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Getting Swamped With Paper Galore!

Updated on June 19, 2013

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

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    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 5 years ago

      Buried in a sea of paper, oh your poor thing. You must be very lonely down there! LOL! I think this is one of the biggest problems of modern society. I complain, my friends complain, we all complain. We throw mail into a box saying we will take care of it later, then when we get around to it, the expiration dates have expired. I personally have gone through three shredders and now have given up. I tear our names and address off credit card offers and similar pieces of mail and put it incognito in the trash. I save documents with vital information until I have a box full and when it is time to destroy it, I put it into a metal bucket outside and burn it. I still have umpteen file cabinets full of essential papers such as taxes, insurance, and medical records. My writing I do keep on the computer.

      I’ve thought about buying a document scanner and organizing my incoming “save” paperwork (too late for the old stuff), but then that would require buying more backup drives because I’ve lost too much good stuff that wasn’t backed up. Electronic files deteriorate after a few years worse than paper files. So what’s a body to do?

      Love your hub. It’s a familiar cry. Voted you up++.

    • Perspycacious profile image
      Author

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      It is never too early to start shredding and chucking. Just be careful what you chuck without shredding. Sorting and organizing is much more easily accomplished while events and concerns are still fresh in your mind.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      I have so much to shred piled up that it's ridiculous, but just never seem to get around to it. But one day I'm going to accomplish this! It is funny how you "relive" your life when going through all this stuff! Really interesting aspect you brought up.

    • profile image

      Marcia Ours 5 years ago

      True! Being swamped with papers seems to be a common problem.

    • CarNoobz profile image

      CarNoobz 5 years ago from USA

      I never knew that about NVP's Power of Positive Thinking. Can you imagine? That's such a classic book.

    • KT Banks profile image

      KT Banks 5 years ago from Texas

      One of my biggest peeves, too much paper! It's unbelievable to me just how much mail and junk mail I still get - everyday.

      Thanks for sharing your story. Voted, Up and more.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran - The Write Stuff 5 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Good story. It personalizes a concern that we all have: how to get out from under this mountail of paper. Your idea of throwing stuff away before it hits your desk is excellent.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Uh oh I am way behind. Great hub, now if only I could find the post its under one of this piles!

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      Great Hub. Love this story. Thanks for sharing! Voted up!

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