Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dealing with Paper

What home improvement project would be complete without at least one major disagreement?  We had ours yesterday.

My husband has always had a reputation for keeping a lot of paper.  It’s mostly in piles in his office and he knows where everything is.  But the painting project has forced the issue of cleaning up, of moving the piles.

Yesterday as he started to deal with all that paper, I walked in to find him loading up a box with the intent of taking it to the basement.  I remembered all my recent work to purge the basement of unnecessary things and all the shelf space I had freed up in doing so.  And without a civil word or even a question I started lambasting him about filling up all those shelves with the paper from his office.

After he had caught his breath and realized what had just happened, he got angry and said many of the same things he always says in these kinds of fights.  Meanwhile he told me his intention had been to put only 2 boxes in the basement (how did he come up with that number?) and I said that if he had told me that initially there wouldn’t have been a problem.  But it was far too late for this kind of logical thinking.  So we sparred silently for the rest of the day.

Neither of us wanted to go to bed mad about something we really needed to work on together, so we finally made up and came up with a plan around midnight.  He recognizes his own disdain for sorting and categorizing paper and my skill for doing just that.  We agreed that I would be more than just the one holding the open garbage bag and loading up the boxes.  In the meantime, he agreed to bring back the one box stashed in the basement so I could go through and weed out what was unnecessary.

So today I purged about 2/3 of the paper in those old tax folders and he got to review what I was throwing out, for the most part agreeing with it.  We bought 30 economy storage boxes at Office Depot.  We will slowly move ahead with this paperwork reduction effort so that the painters will be able to get into his office and slap paint on the walls.  For the most part we are a good team, but we sometimes come at things from different directions.


Blogger Cyndy said...

So you're estimating that after your 2/3 reduction rate, all of it will fit in 30 boxes? That sounds like my husband, except that yours knows where all his stuff is.

Yesterday I finished washing and organizing Doug's extensive tupperware collection, which made him extremely nervous and agitated. But it all fits into "only" three drawers now. I'm glad you all are developing a system to deal with all that paper.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Merle Sneed said...

All the paper in my life will fit into a cereal box.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Cyndy -- The 30 boxes are mainly for holding things like the books we have to take off the shelves temporarily while the painting happens. I'm hoping many of them can be flattened and stored in the attic for the next time we paint/move, which may not be in my lifetime!

The goal for his office is ultimately to reduce the piles to the point where everything fits nicely and we can once again see the beautiful wood surfaces!

8:10 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Cyndy -- That's some Tupperware collection. Can all of those pieces be used safely in a microwave?

Merle -- You are obviously NOT my husband. But congrats to you!

8:11 AM  
Blogger lacochran said...

Good for you! I'm lucky that my hubby and I have similar styles of collecting and disposing. We generally can't get rid of things fast enough!

Now my office at work is another story entirely. There I have lots of piles. They'll go when I leave.

2:03 PM  

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