My Life in Shreds: Further Adventures in Decluttering

Some papers need to be shredded, such as tax documents. I had a pile just waiting to be shredded, so I decided to take care of it today. I have a strong determination to finish this project before school starts in a week and a half. I’m looking forward to exploring new creative spaces and that can’t happen with a three inch stack of papers staring at me, glaring at me, mocking me with their existence.

I woke up today determined to take care of this task. I had a minor delay while waiting for Rick the maintenance man to come and fix a leaky faucet. He ran into a problem and had to shut the water off, so the repair took longer than planned.

After he finished, I gathered up the papers and two bags of stuff to donate. So many things! Things, things and more things!!!! I dropped off the two bags before heading over to my mom’s to use her shredder.

As I sat down in front of the shredder with my pile of papers, the memories flooded forth. My dad did my taxes; he worked for years doing people’s taxes, and had quite the gift. The first paper had his handwriting on it “file copy” two simple words, so sweet and beautiful. I looked at them, and, for a moment, contemplated keeping them. I thought about cutting them out but changed my mind. You see looking at those words didn’t bring me joy. They brought tears to my eyes and sadness to my heart.

I decided in that moment that I’d shred these papers as quickly as I could. I had a marathon shredding session. Some people keep taxes forever. Not me! I felt my dad each time a piece of paper flew through the machine. A couple of times the machine groaned and demanded that I empty it—it didn’t care for its full stomach.

Without much a flourish the machine shredded the final paper, and I sat there for a second feeling a certain state of shock. Each time Part of my clutter leaves my living space it creates a sphere of emptiness, of new found space. I can’t quite describe it, and I’ll have to say it’s not always a pleasant feeling. After all, as someone wise once said “it’s easier to have what you have than to have something new.”

But it’s the something new I’m working toward, a new and better life, filled with more joy than I’d imagined. I know I’ll get there. I don’t know when though and isn’t that the great mystery of life? Maybe I’m already there and don’t know it. Maybe you are too.

My father collected framed Disney prints, so before I left I took two of them to hang in my apt. One of them is a photo of my dad with Jessica Rabbit. It’s not my favorite but it was his, so I took that one. It’s like having a piece of him with me. I’m going to hang it in the hallway so I can look at it several times a day and smile.

Sometimes decluttering leads to letting go of the sadness to let in the joy.

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About Nancy A. Taylor

I'm a woman on a mission to create, manifest, and design the life that is perfect for me through travel, yoga, and mindful living. You can find me on facebook:
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