What NOT to throw away

Thursday (focus on “Order”)  is turning out to be my favorite day of the week to write.  I am in massive de-cluttering mode. I find taking stuff out of my house forever very exciting.   There is a full recycle bin of paper, bottles, jars and other assorted items nearly every week on the curb.  I have also made at least one stop at Goodwill or the League’s Riverside House (for the Whale of a Sale) with a bag of clothing, housewares, linens, toys and “re-sellable” junk every other week for months.  I am SO happy to hand down hand-me-downs to my sister or friends having boys. 

Bye-bye, stuff!

Alas, you’d think we’d have stripped our house of all stuff by now, but no.  There is only a teeny, tiny point of light off in the distance at the end of our cluttered tunnel. 

In this process, I have emptied file folders.  Tons of file folders.  And I keep coming across items that prompt a holler at hubby.  “Do we need to keep this [insert: document, bill, receipt, warranty information/registration card/important photocopy]?”

So off to my binders I went looking for something I distinctly remembered clipping about what to keep and what I could throw away.  And here it was.

Family Circle, March 4, 2003

For all of the stuff that needs to be saved, I took a batch to our safe deposit box and the rest went into “Important Papers” files.  I sorted not by type of document, but instead by the year they are no longer needed.  Now, I can just take that file out in 2012 (or 2013, 2014) and shred/toss those papers.  There are not very many papers, so if I needed to find anything, I don’t think it would be too hard.  AND this way, I do not have to go back and sort it all again.

Then, I powered through credit card statements, receipts and other bills – I had saved every JEA bill, AMEX bill and the like for the last decade!  After determining that the end of year summary was plenty for the CCs was sufficient, that paper was shredded, bagged and sent walking with today’s recycling. Manuals, receipts and warranty cards were put into an accordion file by item name (washer under “W”) and put away. 

It is such a big improvement!  Wahoo! 


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