Time to Throw Away

Papers drive me crazy. Things like junk mail, bills, scrap paper that I jot notes on, receipts, papers that my husband leaves lying around which I don’t know what to do with, and so on. I don’t know if I always had this problem, but I can tell you it definitely escalated eight years ago.

At my place of employment we were switching which software we used. This meant everything had to be moved over from the old system to the new system. I was working long hours and weekends to get caught up. So during that time, any mail that we received at home went into a bin. I would glance at it first to make sure it didn’t look like a bill. Everything else went in the bin to be looked at later. Before long I had a bin overflowing with junk mail and other miscellaneous papers. I even remember telling a coworker that I never received my new medical insurance cards in the mail for the new year. Well, the truth was that I had, but I had tossed them in the bin and didn’t realize it.

Sadly, even after the hectic time at work ended, the papers continued. I always had a pile of papers from then on. At times, I would try to go through them, file important things, and shred or trash unneeded items. But I would get overwhelmed before going through all the papers, so I would get fed up and set it aside.

Over the holidays I dove into the pile of papers once again. I ended up with a pile of papers that I pretty much didn’t know how to handle. In most cases I considered them to be my husband’s papers. Some were receipts from the auto parts store. Or maybe paperwork on a new weed eater. Things that I cared nothing about. LOL. So I asked my husband to help me go through them and before long we had an EMPTY box!

I cannot tell you how happy that made me. I was grinning and my husband asked me what I was smiling about. I told him he didn’t have to buy me any Valentine’s, Anniversary, Birthday, or Christmas presents in 2020. Haha!

Since then I have been trying to stay on top of the papers. Any new mail or receipts that we acquire I go through right away and either trash it or handle it as needed. So far, so good.

But it wasn’t only papers that we have been cleaning up at my house. My husband and I have also tried to go through different things in our home and get rid of excess clutter.

I think this time of year is the perfect time to go through each room and purge. Here are three reasons why:

1 – In the northern hemisphere in particular, with the weather not always agreeable for outside activities, staying indoors and cleaning up is a good way to pass the time and make you feel productive.

2 – Also, no matter what hemisphere you live in, we all recently celebrated Christmas. For most of us, this means we acquired new things, whether they were gifts from others or things we bought ourselves as we were out shopping. When new things come in the home, we should be mindful of purging old items to make room.

3 – And it’s a New Year. As we cross over from one year to the next, we want to be mindful of starting fresh. Removing old items that we no longer need will help us to step into the new year with a clearer view. My friend Lorraine has been “weeding” as well and she put it this way, “It’s a great way to see the old year out and an even better way to see the new one in!” So very true!

So my whole point in this post is to encourage you to do the same. Take a weekend and go through one room at a time. Don’t overthink it. If you’re not using it and don’t love it, you don’t need it. If you are tempted to keep it because you “might need it one day” – remember that there are people less fortunate who would love to have that item. Knowing you are blessing someone else will make all the difference. And even the Bible says there is “a time to keep and a time to throw away” (Ecclesiastes 3:6).

So let’s get started! You can do this! I believe in you! Let me know how it goes! You won’t regret it! In fact, once you clean up some of the clutter, you will feel refreshed!

© 2020 Bridget A. Thomas

(Photo by Angel Norris.)

16 Comments on “Time to Throw Away

  1. I’m with you Bridget! How on earth do we accumulate so much “stuff”? The new year has motivated me. Out it goes! As soon as I fill a couple of bags or boxes I take them to the appropriate place to donate them so I am not tempted to think twice about any of it! And you know what? I haven’t missed a thing I got rid of. An old saying is “out with the baby’s bath water” and that’s just where my things are going. To me they are no longer needed just as the old bath water. But just as the old bath water had a second use…watering the flowers or the grass, my stuff homely will find new purpose or enjoyment with someone else. Just remember…keep the baby! If you love and cherish it, keep it and enjoy it!! Love you, Bridget!!!!! Happy new year and enjoy your weeding inside and out!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad that you have been making a lot of progress. You actually have been doing much better than I have. And you inspire me to do more. That is a smart idea to take the bags off right away. I had not thought of that. I still have some here and think we need to gather more stuff before we bring it to charity. Perfect analogy – “out with the baby’s bath water.” Love that! Thanks for sharing! Love you too! And Happy 2020 to you! You’re off to a good start. I think it’s going to be a great year! 💚


  2. I have the same issue with paper!! It’s overwhelming at times. I’ll take your suggestions and start this weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In a way, I am glad I am not the only one. But on the other hand, I am sorry that you have to deal with it too. It helped me to have the shredder and the trash can near by. And I had a pile of papers that were “to be filed.” And a pile of papers that were “I don’t know.” After I finished going through all the papers, I went back through the file pile. And then Mickey helped me with the “I don’t know” pile. I wish you the best of luck as you tackle some of that today!! 🤗


  3. It is so easy to accumulate stuff. I am totally on the same page as you. About 5 years back when we moved house and we had to pack, I realised how much unnecessary stuff I had collected over the years. My husband and I now and then go through and get rid of things we do not use anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another comment if y’all don’t mind. Paperwork! Ugh!
    1. The greatest gift my dad gave me at end of life was a drawer with marked envelopes with phone numbers and amounts! All I had to do was take them and start calling SS, landlady, insurances, newspaper, meals on wheels, power company, cable, etc. Also were names, addresses and phone numbers of his closest friends to be notified. Something maybe should be on our to do lists for those we leave behind..and we never know!
    2. Personal papers can also be burned. On a cool night when my older grandchildren come, I have a fire in the fire pit and we roast marshmallows over them as we each keep throwing in a handful not and again to stay toasty by the fire.

    Just a couple of thoughts to give more purpose to weeding out those old papers!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can comment all you want! That is really a wonderful thing that your dad did! Yes we should all do the same! And I love the idea about having a bonfire with your grandchildren! Yes that definitely helps with the weeding! 💚


  5. Clutter makes me feel overwhelmed and stressed out! When we get the mail we rip up any junk mail and toss it immediately. Decluttering after Christmas is a great idea. Out with the old! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I always want to get rid of stuff because on top of the physical, things wind up taking too much mental and emotional space. Decluttering is such an unconventional way to relax, it gets energy out and also creates a better ambience.

    Liked by 1 person

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