This Saturday’s decluttering challenge is simple but it may not be easy. For today’s Send it away Saturday, can you let go of any newspaper in your space that’s older than a day?
If you only have a few newspapers lying around, that’s not too hard but if you have stacks of them waiting to be read, the challenge may feel too challenging. Older than a day? I’m going to read those newspapers!
Let’s be kind to ourselves and pick a time frame that feels reasonable. Will you save all papers from the past week? The past month? What will feel comfortable for you?
If the answer is still I want to keep them all, then pull out your calculator. I’m going to ask you to multiply the number of minutes it takes to read a newspaper by the number of newspapers you have. And then ask yourself if that’s time you’re willing to spend on out of date information? If it is, please start reading. If it’s not, please start recycling.
If you’re saving newspapers for their historical interest, it’s time to think about how often you look at them and whether it’s possible that there are other copies saved elsewhere. Do you want to continue to be the nation’s unofficial archivist, or would you be happy knowing these papers are accessible online? On some level do you feel a need to preserve history? If that’s a passion of yours and you’re creating scrapbooks that you enjoy looking at, that’s very different from a pile of disintegrating newspapers crumbling away in your basement. If you vaguely imagine yourself proudly showing them to grandchildren one day, ask yourself if all this storing is worth it for one passing ‘That’s cool!’ at best?
If you have a non-reading use for your papers like lining the bird cage, collect data for a week. How often do you change the bird cage, how many sheets of paper does that take, how many sheets of paper come with each morning delivery? This will give you a feel for how much newspaper you use in a week. Keep a little extra just for comfort’s sake and then recycle the rest happily, knowing you won’t be caught short.
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