I recently moved offices at work, and that involved a whole heck of a lot of random papers. I tried to do some sorting and throwing away and recycling before I packed, but I ran out of time and ended up dumping things in boxes instead. So, once I moved into my new space, I was determined not to just dump those piles of paper right into new spaces. No, I was going to sort and clean and let it go.
And it feels good, when I finish going through a stack and have maybe a fifth of what I started with. There's a part of me that hesitates, because what if I just happen to need those notes from 2011 in a month or two? But I reassure myself that I will not need them, because I will not remember them, and I probably wouldn't be able to find or read them anyway.
Okay, that's not super reassuring. But it got me through the piles.
Of course, there are some things that I kept. I can't let go of everything, that's just not me. I kept meeting agendas, print outs from trainings that I'd taken and a few other odds and ends that I found interesting. I had to go through every sheet of paper because if there's certain identifying information on them, then they have to go in the burn bin rather than recycling or trash, and in the course of that I did find some funny stuff.
An old print out of staff from another department actually had a picture of someone who recently came back to the office in my own department, and I had to share that with them. Old training agendas, to be compared to new training agendas and then tossed.
It got easier to toss things as I went along. I got into the swing of things. I still have a ton of geegaws that I have a hard time parting with, but they are, at least, discreetly hidden away. For the most part, anyway. Held on to in case of need or want... And yet, somehow, I rarely ever find myself needing or wanting them.