Monday, 9 January 2012

Cleansing with help


I am doing my filing.

This is one of the worst jobs in the world, and takes forever, but it Must Be Done. My desk was almost buckling under the heaps of papers waiting to be put neatly away into new folders marked Pensions, Pets, Insurance, Instructions. And more.

I'd reached the stage where I couldn't put it off any longer, or it would take over the house and I would have television crews beating a path to my door to film me as I crawl through my home along narrow channels and tunnels of letters, papers, agreements and guarantees, weeping about where it all went wrong.

I had to start by thinning out the stuff already filed - so many useless, out of date papers taking up room! And with the old over-stuffed filing cabinet left behind in Newcastle, the same old dross got bundled into drawers and carrier bags, and have remained there ever since we arrived here, while new papers arrived in the post almost daily. The paperless society? Ha!


Many folders have been emptied. What had once bulged out of a bulky 2-drawer filing cabinet has been condensed into one of these neat little stackable boxes, a box file and a cheerful pink folder. Another stackable box is empty and ready for future use.


I haven't done this unaided. A wood burner is a wonderful filing asset, requiring as it does a layer of crumpled paper beneath the kindling to be set alight.


And the cats have supervised throughout, and made sure that I stayed on task. They know me too well.



Stern looks from Catkin and Lottie produced results. Next, the Christmas decorations, the books, the clothes, the kitchen utensils....

24 comments:

Lucille said...

That is an impressive reduction. I am turning my back on two such filing cabinets and a cupboard full of boxes.

frayedattheedge said...

I like filing - I like creating order out of chaos. I agree about the stove - ours has been dealing with paperwork since the shredder died!!

the veg artist said...

I thought I had a relaxed approach to paperwork until I met my husband! At least I have an occasional cull. He has piles of stuff everywhere, so much so that when we moved here we agreed in advance that my rules would prevail in some (the more public) rooms, in exchange for him having rooms over which I would not nag. It mostly works!!

Noelle said...

Since we have (finally) installed a wood stove in the island house too, I can attest nothing remains piled long on the desk either...A great improvement on the shredder in fact (hubby just place paper on TOP)!
What is it exactly about the New Year that we all reach for something to clean/spruce or such?
The Cats seem to have helped to keep you on track Rachel! I gather Flossie and Tosca could not care less...
Have a wonderful week and hugs to all,

flwrjane said...

I think I need to borrow your cats... maybe for a month. i have paperwork, the attic, the mudroom, the stair well.

Please oh please send them on over. Mine could care less.

She loves to sleep on piles. the more the merrier as far as she's concerned!

xo Jane

Arthur Ransome said...

Is Lottie auditioning for a part in Mad Men?

Isabelle said...

I keep meaning to tackle the study. But blogging is so much more fun.

Eunice said...

Doesn't it feel great to start a major project like getting rid of papers? I swear they really do self-multiply :)
I chuckled when I saw the fotos of Catkins & Flossie ... the first cutie has a "do not think that any papers are coming near me" look while the latter cutie looks like she is trying to direct you to the proper file folder. I take it that Hamish, Scotter and Millie are not paper chasers.

Just want to say that I enjoy your blog. I guess I am a lurker as I don't often post comments, just emit a quiet chuckle & silent nod of agreement while reading your observations.

judy in ky said...

Great job! It's such a relief to have it done, isn't it? I can see that the cats provide a great deal of motivation.

June said...

I am impressed that the cats let you get on with it.
MiMau would be sitting among it all, being removed, replacing herself . . . ad infinitum.

Desiree said...

Good work, and nice to see Catkins at ease in your living room. How is the apple tree? Love to see some photo's of your garden.

Frances said...

Well done you! Lottie looks gorgeous. Does she have her " mane" all year round? My semi longhaired cat, Taichi, loses his in the spring, and actually looks better for it I always think as it tends to look somewhat dull and tatty... it's not a lovely white bib like Lottie's!

lynnekovan.com said...

Great job! Just love the feline contributions!

Lesley said...

You put me to shame. I took time in August to do this but I'm now back at square 1!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

"I can't do it , Miss . My arm still hurts , Miss ."
( Not that that explains why I don't seem to have done it last year , either )

BumbleVee said...

woohoooo.... carry on.....I'm feeding your fish....

knutty knitter said...

I finally sorted out a system - each year goes into an old shopping bag and is stored in the ceiling. When one goes up - one from 7 years ago comes down (you're supposed to keep said stuff for 7 years apparently) and enters the waste stream :) Seems to work ok..

viv in nz

mountainear said...

When we cleared out my parents house we found electricity bills and receipts for coal deliveries going back 30 years. Onto the bonfire they went - though now I almost wish I had kept a few as historic artefacts....But what gets thrown out as part of house clearances is another story.

BumbleVee said...

..... send...help...........

I'm trying to clean and need Lottie to keep me on track...those eyes would do it...I'm almost sure. Or...maybe I'd just sit and pet her instead.... I don't seem to be getting anywhere....

colleen said...

Clearing paper - gloriously therapeutic!

jabblog said...

Well done! I have declared this year the year of the declutter. We shall see. I've done (some of) the kitchen cupboards today and discovered I shan't need to buy bleach, window cleaner, TCP, disinfectant for several months, if not years.
Glad to hear that your ZD is flourishing - hardy beasts, they are.

zephyr said...

Gah!
Guilt!!!
i just keep moving the stacks...

Marcheline said...

If I could show you my wee firepit on the patio right now, you'd see it's piled high with black ash.... from exactly the same cleanout you've described! 8-) Good for you, don't you feel lighter now?

Ginnie said...

Excellent! Maybe this will propel me to start decluttering and organizing my files.

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