Exploring what life could be like if we weren’t buried in clutter, burdened with too many possessions, and surrounded by chaos.

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Paper: the worst thing to collect

December 19th, 2012 · No Comments · Decluttering

The most depressing of all the junk a packrat can pack is: paper. And all things made of it. If you want a recipe for squalor, save stacks of newspaper and have a lot of cardboard boxes and brown paper bags around.

Paper decomposes faster than any other material — and did you know that’s what house dust is MADE OF? Yes it’s true: Paper and cloth sit there and decompose right before your eyes. (And decomposing paper SMELLS!) In fact, if you kept nothing made of natural fibers (impossible), you’d see your house dust load drastically reduced.

So, if you want to make the fastest headway toward neatening up, you’ll want to start with the paper! Throw out as much as you can, right away. If you must sort through it first, get some inexpensive plastic storage boxes to store all your paper stuff in until you can get to it. Yes this means buying more “stuff,” but as you go through your printed matter and discover you can throw out most of it, you can re-use those boxes for something else. At least you can stack them up compactly and know they aren’t churning out house dust. Plastic storage bins are a very re-usable commodity. And when you get down to a pair of underpants and a fork, you can pass them on to your still-packrat friends who seek to emulate you.

You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel once you get all the paper stuff removed from your view, and from your air supply! It’ll make you feel like you’re really getting somewhere — which will in turn push you to get even further! along the road to thingless-ness, that is. But in case all that’s not enough motivation for you, my next post will reveal the ultimate kick in the butt for getting rid of paper. I promise you will be cured forever.

My current mini-project: making this set of shelves into a thing of beauty. See that awful stack of magazines? Just you wait.

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