One thing that fills me with dread is the thought of throwing away papers that I am supposed to keep. And likewise keeping too many papers for too long can be a real threat to my clutter anxiety.That is where GOAL #14 comes from... slaying the dreaded paper monster one sheet at a time!
Step one: Pull out the giant box of "old papers" to a place that I may actually feel good about sitting for an hour or so.
Step two: Pull the papershredder and recycling pags to the same place.
Step three: decide on what year will be my cut off for bank statements, bills, etc. And decide what items I will want to keep no matter what year thery were from (employment letters, receipts for cars I still have, etc)
Step four: pour myself a tall glass of water and grab a snack, then DIVE IN!
Verdict: I made the cut-off 10 years for most of it (I'm sure any time before that nobody cares about but me.) The still relevant stuff from before then (house improvements, car repairs, major life events) went into a special envelope called "PRE-2002". Some papers were so boring that they could be tossed right into recycling without any identity compromises, but MOST of it needs to be shredded. That hungry machine worked hard for me today and the kids had fun feeding it! I ended up with a FULL bag one of (those large clear ones) of shred that will go to the curb with my next recycling pick up day.
My ugly box of "old papers" was practically empty, so I moved some papers from my file cabinet to the box... then I actually put it away before it languished in my livingroom for too long! (Huge step for me!)
My mom says she keeps envelopes that say "SHRED AFTER XX-XX-20XX" so that she doesn't even have to sort later. I may adopt that technique.