Friday, July 22, 2005

Mothers Tell Your Children ...

... not to do what I have done



What I have done is to keep adding to my monumental stash of records — not musical records either. Paper records. Years and years of records. Silly records.


The photo shows three bags of shredding, but it doesn't show that there have been other bags, and it doesn't show that there have been boxes upon boxes of other paper that have been or will be put out for recycling. This is in addition to the paper that we parted with last September. We have shredded the more sensitive material this time around, and the rest just goes into boxes. Come garbage collection day, we have been filling up the curbside for weeks now, and this week will be no different.


We have found records that date back more than thirty years. Just today, for example, I found my copy of an income tax return from 1970.


Tell me why I or anyone needs a record dating back ten years to show that our previous automobile was then insured. Tell me why I have kept paperwork establishing the fact that the auto previous to that was insured over fifteen years ago. It gets worse. I found insurance records going back three cars ... and then four!


That's correct! I have in front of me, proof that our 1976 Torino was insured with the Canadian Commerce Insurance Company in 1980. Isn't that special?


It's a fine and even a recommended idea to keep important record, like income tax, for seven to ten years (just in case you understand), but this is ridiculous, doncha know.


It all has to be sorted and discarded by someone eventually. Either you or your scions will have to face the task. So, don't do what I have done and keep stuffing papers here, there, and everywhere for decade upon decade. Just don't do it. And tell your children about this as well. Tell them not to do what I have done.


 

13 comments:

blue2go said...

A good point, I have old financial records too. You've given me inspiration to sort and discard the unnecessary ones, thanks! Although it will be a work in progress, going to take some time to go through all my paperwork....

Heather said...

Your children will thank you! I know, because I had to sort through mountains of stuff when my dad died.

And yet, I seem to be doing the same thing to my kids... hmmm... perhaps it's time to get my act together.

-epm said...

The important thing is you admitted you had a problem and got help. That's the first step on the path of recovery.

Remember: packratitis is a disease, not a choice.

My name is Eric, and I'm a pack rat.

Rainypete said...

I'm forever pestering the wife to shred and discard old papers. She's still got stuff from high school and her copies of her university applications. I don't think they'll ever call and demand them to be produced lest they revoke her degree. She'd be happy to know she's not alone.

Karla said...

Oh my! That's some intense filing you must have done.Just trying to imagine the filing system for all those records blows my mind. At least I can envision you being extremely well organized. I have oodles and oodles of bills marked "paid" scattered everywhere that really should be at least filed in a folder or something....
Would you believe it just occured to me that I'm not sure if I even filed my pink little drivers insurance paper in my wallet. Oye! Better check that one. It was mailed in May.

So thanks for the advice. Got any now on how to actually stay organized? ;-)

Gina said...

Why do we feel compelled to keep bits of paper around the house?

Hubba-hubba is actually pretty good about tossing stuff. But my mom is a complete disaster. She cannot bear to throw newspapers away for fear that there will be something in there she needs to reference. My sister and I have already agreed that going through their stuff is going to be a nightmare.

swamp4me said...

AC, I laughed until I cried reading this. We just went through much the same thing. Would you like to know how much we spent on electricity in July of 1980? Perhaps you would be interested in knowing that our long-dead pets did indeed have their rabies shots back in the late 70s...

mrhaney said...

well you are not the only one doing this. as far as paperwork goes i do not throw any thing away. i have gor 30 gallon trash bags in the back room just filled with stuff. i thought when i retired i would have time to go through it. well i am retired and i still have no time to do it.

Keith, RN said...

I may be something of an electronic pack-rat, myself. My wife too. Our "sent items" folder in Outlook Express has thousands of emails stored in it. I categorize and arrange the folders on my desktop often. Will anyone ever be interested in our sent emails? I think not. They are so elusive--why not let them go? (But I may need that email someday, I ponder.....)

Dale said...

I'm like Keith. I have folders in Outlook Express for all my friends. Even one called "Blogmates." It's silly, I know. But I hate deleting something someone's given me. I may need an external HD for email messages! LOL!!

Christi said...

That's what I like about being forced to move so often. I can't keep all of my stuff! I have to look through it every time, and get rid of stuff. Also, being forced to downsize greatly helped a LOT!

Judy said...

My mother told me not to, but I did it anyway.

This summer I did condense all of my kids old school papers into one file drawer. I had a great time reading all of their old 'book day' books that they wrote themselves, and the art work was especially fun. I saved a sampling from each, and tossed everything else.

It helps that I have a dumpster I can use.

(one of my son's stories had page after page about how he 'licked' the monkeys at the zoo. - glad i was with him, to know that he LIKED them!)

Sue said...

Oh, me too. Actually moving house (and moving country, even more) does force a little rationalisation. But still it's so easy to collect paperwork forever. We finally got the financial stuff organised: in folders by year, after we do the taxes for theat year, then they can be discarded about 8 years later to make room for a new one. But that still leaves the memorabilia, the boys' first attempts at writing (and second, and third...), letters from 20 years ago which I haven't looked at in 20 years...