The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Part 4: Papers

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Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Clothing

Part 3: Books

In Part 4 of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up series, we’re going to tackle the dreaded Papers category! I believe this is the category I was dreading most of all, as I thought it would be the most work, and anticipated it taking several days. However, I was pleasantly surprised when we were able to complete it in one day!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Papers

I didn’t take many photographs of this process, because frankly, papers are boring. 😉 But basically, I followed the same process as above – brought all the papers into the office (this was pretty easy, since that’s where most of them were anyway). I started with my filing box. Amazingly, I just did this about a month ago when I was doing my big office clean-up – but true to form, the KonMari process revealed that I had never *finished* this category. This time I removed EACH file individually, took out every single piece of paper, held it in my hand, and decided if I needed to keep it or not. I decided to be very selective, and only keep things that I felt were absolutely necessary. Kondo advises you to throw away almost all of your paper. She says we very seldom need it, and most things we need can be accessed elsewhere. I decided to keep a few things – insurance papers, warranties, and 12 months worth of each utility bill (I like to use these for budgeting purposes – I realize I could access them online, but sometimes it’s nice to have paper copies for this sort of thing). I also sorted my massive tax file, by putting each year’s tax info into a Manilla envelope and marking it with the year. I put a LOT in the shredding box.

Now it feels good to know exactly what is in my file box, and that I could put my hands on any needed document at a moment’s notice. 🙂 I need to get some label tape to re-label some folders, but otherwise, this job is complete!

I also did loose recipes as part of Papers. I went through my recipe binder, and to my surprise, there were only two recipes in there that I actually cared to make again. So it all went in recycling, and those two recipes I copied onto recipe cards and placed in my recipe box. It feels good to have this part of my life under control. Now onto the next category!

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