I just went digging through the small garbage bin below my desk and it is fascinating!
Most papers I just drop in there and they accumulate, in reverse date order. (NO food or food wrappers are allowed in this trash! My kids have finally figured out I really mean that.) I do all the family management stuff here and I pay bills here. I like to have the latest bill on hand in case I need to call and yell at someone about something. I mean, in case I need to calmly and rationally explain to a company why they are wrong and I am right. So I have a “Bill Paying System”. When I pay a new bill, I put the most recent one in an orderly pile in a specifically designated spot within the desk cupboard. I take out last month’s version of that bill, tear it in half with great ceremony, and drop it in the bin — with finesse!
So there are a lot of torn-in-half papers in there. Why don’t I do paperless billing in this modern age? I’m old fashioned, I guess. I also like to complain about discrepancies before they go down and surprisingly, there are quite a few billing issues I would not have noticed with paperless billing. Like when our ISP changed hands and those crooks tried to…. nevermind, that’s a whole ‘nother story.
I do PAY my bills online. I’m not THAT old fashioned.
So here’s a tip if you dig through someone else’s trash: don’t bother with the papers that were just dropped in there. You’re not looking for anything that is easy to find.
Go for the crumpled up ones.
Those are the doozies! The crumpled up ones are the things we’re thinking about, struggling with, trying to decide about. The things we’ve given up on — but weren’t sure we should have. Crumpled up sheets of paper are the quintessential symbols of frustration. They are the tangled synapses that fired in the wrong direction — until a new connection was made. The most telling document you will find on a person’s desk is a previously crumpled up paper that has been smoothed out.
It screams, “OK. Let’s DO this!”
So I dig a little deeper, beneath the torn papers, unused coupons, unneeded return envelopes, a candy wrapper (those kids — !!!) and of course — there it is — just what I was looking for. The crumpled up piece of paper.