Not a member of the paper-less society.

September 11, 2015

This is not me. But it could be.

When you invite a professional organizer and neatnik to stay for a week, you really ought to begin organizing your office sooner than two days before. Or buy a lock for the door.

It’s amazing how many things are more attractive to me than office organizing. Like just about everything.

I’m not exactly a hoarder, but my name is Carol and I am a Paper Addict. That’s right, I do not belong to the “paperless society.”

That’s because I’m a writer that began writing with paper and pen, and then typewriter, and then printouts of Word documents.  I have reams of paper containing my pearls of wisdom and every time I try to organize it I get stuck reading it.

Like the poetry I wrote in 2004 after a trip to Key West with my lover of the moment, a guy who was at least 20 years younger, as I recall. But I barely recall.

Ok. I recall a few things.


I also found stuff I wrote 20 years ago. And almost 30 years ago.

Letters to my sister chronicled our horrible relationship long before its demise.

Terrible, thinly-disguised short stories made me cringe.

A few things were so good I kept turning them over, looking for someone else’s byline.

There’s a fantasy I have that one day I’ll have time to just sit and wallow in all this and something will come out of it: essays, maybe, or a book.

It’s hard for me to believe that I am retired and in fact, I DO have the time, if I want to.

But this began as a post about organizing my office and that’s how I want to close it: with a plea.

I would love your very best tips for home office organization.  “Throw it all away” is not a tip. Just in case you were thinking that. Because M. has already suggested it.

My name is Carol and I am a Paper Addict. I’ve already admitted I’m powerless over it, so now I’m asking you for help.  I’ll compile all the tips you give me in the comment section below into a post next month.

Thank you.


12 comments on “Not a member of the paper-less society.
  1. Risa says:

    Nothing genius about this, but I like to put my papers in the type of box that will hold hanging files (plastic!). I get hanging files in rainbow colors, fill out tabs for each file, then hang them in alphabetical order. Go ahead and laugh, but it makes things easy to find! I then put the papers that go into each file in a manila folder, also labeled (so when I pull it out of the box, the hanging file stays in). I set one of these up for my son when he was applying to college (and stayed hands off for everything else!), and did the same thing for my sister’s stuff (bills, statements, legal docs, etc.). Like I said, nothing really fancy–but I also have old versions of stories, articles, single subject files, etc. and this system works. Oh, and I periodically purge my files. Good luck!

  2. Donna says:

    Hello my name is Donna and I am a paper addict. I prefer to think there are far worse things so I am leaving this addiction for others to worry about.

  3. Kate says:

    I am also not a member of the paperless society. I love the feel of paper. I use graph paper to chart knitting designs, instead of computer programs. I prefer to read real books instead of ebooks.

    Though, I’ll admit, that I am starting to enjoy my google calendar over my paper calendar. Though, I still have it. And I tough it a couple times a week, because it was my buddy for so long.

  4. My name is Doreen and I am a paper addict. I’ve tried for years to organize my office and make sense of my paper collection. The closest I have come is to get a bunch of desk mail/paper organizers and separate poems, quotes, articles, short stories, book ideas and letters and it doesn’t look that great but it actually works. I also use baskets on shelves to hide piles of papers yet to be organized into the right pile.

  5. Camille says:

    I’m right there with you, buried under all that paper! Can’t wait for your post with all the tips you’ll compile! Need. Help. Decluttering.

  6. Ugh….there is nothing worse than office organizing. I’m doing it now too. I have no idea what to keep and what to throw!

  7. Hi, I’m Nancy and I am a paper addict! I have no tips. Help, I’m drowning in cellulose too!

  8. I, too, am a paper addict… but only when it comes to my writing. I have boxes and boxes of clips plus notebooks and pages and scraps saved of silly thoughts and smidgens of story starters. Any other papers can go (unless my husband, the true paper keeper nabs them for saving).

  9. adrian says:

    Hi I’m Adrian and I am NOT a paper addict. In fact, I hate the stuff and keep as little of it as I can possibly manage. However, that’s easier said than done. What I do is I take all the debris of bank statements and school papers, and whatever else that seems to accummulate on my desk. About every three months, I shove it all in a bag and then I wait for a month. If I haven’t needed anything out of that bag in 30 days, I march it off to the shredder. I do that with Emails too. I have a folder I call Email Zen and I shove all my pesky unwanted Email into it every couple of months. That way if I really need it, I can search for it, but it’s not right in my face all the time. Then after a couple of months, I go through and delete most of it.

  10. Yes, another writer who feels your pain. Just the other day I was doing one of those “what if’s…” What if I had a diagnosis of terminal illness. Would I then be able to shred all my writing? No, no, no, something inside me yelled. At the same time as I thought, “wtf do I think it should be saved for??????”

  11. sacha says:

    Cant give you a tip because I’m a paper addict. I myself am looking for ways to stop my paper addiction.

  12. Celeste says:

    I know how you feel- every time I try to organize anything that contains any memorablia I get super distracted with the nostalgia of it all. As far as organizing tips- the website The Power of Moms has a really great program called Mind Organization for Moms (M.O.M.) that includes total organization of all papers in your house! All of them! It’s helpful for sure 🙂

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