October Habit #30 I Didn’t Know I Had Paper Clutter

Dear FlyLady,

Thanks to you and your team for all you do for us each and every day.

You have improved my life, my family’s lives and given us a measure of happiness that just seemed out of reach before I began to flutter.

I have been fluttering on and off sometimes, for about three years.  I no longer feel guilt, I no longer feel as if I have to do it “all” or do “nothing”, I no longer feel paralyzed and overwhelmed if I am plugging along with my routines.  Which leads me to paper clutter and all our efforts to create routine to get rid of it.

I don’t have paper clutter.  Or so I thought!!

I handle the mail, opening, sorting and throwing away the junk.  My DH keeps our accounts and I sometimes help write the actual checks if any need to be written.  I do the mailing.  We have a good, easy to use system.  We both take turns filing.  I clip coupons and have a folder to place them in until it is time to clip and file.  I clean out expired ones every other week.  I have a routine for this.  I have a small desk area that sometimes turns into a hot spot.  I clear it whenever I have a long chat with someone on the phone.  Everything seemed to be in order.  I was proud to not have to “work” on the paper clutter habit!

Then my DD got sick this week and I was looking for some crafts to keep her busy in her arts and crafts stash.  I found craft papers/markers/crayons/paints/drawing pads/coloring books in her room, the play room and the cabinet in our front room.  I was shocked at how much I found!  I thought I’d grab her a drawing pad and some markers but instead found a huge mess.  So I took some time  while dinner was cooking to gather it all together on the dining room table (we were eating in the kitchen that night).  There was so much stuff that it covered the entire table (seats 6!) and several chairs.  I emptied everything, sorted it into piles, threw all the crushed construction and drawing paper away, go rid of the dried out markers (more than half of them!)

My DS called me on my cell phone the other evening at the store because he needed new pencils for school–he couldn’t find any at home.  When I sorted, I found about 50 pencils.  I found unopened crayons, 9 sketch pads, countless little notebooks, an entire box full of scissors.  I also created two full bags of trash that went immediately to the outside trash can.  I found a bag of stuff to take to goodwill.

I found another bag of supplies to give to the kindergarten classes at my DD’s school.  I was able to sort, box/put in zip bags/label everything while my dinner cooked.  It took me another 20 minutes after dinner to put everything that was left neatly away in the cabinet in out front room.  My DD was so happy to see how much she had and how easy it is now for her to find it all.  She said she loves how organized everything is and that she wished she could have helped (she honestly didn’t have the energy due to being sick).

My DH is thrilled because my DD will no longer be taking the printer paper to draw on!  I even created a small “homework” basket with a bottle of glue and a glue stick, notebook paper, a calculator, plenty of pencils, tape and a small stapler.  We have always had this before but it had become so jammed that it was unusable.

Thanks for the nudge to get me out of my rut and see that I did have paper clutter, I just needed to find it!  My DD went right to the cabinet and started working on some paper crafts and I didn’t have to spend anytime digging up supplies!

Fluttering,
A NC FlyBaby

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