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Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Purge - Part II: The Cleansing

After nearly a week's work, our home office is finally really clean. It's also nearly empty, but that was all part of the plan. We got all the furniture cleared out or rearranged, which allowed us to give the carpet a good work-over with the vacuum cleaner.

Bless her, Heather Marie has spent most of the weekend sorting, filing, and shredding papers. Some of the records we found were pretty enlightening. For instance, one thing we found was a shipping receipt for an ethernet card...a 10 megabit card...shipped to my old dorm address...in March of 1999. So not only was it a nine year-old receipt for an item I no longer own, it must have been moved from one residence to another at least 4 times. Ouch.

So, aside from some minor nostalgic and historic value, we're not losing much except for old, useless paperwork. We have four trash bags of shredded paper so far, and I expect that we'll end up with another before we're done. Of course, none of that includes the bags of paper that didn't need to be shredded!

And that's just the paper debris! Glancing around our living room staging area, I also see half a dozen books that will soon find a new home, another score or so books that will be boxed up and put in the attic, and an entire box full of non-functional or obsolete electronics.

The electronics will be heading to recycling later this week, as will nearly all of the paper. In fact, all told, we won't actually be throwing away very much stuff as trash, which is good, I think. Bully for us!

As it stands now, the office is mostly empty and ready to receive its trimmed and culled contents. The really interesting part of the experience, I think, will span the next three days, as we decide what really goes back in, where it goes, and what else we're getting rid of.

That will be the test: Can we remain disciplined enough as we restock the office to do whatever it takes to minimize the clutter and set ourselves on a path to continued organization?

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