Well, again I seem to have really intended a good cleaning, sorting session – rather than a transformative purge.
For the most part I have gradually been using up supplies bought quite a while ago. The pencil cup and file pedestal drawers have dried up pens, yellowed note pads, and other little silly crap that just needs to be tidied or tossed. It is tough to be very ruthless about items that only take up a square foot!
Five years ago I started my own business, but I was very cautious then about buying much. I am using up the last ream of paper (non-recycled), the last letter-sized envelopes and the last manila envelopes bought for the business. Lately I have started keeping envelopes that come inside junk mail. I will switch to these when I run out of the other. A bit of white glue and a hunk of paper can cover any printing. This might be a real art opportunity too.
Speaking of art and office supplies, I must pass along this link I stumbled on yesterday for Post-It Notes art. My mom will get a kick out of this I think. It is a massive understatement to say she is a really big fan. I used to buy her post it packs when new colors would come on the market. I never thought I would run out of the ubiquitous Post-It Notes – but I have. Hey, it is a kind of victory in some strange way, like running out of ketchup packets or plastic grocery bags. We are drowning in these products. Right?
My biggest office supply purchases (besides the computer equipment, camera and a used file cabinet) were hanging file folders and colored file folders. I find it kind of baffling now to think I bought these new. I wonder if these would ever need to be produced again if businesses (tiny like mine to giant like Exxon Mobile) simply didn’t waste. Trillions of file folders are filled and never, ever looked at again. And, how many offices (and homes) toss the folders along with the contents when purging?
In a few weeks I will be taking on the records purge in my file cabinet. I have decided that my style of working doesn’t lend itself to saving hard copies or turning to my files to search for information. I thought I’d do that many times in my adult life. In my work and at home I have started files in the last 40 years. Many, if not most, of those files were never used in any active way. I was really good about keeping folders for bills and marking my invoices with the date paid, amount paid and check number. I recently shredded years of these organized files. Why did I keep these files – obsessively I might add. I may try and answer that in my records purge post. At that time I will have many, many more hanging files, color file folders to add to my growing pile. So it seems that this is another purge category to be continued . . .
Flickr pencil cup photo
Post-It Note photo
Flickr files photo