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Getting Swamped With Paper Galore!

Updated on November 29, 2021

Buried in a sea of paper? Here lies what remains of me!

The poor staffer's desk stacked high with pieces of paper is nothing compared to a room full of boxes of those collected piles!
The poor staffer's desk stacked high with pieces of paper is nothing compared to a room full of boxes of those collected piles! | Source

My favorite sound? The hum of a busy shredder.

Like Hansel and Gretel, history can find us at the end of our paper trail. In our case, it would be well if some birds could follow behind digesting our cast off pages.

Ernest Hemingway said, in answer to the question when he was asked what writers do, "Writers write."

I know from personal experience that is true, but I note that Hemingway did not add anything about whether or not writers erase, shred, burn, or discard. (A Caution: Norman Vincent Peale's wife saved his discarded manuscript of The Power of Positive Thnking. He had given up on it, but she knew it was worth saving and publishing!)

The photo with this column was taken of an upstairs study that all by itself filled with old records, receipts, tax returns, unopened junk mail, magazines, etc, and undoubtedly some of that "deathless prose" that only the author can truly appreciate and admire.

When a son and three grandsons needed that room suddenly several months ago, and in exchange for their temporary residence wanted "everything out" of "their" room, all of the above were at risk of ending up on the rubbish heap. At risk, yes, but saved by the modern day thought that identity thieves could have had a field day, if even one Social Security number avoided the shredder.

The "stuff" was moved, with "better stuff" from the basement getting an emergency vacation to a storage locker at $100 per month, so the "outgoing stuff" could wend its way painstakingly to the shredder, piece, by piece, by piece.

Checks and check duplicates got shredded, pay slips got shredded, old tax papers got shredded, etc. In the process two savings bonds were found which had a maturity value of $25 and had silently grown to have a current value of $138.04 each!

The process is not over, but in the ongoing process I read my own life's history from awards and acknowledgements to what a former wife had to add to the pile of "deathless prose" which had accumulated while I went on to new and more deserving challenges.

I gained a new appreciation and ounces of pity for the cartoon characters whose desks are always shown to be magnets for piles of supposedly important papers.

Books, many of them, have been written about how to get organized, how to simplify, how to regain control. So, I add only this: make a stop between the mailbox and your working space. Stop at the nearest trash can and dump the useless "stuff" before it dumps on you.


Copyright 2013 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.

Desktop stacked with papers?

If there has to be a stack of papers on your desktop, keep them about the size of these adhesive notepads.
If there has to be a stack of papers on your desktop, keep them about the size of these adhesive notepads. | Source

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