The Territorial Dispatch
March 5, 1997
We Travel With Too Much
It took a whole month...
and if you've ever seen my office you'd wonder how it could
happen is just a month. But I managed to get everything
together into piles and boxes and get it all into our
utility trailer. Now it needs sorted and dealt with.
A lot of it is business
records and a lot of it is personal stuff that I managed to
collect over the years we were in the shop. Many folks had
(have) disparaging remarks about the accumulation that seems
to accompany me, but I don't mind it. I don't think you can
be creative without things to look at and wonder about. And
if you hang on to them until you firm up new ideas you get
from such things you are bound to become surrounded with
I have become quite used
to people who piously comment on the 'mess' I have made of
my existence and how they could not bear being anything but
meticulously tidy. For the most part I like my mess and I no
longer feel put down when such comments are made but rather
suggest that if they seek neatness they really should be
However, I realize that
my new lifestyle is going to require considerable downsizing
of my clutter. There simply is not room in my fifth wheel to
retain all the neat stuff I have collected. To start out my
'sort and pitch' process I, a year or more ago, got a
booklet called 99 ways to manage paperwork.
The 14 page booklet is
divided into sections such as sorting, tossing, arranging,
filing, etc. The 'tips' are brief and to the point and
numbered continuously from 1 to 99 in the margins of each
The suggestions are
really good, easy to follow and make sense... at least as
far as I read... when I got the book... a year or so ago...
before it got misplaced.
When I found it recently,
under a stack of papers, it was opened to pages 3 and 4 with
tips 9 through 26 showing. That's probably all the further I
got reading it.
I don't know how it got
beneath a pile of stuff, but it apparently got tossed from
there into a box of papers I felt were 'current' because it
turned up again today as I sorted through some papers to
sift out what might be urgent.
I like the attitude of
the booklet's author, Odette Pollar, because she doesn't
suggest blatantly throwing everything out in handfuls as
others around me have suggested, but rather suggests a quick
sort to identify anything of historical value. She also lets
you feel that it is okay to scan and quickly decide what
reading items you may have to sort. Of course, I know I
cannot read everything in detail but I could quickly scan
things and if there is pertinent information I can quickly
input thoughts into my computer for later reference.
We plan to travel quite a
bit, living full-time in our fifth wheel so a computer is
essential for recording reference material or idea
And just in case, I think
I'll hang onto the little booklet on managing paperwork. I
can probably apply some of the thoughts to non-paper items I
have accumulated as well... such as pens, pencils and
markers. I love 'em! I could never have too many... the
funny thing is that I do almost all the writing or drawing I
do on my computer. I rarely need pencils and markers any
more and only use a pen when I am writing checks or making
But I'm going to try...
to unclutter my life... to set myself free of keepsakes and
treasures... to crop the photograph of my existence
eliminating the background and focusing on the
Quote of the Week:
Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.
Nothing ain't worth nothing... but it's Free...
&emdash;from Me, and Bobby McGee.