I get that people like to keep things that are near and dear to them. I have things I’ve kept that others would look at and say HUH? However, when your space can’t hold one single thing more, it is time to GET RID OF SHIT.
I’ve been in my job for seven months. In that time I’ve shredded a forest of paperwork. I’ve cleaned out, condensed and organized three offices of outdated and broken items. I’ve sent things to surplus for sale. I’ve thrown things out. I’ve rearranged furniture. I’ve made electronic all sorts of files.
Multiple copies of the same document really do not need to be kept. However, the people who had my job before me seemed to think they needed three, four, five, and MORE copies of the same thing. ONE – really you only need ONE copy.
The last few days I’ve been sorting nasty dusty awful files. I have a stack of about 10 inches of papers / files that is old. It is from the last century – mostly 1994 and early. I found things from 1967. That is just three years younger than me. There is no way we need to keep documentation from that far back.
I’m hoping my boss will approve that all this stuff can go to the archives. This will clean out another two file drawers. It will allow the department to have a record of the past even if something happens to the paper copies.
I’ve spent several days wandering through these files. I’m now congested from all the crappy dust. I’ve had headaches from trying to figure out if something was worth keeping. I’ve listened to student workers grumble because they have spent HOURS scanning and sorting right along with me.
Here is my advice to people. If you haven’t used it in a year and it isn’t of legal significance, get rid of it. Now IRS and legal stuff you have to be more careful with. Seven years is the length of time to keep anything financial except perhaps mortgages and such. If you are the family historian, then organize and keep all pertinent items. Note the word PERTINENT. You do not need to have every scrap of paper a child has brought home from school.
More is not more. Less is more. When you have an organized and uncluttered space you are able to enjoy what you do have. Stop keeping so much crap – no one appreciates it.