Seven Minute (Paper) Declutter Challenge – 27 February 2012

Hello, readers!  I’m back from the winter break – refreshed, revived and ready to fling! 😀  Here’s the first update on my Seven Minute (Paper) Declutter Challenge.  The Flylady habit for the month of February is decluttering and – as my achilles heel is paper – I’ve decided to focus my energy on battling the paper tiger. 

Forgive me for repeating myself but I don’t know why I am always so amazed when I declutter the Flylady way.  I mean, for goodness sake, I’ve been doing this for six years now.  But at the end of every declutter session – whether it be 2 minutes tidying out the kitchen drawer, 5 minutes hanging up things in my wardrobe or 30 minutes clearing shelves in the basement – I get that renewed feeling of hope.  That there is light at the end of the tunnel!  And that it gets easier and easier (well, for the most part) to throw things away.  Things that, six years ago, I could not let go of…

And that – dear readers – is why the Flylady’s system is so dang good.  You declutter in small chunks – or babysteps as the Flylady calls them – working your way round the whole house.  Until you are back at Start.  Happy with the results you can see, and ready for another round with the clutter that is still there, able to look at it with fresh eyes.  And on those moments when that awful overwhelmed feeling rears it’s ugly head (yep, there are still rare flashbacks like that) I need to give myself a jolly good slap on the head and remind myself that it will never be as bad as it was when I first started.  Yep, this baby has come a long way! ;D

Anyway, back to those pesky papers…  I set my timer and only allowed myself to do seven minutes at a time.  When the timer rang, I went off to do something else, then came back to the job.  I decided to start with our financial papers.  I’ve always filed them in separate ring binder files, e,g, one folder for DH, one for me, one for the Mastercard account, kids accounts etc, etc.  Eight ring binders in all.  Plus two cardboard boxes which contain our financial records from the last six years.  I suddenly realised that – duh – it would make much more sense to keep ALL of this year’s bank papers in ONE file.  Using dividers. Voilà, I’ve instantly been able to get rid of seven (count ’em) ring binders.  Woo hoo!

This pleased me very much.  Go on, feel the space left behind on the shelf!  ;D  Not to mention that it has made life so much easier when I’m filing new papers that come in.  One file.  No searching.  And at the end of the year I can take out the whole dang lot of them, bundle them up with an elastic band and drop them in the cardboard storage box.

After my success with the financial papers, I moved on to seven-minute stints of weeding out old receipts and instruction manuals for items we no longer own.  All in all, a great start!

Tune in next Monday to see how – even if I didn’t fling paper for a week (when we were away on holiday in Madeira) – the Flylady clutter busting techniques are constantly helping me to win the battle against paper…

Have a marvelous Monday! 🙂