Much Ado About Paper

Much Ado About Paper

When it comes to housing the paper trail of our lives, we’d much rather watch it burn.

Paper rules a lot of the space we have in our homes. Bookshelves, drawers, side tables, closets, desks, etc.

Maybe I’m speaking for myself, but there’s a reason why I keep all the paper I have in a box on the top shelf of my closet. I don’t want to see it, touch it, smell it… whatever. I want it out of sight all the time.

So, when we started talking about radically downsizing, paper was bound to come up at some point. What do we do with it all? There are some items we don’t want to toss, like yearbooks and certificates we’ve both received. But what about all the notes we’ve taken and medical records we’ve kept? What happens to those things?

office space
Image source: Basement Gallery; Text edits: Canva

An Epson DS-30 is what happens.

Yep, we decided to digitally scan all of our important documents. When we’re done, we’ll recycle/destroy what we don’t need and file away the rest. Because, let’s face it, we can’t get out that easily. We’ll have to store a few things and probably “leave them with mom” so to speak. But we may literally have to leave some things with our mothers.

Why the Epson DS-30? For starters, it’s tiny.

epson scanner
Epson DS-30 Color Portable Scanner

Tiny means less to carry around and less weight to worry about. Blame it on our hiker nature. 

And it does the job just fine for our purposes.

But this isn’t a review for Epson, this is to show you another way we are serious about downsizing and removing clutter from our lives.

Jeremy and I had different lives with different needs before we got married, but somehow we both have a ton of paper. I blame it on the military.*

We each had a box or two with all our documents: yearbook albums, old school journals, new school journals, assorted pictures, and notes. While some of this is completely unnecessary to keep around, other documents, like for tax purposes, need to be held onto. But a backed up digital record of such documents, may come in handy down the line. Plus, the only space they take up is virtual.

I don’t know how often you digitize paper, but it can be pretty fun. And most of what I’ve been able to scan in and save has shortly made its way to the recycle bin, which feels good. Slowly, but surely, we’re making progress.

This post is meant to be short and sweet. But before I let you go think about all the loose paper in your lives, think about the loose paper in your lives.

If you don’t feel the need to spend time going through all of it, at least take a peak.

Personally, I enjoyed making my way through the paper jungle. I ended up finding an old journal I had from 3rd grade. 3rd grade! If I didn’t have so much fun reading my dad’s old elementary school journals, I may not find myself being so sentimental about the thing. After all, one can only spell skool wrong so many times until it isn’t cute anymore.

But I do love reading my dad’s thoughts as a youngster and laughing at him and his younger brain. I think I’ll hang onto it and give my kids the same opportunity.

mel's journal
Wiser beyond my years, circa 3rd grade

*Joking, thank you for your service, babe, and anyone else who has served our country. I am deeply grateful.