals. And the archive box is basically my filing cabinet — it’s full of file folders for all my important documents (birth & marriage certs, insurance details, passports, etc.) and some case papers for work. Half the middle pile is notepads, and the remainder is a mish-mash of old receipts, statements, to-do lists, college notes, letters, bills, etc.
It took me 3 hours and a substantial chunk of my sanity to go through everything, and that was spread over 2 evenings. I found it much more time-consuming than previous categories because it was the first one that needed a little more than just a quick jolt of joy. I had to give most things at least a cursory scan to see if they were important or not. This was particularly mind-numbing with receipts.
Nonetheless, I persevered through the pain, and the Pampers box became the recycling box.
There’s also a pile waiting to go through my poor shredder. And yet, by some black magic, I still have about 75% of the original pile left. About a quarter of that is notebooks. I tore out pages I no longer needed (which I formerly considered heresy), so that reduced their bulk a bit. I did recycle some but, on the whole, notepads bring me joy. And I use them regularly for writing.
Most of the rest of the pile contains stuff that’s just being stored temporarily, like warranties. Even case papers are only kept until justice has been served and I’ve been paid. And because of that, it’s probably the only category I’ll have to re-visit frequently in order to keep it in check. Still, it’s a little easier to keep track of now that it’s been pared back and all in one place.
As usual, I’ve recorded a video that explains things in a little more detail. ‘Cause I’m super helpful like that. 😉
Definitely the most difficult category so far, and I’m so relieved it’s done!