The “Less Paper” Challenge-Week 3

Here’s a quick update on my “Less Paper” Challenge.  About a month ago, I set some goals that have to do with reducing the amount of paper in my home, and I hoped that by issuing a public challenge to myself to accomplish some specific tasks, they might actually get done!

In weeks 1 and 2, I worked on making more space in a two-drawer filing cabinet that I use to store client files.  When I started this project, I was storing some of the files outside the cabinet because they just wouldn’t fit.  But by scanning and shredding many of the older documents, I was eventually able to fit all these files in the space allotted, with room to spare!

My next goal was as follows:

Week 3:  Purge my personal files to eliminate approximately one third of the paper stored there.

Here’s a photo of the file cabinet I’m talking about:Four Drawer Filing Cabinet

So how did I do?  Well, first of all I did not get this done in the third week, as planned.  Life got in the way, so I just decided to give myself another week.  After all, there’s no paper purging police or anything, so why not give myself a break?  Second, I wasn’t able to spend enough time to really purge one-third of the paper—I think tackling four file drawers in one week was a bit ambitious!

However, I did make some progress.  Here’s my stack of paper that is going to be shredded or recycled:

 It’s a pretty good size pile, so I’m really happy about that.

So, what are the take-away’s from this week?  What I learned is that it’s great to set ambitious goals, but you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if it takes longer than you think, or if you aren’t able to complete them 100%.  I’ll simply keep this one on my list for a while, and hopefully it’ll eventually get done to my satisfaction. (Although with this type of thing, will it really ever be completed?  Probably not, unless I’m able to go completely paperless…)

Next, on to my goal for Week 4 which is… going through my teenagers’ school paperwork.  It’s already October, and I’m embarrassed to say that we still have a few piles of school papers that were cleaned out of their backpacks last May and June!  It’s time to get rid of those piles. Maybe I can even get my kids to help. (But I won’t count on it.)

What are you doing to reduce the amount of paper in your home or office?  If you’re tackling a similar type of project, please share.

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