The fact that papers and documents which are trash should be thrown away and that good-to-have-material should be saved may sound obvious.
??However, occasionally it’s not quite that simple.
Sometimes we’ve got notes from a meeting, a few receipts or other miscellaneous notes which we probably can throw in the trash, but we’re not quite sure we really can yet. It’s unlikely, but we might still need them in the near future and then it would be nice to be able to retrieve them.??We need a retaining wastebasket, a bin with a month’s delay giving us the possibility to regret the decision to dispose of the waste.
- Get yourself two stylish boxes which can be piled one on top of the other, made of for example semi-transparent plastic. They need to pile neatly on top of each other and not just one into the other. Perhaps you need a lid between the boxes enabling one to be placed on top of the other. You will find these types of boxes in office supply stores with broader selections.
- Place one box on top of the other.
- Throw your “probably trash”-pieces of papers in the top box when you need to dispose of these.
- When the top box is full, place it under the empty box so that the empty box is now on top.
- Continue to “semi-dispose” papers into the upper box.
- When the top box is full as well, empty the bottom box, which means go though it and permanently throw the papers into the trash.
- Put the (upper) full box at the bottom again and the empty on top, and continue this “semi-dispose” routine.?
This way you will get rid of the “probably trash”-papers, but you will still have them around for a while, just in case you change your mind. How long they are retained depends on how much you “semi-dispose of”.
Digital documents in limbo
Go through the equivalent procedure with your digital documents as well:
- Create a new folder and name it “Probably trash”, “the Compost”, “the Attic” or something clever that suits you.
- In this folder, create two other folders named for example “One” and “Two”.
- Stow away the files you want to throw away with a month’s delay in the folder “One”.
- Add a recurring task in your to-do-list, that tells you to erase the files in folder “Two” and move the files in folder “One” over to folder “Two” every month.?
Now the probable trash files will be in limbo for a month before they disappear for good. Better safe than sorry.
How do you do it?
?What are your tricks to ensure that you only have the material you need around you, neither more nor less?
Please leave a comment below.