Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Controlling Junk

A few nights ago, my lovely wife and I purged some junk from our living room. Accumulation of meaningless stuff has always been a constant problem. It's incredible how stuff just starts to accumulate. You pick up a brochure here, get a catalog there, and before you know it, you've got a whole trash bag full of things to recycle or throw away.

The major issue with us is paperwork and such. With my wife recently getting laid off, we're getting inundated with paperwork for COBRA, severance payouts, investment rollovers, and unemployment information. And, that's on top of our standard mail of business magazines, political advertisements (thank God that's over), and regular bills and mail. The real problem is that we don't want to deal with it as it comes in. I don't want to file that COBRA paperwork away since I haven't gone through it yet (and don't want to forget about it), but I don't have the time or desire to deal with yet, either. The same thing happens with day care brochures, unread magazines, and other important but not-time-sensitive materials. So, it stacks up. Typically on our dining room table or the small table behind the sofa.

What to do? Well, the real solution is to take care of that junk immediately, as soon as it comes in the house. I do okay with some items. Junk mail and most catalogs quickly meet up with the recycling bin, and vitally important items are dealt with promptly, but dealing with the other stuff immediately is just not realistic for me right now. After getting up at 4:30am and working a 10-hour day (minimum), the last thing I want to do when I walk in the door at night is to read over insurance statements or the latest day-care documentation. So, it stacks up until we get so sick of it that we can't stand it.

I'm going to try to do better with this. I'm going to try to take care of these items immediately. Not only will it help with keeping the house more clutter-free, but it'll help my wife's sanity, too.


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