Daily Archives: December 11, 2009

Household Paperwork

As someone who likes a clutter free life, living with a family of collectors, hoarders, and storers, can be a bit of a trial at times…  

Through the open sewer pipe that is my front door, spews a tonne of junk mail, letters of varying importance, newsletters, magazines, bills, toys, bric a brac, warranties, dockets, rego forms, kids drawings, schoolbooks, projects, hobby materials, and all the other detritus that tends to accumulate under our feet, in our cupboards, drawers, under beds, and in my shed. 

With Christmas just round the corner, I’m starting to chew my nails in anticipation of the well intentioned gifts that will flood in under my radar.  In the past I’ve organised pre-Chrissy clean outs, followed by post-Chrissy clean outs.  Mid-year clean outs, and often unofficial clean outs when, after a couple of weeks of opening certain cupboard doors, it dawns on me that I’m only using the front 2 inches of space that’s vacant. 

The Dreaded Filing Cabinet... might be time to get one

But it’s the paperwork that really drives me mad.  The number of times I’ve torn my house to pieces looking for some vital bit of paperwork that has obviously been tossed out or lost are too numerous to mention, and after sifting through thousands of dockets for bread and milk purchases from as far back as 1996 without any success, I snap, dump the lot, smile at all the open, clean, clutter free space, then set up a new system to avoid this sort of frustration in the future… 

Unfortunately, the system inevitably fails, and sooner or later I’ll find myself waist deep in useless paperwork.  Obviously I need a better, easier to use/maintain system.   

So, I’ve been asking family and friends how they cope with all their unwanted paperwork, and so far I’ve had the following suggestions: 

  1. Place a No Junk Mail sticker on your letter box (I’ve been informed that this is not going to happen, so I’m going to need a backup plan!)
  2. Mail is read over the bin.  (Not a bad idea…)
  3. Important dockets, documents, warranties etc. are immediately stored in an easy to use filing system (have to find one of those too, because the little box I’ve used for years is just too small for this task). 

It looks like I’ll be buying ‘the dreaded filing cabinet’.  I’ve put this off for years, because like all filing cabinets it will soon be filled with dockets for bread and milk purchases, while all the paperwork I need will be stored on the compost heap…. Possibly.

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