Decrease Clutter: Why I spent Saturday shredding

Photo by finchlake2000

Saturday I invited my friend, Linda, to come and help me clear mail, files, and clutter from my office. One of my goals for this year was to organize my office and rid myself of clutter. I work a lot of hours but I find it hard to be motivated to sort mail, throw things away, and keep on top of the incoming information.

Ask for help

Finally, I decided that I could not do this alone and no one in my house was likely to lend a hand. Linda has 30 years in various roles in the telecommunications industry, including keeping a sales staff organized. I knew that she would be able to help me wade through the accumulated piles and keep the momentum going.

Attack with single-minded focus

We attacked one area at a time, starting with the top of what really is my deck table, which needs to go back outside if the temperature ever stays above 50F. I was working the shredder and reviewing what Linda had put in the shredding box. The shredder jammed intermittently and I was constantly repairing it until I figured out that teeth are missing on the left side but if you shred on the right side, it works just fine.

When the shredder filled up, I took the basket full outside to the compost bins and added it to the working bin. I read an e-list message from another career professional that his soil has turned to great looking rich, black soil through adding his shredded paper to the pile. I delivered about 10 baskets to the pile.

It took us until about 9 at night but we cleared a mountain of files and paperwork away even getting into the stored boxes in the closet.

I can see clearly now!

Walking into my office today is much more welcoming! When you let yourself get overwhelmed by a project, you need to ask for help. Asking Linda to come over made the task go quicker, made me see things in a different light, and resulted in progress I would not have made on my own. Sometimes you just need a partner to help you get back on track!


  1. Melissa Cooley on May 2, 2011 at 9:08 am

    So true, Julie — some tasks can be too much for a person to take on alone, and including someone who has a qualified outside perspective can be such a big help! That “do it alone” mindset that creeps in, however, can be hard to overcome.

    • Julie Walraven on May 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      True enough, Melissa. I really learned to seek out experts in the last year. I have used accountants and marketing experts and many more to help me run my business in the best possible way. That outside perspective helps everyone…

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