At last the Autumn season is here and Halloween is upon us. Breathe in the cool crisp Autumn air and smell that Autumn scent. Burning leaves, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, pumpkin everything. Candy corn, changing leaves, and let us not forget it is also time for zombies, ghouls, vampires and ghosts. At least that is how we celebrate October in my house. Horror movies, and wicked decor. We love it. These are just some of the wonderful simple pleasures that this minimalist enjoys. Enjoying the change of seasons, enjoying tradition with family.
How much clutter do you have in the form of paperwork!? For so many of us these take up a tremendous amount of space. Big file cabinets filled with paperwork. Paperwork covering our desks, our kitchen/dining room tables, even sometimes our cars.
– Signed documents
– Official Documents
And what is it all good for. Are we really going to even use 70% of it? Now I can’t speak for everybody, but it drives me crazy. In my opinion, this is the worst kind of clutter, and often the most difficult to sort.
Lets go through these a little bit at a time.
Notes, articles, and magazines gotta go. Plain and simple. If they have been sitting on your desk for more than a week, you are not going to read them. No chance. Once they’re read, they’re no longer of any value. Into the recycle bin they go. Newspapers and magazines have websites where you can often read the same articles for free. Let the computer be your medium. Ebooks, and tablets are good for this purpose too.
Receipts – Do you still have that receipt from the Blue Ray player you purchased four years ago? seriously? the warranty is already expired, lose it. Electronic companies sell you an extended warranty because they know that the product is good enough to last the entire term. They also know that the product is only good enough to last the term, and not a week longer (but this is another grievance). We hold onto these receipts to give ourselves some false sense of security. Draw a line in the sand for yourself and say that you will only save the receipts for items $500 or greater.
Bills. There is really no need to hold on to a bill for more than a year. Honestly, what is the likelihood that you will ever need to prove that your Jan 2014 electric bill was $150?
Statements. Almost completely unnecessary. Bank account, cell phone usage, electricity usage, cable, even water usage could all be found online in the event you need this information. Which no doubt is very seldom.
Signed/official documents – Alright now these are worth keeping. Things like Living Will, Vehicle Title, Power of Attorney, and Bill of Sale are usually things you want to hold on to.
Generally speaking, if one has chosen a very minimalist lifestyle and cut down on “overhead” then a reduction in paperwork clutter should naturally follow. There won’t be too many bills to collect if the only utilities you have are electricity, phone, and water. There won’t be many receipts to keep if you are not much of a consumer. You are an active and healthy person, exactly how many prescriptions can you possibly have?
It is also worth considering scanning all necessary paperwork into your computer. A “backed up” digital copy is far more secure than a hard copy.
Unfortunately the human condition dictates that as we get older we will be less likely to try new things. That we will close our minds to new ideas and concepts. People as they get older become very prideful of the years they have put into this lifetime, and the “profound wisdom” they have accumulated. Often they become so prideful that they close off themselves to even listening to what someone younger than them has to say.
Don’t get me wrong. I do believe that they are wise indeed. But the world is changing, and therefore the people in it need to change as well; the old and the young. Anyone who has ever boasted “I’m set in my ways”, “The music was better in my day”, or “I have no interest in new technology” has basically chosen to be obsolete in the modern world.
Instead of giving in to the natural mental aging process, they can do what I do. Fight against it. Try new things, listen to new music, get involved with the latest social/technological developments. Let’s not let our pride in doing things the way we are used to doing them inhibit our growth as people. Instead we should live each day with a passion to learn more.
Too many of these people believe that standing steadfast in their beliefs and established pattern of life makes them strong. Unfortunately they couldn’t be more wrong. Strength truly lies in one’s ability to adapt.