Smiles don’t always come easy

I’m not a collector.  I don’t like a lot of clutter around the house (I feel literally overwhelmed when I have too much “stuff” around me) – and I’ve found the easiest way to minimize clutter is to minimize collections (and material possessions in general).

However, there is one item that I can’t seem to get away from; one item that I somehow collect, even against my own will.  That item?  Paper.

Magazine articles, class handouts, newspaper clippings.  Books, cards, binders.  Stationary, journals, envelopes.  If an item is made of thin sheets of wood, somehow, some way, my space begins to become overrun with it.  The dining room table?  Covered in paper.
My office?  Littered with random pieces of paper.

And I just can’t seem to get ahead of the paper madness.  I shred, I file, I recycle, and still, the insidious paper pyramids pile.

Today, enough was enough.  I had reached my limit.  My office felt crazy instead of calm; the dining table was nuts instead of nourishing.  It was time to take action.  Time for me to address – nay, resolve – this whole paper issue.

So.  For four hours today, I wrangled paper.  I typed the information I wanted to keep into computer documents.  I shredded private information.  I recycled old-and-no-longer-interesting reading materials.  I put unused cards and stationary and journals on bookshelves and in desk drawers.  And, four long-yet-productive hours later, I had achieved notable success: a clean office floor, and a clear place setting at the dining room table.

Relief.  Ahhhh.  This new state of order feels so good.  Definitely worth the effort.

(Stef the paper wrangler)


About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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14 Responses to Smiles don’t always come easy

  1. carlaat says:

    It’s a constant battle for me too. The most difficult kind of clutter. I have big plans for my paper monster tomorrow!


    • Stef says:

      It really is difficult for me to manage. In part, I think, because so much of the paper represents information, facts, opinions, ideas – and I am a complete sucker for learning, for knowledge. *sigh* There are worse problems, and worse vices, I suppose… 😉

      Good luck with your paper wrangling! I hope you are successful. 🙂


  2. Christine says:

    Ahhhh, declutter your space – declutter your mind. Excellent job, grasshopper…


    • Stef says:

      That is SO true. When I have a clear, clean, spacious environment, I feel so open, so boundless, so free. My mood is lighter and brighter, and I feel like I can do anything. And when the space is a cluttered, chaotic wreck, then well, just the opposite feelings.

      Right now I am delighting in my organized space. 🙂


  3. Yuck. I feel your pain. The unending paper mess about does me in here. I am glad you were able to take time and get it under control today. Tomorrow will feel so much more peaceful to wake up to order and cleanliness. Great job on your hard work today. I hope you are able to relax and enjoy the smiles tomorrow will bring!



    • Stef says:

      Thank you Tara! It’s amazing; my day today mood-wise, attitude-wise, is already off to a much more positive start than it was yesterday. Amazing.


  4. Touch2Touch says:

    OMG! I just read this after getting dressed, ready to tackle more of the 103 boxes (made of paper, containing more paper) that accompanied us to the new house. Everything was wrapped in fold upon fold of — paper! adding to the problem. Last night I began a new STEP (ironic, wait for it —) in the war.
    Behold, the paper treader!
    Our friend in Arizona (who just went through this) suggested climbing into the carton and stomping on the paper, just like grapes. He said this way three cartons of wrapping paper will compress into one carton (made of paper also), and then you can knock down two cartons and get them out of the way.
    Because we are DROWNING in paper. A wave of paper, filling the garage and spilling into the house.
    Your clean office floor
    The clean place setting at the dining table—
    Our goal —- YES.
    Thank you (as always) for the inspiration, and the courage.
    The Paper Treader


    • Stef says:

      Isn’t it crazy how much PAPER one uses in a move, and indeed, life in general?? Insane. Here’s to a productive day of paper management for you; and perhaps we can both move from Paper Wranglers and Paper Treaders to Paper Whisperers.

      Sounds like a good name for a TV series…. 😉


  5. I did the same thing myself a few weeks back. I had 2 terms worth of worksheets to put away. It felt like such a load off once I’d done it. Never put off til tomorrow, what you can do today…or something like that. 😉


    • Stef says:

      Isn’t it amazing how much better one can feel when all of the “work” tasks are done? I’m such a miserable procrastinator; I just can’t neglect responsibilities for play… because I feel so much better when the work is just done! 🙂

      Congrats on your organization accomplishment; that’s terrific!


  6. Cool coincidence! ^_^ Doesn’t it feel awesome! I love the feeling. I made a box of all stuff I don’t need anymore; this includes books that I will donate to the library and clothes and shoes to the Salvation Army. Have a great week ahead


  7. Pingback: From the past to the present | Smile, kiddo.

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