OMG! Do you have any idea how much paper one stores as:
- A high school teacher with lessons to prepare in 3 subjects: English, social studies, and work-related studies?
- A grad student getting one's second master's degree?
- A would-be entrepreneur who changes his mind every third year about some new business venture he thinks might succeed and has been doing this through nearly 40 years of marriage?
- An amateur historian collecting family history documentation?
- A musician who keeps scores, sheet music, books of scores and sheet music, and programs from important concerts?
- A home owner, a car owner, an appliance owner?
- A two-dog owner?
- A couple, both with medical conditions?
- Two collectors of "weird things" in general?
We have manilla file folders. We have a rainbow assortment of colored file folders. All the folders are holding papers we once thought were vital. We have accordion files filled with things Hubby has been storing -- like tax receipts and investment information.
We have small notebooks with tabs. We have huge notebooks with tabs. We have white notebooks, untabbed. We have black notebooks, some tabbed, some not. All filled with papers (like the Kansas state SPED requirements).
We have stacks of papers that never got sorted. Still some old recipes in this lot. Lots of doctor paperwork here.
We have a huge wooden file cabinet from the 1930's full of papers like marriage licenses / divorce decrees and old dog licenses and death certificates -- and old Christmas cards and greeting cards we gave each other on birthdays and Valentines day. And worse yet, boxes and boxes of unopened Christmas cards that were never sent. But they are SO pretty!
We have old checks. The bank hasn't sent out used checks since we went to on-line banking -- in say 2005?
We have warranties on objects that worn out long, long ago -- and were replaced with other products with warranties.
We have photo albums of old trips and Christmases past. And lots and lots of dog pictures.
We have boxes of old letters sent to us from my family -- letters from people we never met and really know nothing about, except they wrote in beautiful old Palmer script -- taught in the late 1800's. We have 100 birthday postcards sent to my Grandfather on his 21st birthday.
We have boxes of computer accessory paper -- you know -- post cards, labels, greeting card paper, resume paper in creamy blues and tans. And, of course, we have reams of unused computer printer paper.
We have a desk drawer full of old trip information -- maps, itineraries, etc. just in case we decide to visit those places again. In this drawer I also keep brand new, unsent greeting cards -- things I picked up because "they were so cute or clever or funny or had such sweet sentiment" -- so I would have cards on hand when the special occasion arose. I have enough of these that they are filed by event -- birthday, death, congrats, etc. I have enough they are even filed by sub-groups: cat, dog, etc.
I made one swipe at the paperwork this morning -- emptying out the state requirements for SPED and some of my master's work in special education -- and completely filled a trash bag. We are only allotted two trash bags per weekly haul -- meaning in 15 minutes I was done for the day unless we stopped collecting garbage and empty pill bottles. Next week I can fill another bag. At this rate, it'll be ten years before the old paper work is gone.