Papers laid out on a tableHow much hard copy / print do you keep?

Over the years I have developed a sophisticated, creative and comprehensive filing system, fairly impenetrable to anyone else. And now, fairly inaccessible to me.

A major weeding project is underway. The Bank sends out print statements, but all the information is available online, equally so with utility and tax bills. Do I need to keep them? Clearly there is a need to keep legal documents but what else?

There are those useful scraps of paper you keep in case you need them, catalogues, programmes of forthcoming events, holiday information and the occasional personal letter and postcard. These don’t file easily, so there they sit.

Besides my confusion, the main downside of this is that many of the papers need shredding. I am a self-confessed abuser of shredders and have just finished off my third. So confidential papers sit, waiting their fate, in a big blue bag for easy identification.

Papers that cannot be discarded are now decanted to the dining room table. Most are now sorted and classified and ready to be filed, but they remain where they are because nowadays I prefer things to be in the open where I can find them easily. If my dad were alive now, he would be saying ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’.

I’m no longer sure what that place should be. Maybe the traditional filing system is old-fashioned. Do we need to keep so much paper?

What do other people do?


Mobile Geriatrics, Wendy and Roger Pepper gave excellent talk at the U3A in Harborne this week. Wendy is partially sighted and the story of their travels is fascinating especially of them of them skiing together. Their blog is worth a look. /

Reading on Kindle, The Gauguin Connection by Estelle Ryan, free on Kindle. Amusing, easy read, detective story about autistic art investigator Genevieve Lenard.



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13 Responses to Filing

  1. Nordie says:

    I have the advantage (ahem) of confidential shredders at work, so dump old stuff there. Anything to do with the mortgage, I keep. From a computer company standpoint we have to keep PAYE records etc for 7 years so that might be a guide for you.

    If you’re up for it, try and get online for as much as poss (banking, water etc) and go paperless – but only if you’re up for it!

  2. char1990 says:

    I am a huge fan of letter writing and write once a week to both sets of grandparents (one set calls a DVD a VDV, so FB or email is a no-go). I also love my diary, paper, files, notebooks, and pens. in addition to this, I’m over-organised which leads to many scrambled post-its and scribbles on the back of used envelopes. So I have many files for many different things and (sadly) I love organising it all, sorting it all and labelling it all. x

    • What an interesting response..thank you. Keep up the good work! I can’t see well enough to read most hand written letters now but I love getting them. I have learned to use basic technology so that I can still communicate with friends and family. It’s always fun to share texts and emails with my grandchildren.

  3. Oh the paper! It banks on horizontal surfaces around here until I fire up the CCTV and sort. I try to use online options, too. Other things get filed in my filing cabinet filled with colored folders neatly marked with thick, black marker. There are some days I just want to burn it. Everything digital, I say. And, I love writing and receiving mail from friends, but it takes more time so I have to choose wisely.

  4. I like the idea of different coloured folders. I do use cast quantities of black pens! Much as o love hand written correspondence I am so glad to have digital facilities!

  5. Off topic, but have you watched The Bletchley Circle tv series?

  6. Some episodes…would like to catch up with it. And I’ve even visited Bletchley Park twice and seen the Enigma Macine! Fascinating. Amazing that noone talked about it iand it stayed a secret all those years. What do you think of it?

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