How to Get Buried in Paper

  1. Always be in a hurry.
  2. Open all your mail in a different place every day.
  3. Look through all your papers very quickly (just to see what’s there).
  4. Keep everything “for now.”
  5. Separate mail into categories, then put it all back together and place it on a flat surface (until you can get around to it again).
  6. Do not put papers away — you may forget what you have.
  7. Do not set any time aside to do paperwork.
  8. Have a tiny trash container that you can’t reach.
  9. Keep any files you might have in overstuffed drawers and inconvenient places.
  10. Have file cabinets that tip over easily and file drawers that only open partially.
  11. Make sure anything you do label is hard to read, or don’t label at all.
  12. When guests are coming to visit, quickly toss all papers into a bag or box and hide it.
  13. Enjoy the lack of paper clutter for a moment.
  14. Try to forget about the “hidden paper.” Ignore twinges of discomfort.
  15. Accept clutter as a permanent part of your environment.

The practice of the above behavior is guaranteed to:

  • Promote chaos
  • Annoy and frustrate others
  • Maintain your feelings of helplessness
  • Help you deny you are feeling out-of-control
  • Cause you to collect signs and sayings that defend messiness

Ready to dig out? Let’s take a look at How to Get Your Paper Under Control.

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Florence Feldman

Florence Feldman has lived through a lot of different situations, from finding herself an overwhelmed single mom at 28 to caregiving for her mother with dementia for 6 years to surviving cancer. Florence learned to organize to survive. Along the way, she became a professional organizing consultant, and for more than 30 years has been helping others get unstuck and find freedom. At the ripe young age of 68, she produced an award-winning documentary that has offered encouragement to hundreds of caregivers. Florence has also been speaking for most of her adult life, delighting audiences by dealing with deep and sensitive topics with humor and candor.

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