Less is More…

Less is More…

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. What a morning. I was looking for a particular document that I need for something important, and was suddenly taken by a bright idea. Say this out loud, in a spiffing accent: “By Jingo! I’ve got it!! Let’s take this opportunity of sitting around, convalescing, to sort through some of the mountains, folders and boxes of paperwork that abound here”.

4 hours later, still haven’t found the paperwork I was looking for, but have found electric bills, phone bills, council tax bills, water bills, gas bills and bank statements (for banks I don’t even have an account with any longer!) dating back to 2003. No wonder all the drawers and shelves are rammed full!

Am I the only one who thinks we have to hang onto every shred of evidence that we’ve been invoiced and paid in full? I mean, last month, or the month before, or even the month before that, I could support. But 20 years worth? And the more you keep the longer it takes to rifle through it all to find what you need!

I’ve had a think about why I do this. Combination job…

  • Self-employed, so you are told to keep EVERY receipt.
  • Crafter. You-never-know-when-you-might-need-it syndrome
  • Control. Innate fear of losing an important document. So keep EVERYTHING; throw NOTHING away.
  • Age. The older you get, the more paperwork comes your way! And it’s all so important looking!

The thing is, not only am I now staring at my Paper mountain; I’m also having to deal with my Parents’ Paper mountain.

Enough is enough !! It can’t be healthy or wholesome living in a house stacked out with old and obsolete paperwork. I’m not a hoarder, but I clearly have issues around this. So this is going to change, by Jove! (again, said in a spiffing dialect). Shredder ordered, (a skip would probably come in handy too!). The time is NOW. While I have still got time and the inclination.

Who knows – I may even get brave, and tackle the CD mountain too! We don’t even have a CD player!! Please tell me I’m not alone!

Paul is taking over here now…

It is that time of the week where we shine a light on another of Barb’s favourite designs – Mel’s Floral Friends. To celebrate 30 years of all things Clarity, these Favourite Designs usually come with 30% off, plus Club Discounts until next Tuesday. But since this week falls in our Half price Members’ Sale, we thought we’d raise the bar, and of course go to 50%. Just this week. For club members AND non-club members.

Available as Fresh Cut Dies with ii Book

3 Way Overlay Stamps

5×5 Stencils

and finally A6sq Groovi plates

Here is some inspiration from the Design Team

Back to Barb…

Quote of the day?

Less is More

This applies to so much! I’m definitely a minimalist when it comes to artwork. Do like white space. But I also think it applies in the home, don’t you? Time to have a little Spring Clean. I know, I know. Slowly does it.

Love always,

Barb x x x

59 thoughts on “Less is More…

  1. I feel your pain Barb. I too have mountains of paperwork to sort but I’m a bit like a Scarlett O’Hara ‘tomorrow is another day’.

  2. I’m with you totally Barbara, I was always told you should keep at least 7 years of bank statements in case you ever needed to challenge anything, same goes with receipts. Consequence as you also have is mountains of obsolete paperwork. Shredder doesnt work so have resorted to burning it, however incinerator now has gone to the great incinerator in the sky and I’m left with bags of sorted bank stuff that I dont want people getting hold of personal info so what to do with it? Will need to sort ASAP. X

    1. I tear mine in half and put it in the compost bin. It vanishes remarkably quickly and I have lovely compost! I think the worms secretly read my old bank statements I only tear it in half so it fits!

  3. I totally empathise. 40 plus years in the same house! We are both hoarders. It’s one of those will get round to it sometime! Happy shredding.

  4. What are you like! Sounds like you’ve done more than enough for a good while and it’s to put your feet up with an cuppa and cuddle a cat or two.

    It’s very good news that you are feeling creative again and in the mood to sort things out….but slowly hey? It can be hard to stop especially when you are used to being so very busy but now is the time to look after you a bit.
    Dave, Paul and the team at Clarity have your back.

    The Floral Friends are just lovely, I have so many of them.

    Hope your Mum is taking care too.
    Sending hugs.
    Love, Linda x

  5. Just remember the motor part of the shredder gets hot and needs a rest every so often. A bit like us really. Glad to see you are getting better though.

  6. I am sorting through mountains of paperwork and sorting cupboards drawers etc.
    My husband has now had to go into care and I cannot believe the stuff that has to be sorted( plus being a crafter I confess I have taken over a lot of space.)
    So it’s my mission to sort out the house also it keeps me busy and takes my mind of the guilt I feel for not being able to look after my lovely husband anymore. Was suppose to retire as well but have decided I need to work to keep me going .
    Take care Barbara and don’t do to much . X

  7. Happy shredding Barb.
    I had a great clear out when we moved 8 years ago. Then a load of paperwork accumulated again. The filing cabinet overflowed. So 2 years ago I cleared out anything older than 3 years plus current year. Now once a year I get rid of the oldest paperwork to make room for the next lot. Apparently businesses should keep 6 years and personal files 3 years or so I was told.
    I have 2 shredders so that when one overheats I can use the other one as once I get in the flow I don’t want to have to stop or I won’t get going again.
    Take your time as the task can be boring and tiring so a little each day will soon get the job done.
    Tina’s flower dies make adorable quick cards and I am amazed by the artwork above.
    I have done some more browsing this morning and have placed another order – naughty me!!!!!
    Travel gently, it looks like you are going in the right direction.

  8. Hi Barbara
    I hate paperwork so I’m very good at shredding stuff. Every January I shred one years worth of paperwork. My mates think I’ve got OCD, I don’t like mess tidy house tidy mind. So I’m all for clearing out. Not sure about the CDs though I love music when mum passed I kept hers as well I now have 18 Daniel O’Donnell CDs 🤷‍♀️ When Jackie’s dad passed we inherited his jazz album collection and now we have a dedicated room for music we listen often and remember. Keep at the paperwork 🤣
    Love Ruth and Jackie xx

  9. I totally empathise. I keep 2 years worth of paperwork and got rid of the rest – so therapeutic! I also have CDs and DVDs when I have a player for neither so you are not alone. I am in the middle of a slow spring clean; I keep getting sidetracked by crafty projects but it will get done.
    Have a relaxing afternoon.
    Zara xx

  10. By Jove I hear you!! In 2014 we moved to Wales (we intended it to be a permanent move but it turned out to be temporary). We rented our house out to friends. I seemed to spend months and months sorting out stuff and throwing stuff out from 30+ years of marriage. I felt liberated and swore never to get into such a state with paperwork again. We moved back 3 years later (long story!) and there were boxes that had been packed up for the move, that came back with us….still packed and never opened in 3 years. Absolutely ridiculous! It’s my husband though…..not me of course!!! Happy Shredding!!

  11. ha ha join the club i now put everything on my computer scanned and sorted when ive done that save it to external hard drive, papers, saved nice background papers and no clog and if computer goes down as mine did once all safe on hard drive

  12. You are not alone. Hope you’ve ordered an industrial shredder. I wish I
    had as mine has so much to cope with it overheats really quickly. It’s fine when cools down but once I start get on a roll and forget it can’t cope with overload. Still will get there eventually. I do now shred recent stuff first and work backwards. So eventually will be up to date, maybe next year. Hadn’t thought of burning though,as suggested by Julie,so may look at incinerator later. Take care not to overdo it xx

  13. We are just the same. Getting rid of dvds at the moment as we no longer have a player but have 2 cabinets full! Also paperwork mountain is calling but I don’t like heights lol. Great thing to keep you occupied while convalescing though. Take care xx

  14. I know that feeling have loads of bank statements etc then there is the pile of bits of. Paper. That Might come in handy. Trouble is it takes so much of precious time that could be used to make cards !!!!! In fact I will use one of the dies to send to a friend in hospital. Don’t do too much you need to be fit for May. Xxxxxx

  15. Tell me about it, I’ve got some shredding sat here and keep putting it off so the noise doesn’t upset the cats 🤦‍♀️ But wait for it …. Just ordered travel insurance for hubby and I’ve said no paper keep t online so why do I have the biggest urge to print some of it off !! Just in case ! It’s a nightmare really. They say to keep bank statements for 7 years don’t they ?

    It paid off once when I was thinking of a new sofa because of cat damage – was looking through to see when we bought the last one and found I’d taken out insurance on it which covered pet damage – I was about 3 weeks before it ran out ! That was a lucky miracle !

    Keep at it, it’s therapeutic ….. well, some of the time ! X

  16. You are not alone Barbara ! I think I am addicted to paper .Little note books ,inky scraps ,blank preused envelopes ,pretty cardboard boxes ! Then all that paperwork ,yes I was self employed and felt I had to keep everything just in case .I do have a new bigger shredder now and need to get it to work more .The shredded paper its self is pretty cool ,I wonder how I could use that ……….

  17. Hello Barbara
    Had to sort all our paper chaos out in the end we used a paper shredding company they were very good, all we had to do was bag it up into strong black bags and it was picked up to be shredded, well worth it xx

  18. Oh my, I hate mountains of paper. I have to file it away in folders all labeled and in alphabetical order. I do keep too much though. I even considered going self employed as a paperwork tidier. My sister throws her paperwork into a big trunk – blew my tidy slightly OCD mind. Or am I a typical Virgo.

    Can’t craft unless my space is tidy either, after each card I have to tidy up and start all over again,

    So pleased you are feeling of spring cleaning or tidying, Don’t overdo it though!

    Can’t wait to see any new designs you have been working on. So glad you are continuing to recover.

    Take care!

  19. My paperwork mountain is not helped by one of my other hobbies – family tree research. I add it to the computer file, but tend to keep the paper versions too, in case the computer files get corrupted, as well as copying it all to dvd and external hard drives. As for my household paperwork, every so often I fill the incinerator, but not often enough. xxx Maggie Craner (Silver crafter)

  20. I hear you loud and clear Barbara and no, you are most certainly not alone!
    My own official paperwork ‘stuff’ isn’t too bad (could be better though), but purchase receipts – terrible – not to mention the cds and dvds and a craft supply mountain 🙄
    I also have a veritable mountain of parental files. How about documents going back to the 1970s!!! If there’s one thing worse than sorting one’s own papers it’s sorting others’
    Please don’t overdo it. Stay on the road to full recovery.

  21. Tell me about it, it is an on going task. I tend to keep a couple of years worth of documents but my files are full again and the drawer is bursting at the seams…..
    It’s another job to add to my to do list……
    Be careful not to over do it Barbara, little steps.
    Take care.

  22. Why is it the piece of paper we are looking for seems to have disappeared into a big black hole yet we can find paper that is of no consequence & we wonder why we kept it in the first place.
    Hope you find the document you need – it will be in some very safe place !!
    Don’t forget to have a rest every so often – a bit like a piece of parchment !! Steady does it xx

  23. Just finished my mum and dads. Bought a beautiful archive folder. Label everything as required and sorted all paperwork into it. Shredded everything else.
    Only took a month.
    Unfortunately my deceased mother in law’s paperwork is still in our attic.
    Cd not a problem but crafting cd roms and dvds are as I don’t have a computer just an iPad. Seems such a shame to get rid. But you always feel better afterwards. Honest .

  24. You are certainly not alone with this. I do think it will get better in time though as everything can usually be accessed on line nowadays. It is a pain getting rid of the shredded stuff as well though. Love all the design teams artwork – there is certainly plenty of inspiration there. Gently does it xxx

  25. Happy shredding Barbara. Just a word of warning, read the instructions which come with your shredder as they will tell you how long you can run it for each session without burning out the motor. I used to work in a stationers & we had countless customers trying to return a shredder as it was ‘broken’ when they had run it for too long trying to clear a backlog of paperwork ( sound familiar?) Needless to say they hadn’t read the instructions because any fool can work a shredder!?🤔🤔

  26. I am just the same but did have a go before I was due to have an operation just over 2 years ago. Back to how it was now though and being retired doesn’t mean I have more time !!!!
    You sound so much better Barbara and you must be feeling it too – hence the clear out. But no hurry. Like dust …. it will still be there !!!

  27. Just the same here! One use for the shredded paper if you are a gardener is to add it in to the composter with all your grass clippings etc, makes wonderful compost. Cautionary tale …. after we moved here we shredded all the old documents etc that had not seen the light of day for 20 years, this will never be needed we said. Then came the day when I needed to change my driving licence, “they” needed a copy of my decree absolute from 25 years previous, what didnt I have? Took ages to sort out as the solicitor who dealt with it had died, all his paperwork over a certain age had been shredded too. Good news that you feel up to sorting out!

  28. It’s one of the jobs I did during lockdown. Wage slips back to 1985. Manuals for appliances long gone, receipts for things long ago gone to the tip. If felt great to sort it all out. I have kept all
    My P60s as we discovered one of my husbands employers hadn’t paid his contributions to HMRC but managed to get it sorted before he got his pension. I don’t think that will happen to me since I have only worked for the government in the forces and the civil service but taking no chances. I can’t say the same thing about all the just in case things in my craft room they are still hiding in there somewhere

  29. Every time this happens to me, I swear that I will be more organised and not let it happen again.
    The road to chaos is paved with good intentions!
    Say no more; I am a crafter. XX

  30. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who keeps everything! My mum died last year and I have been plodding through the paperwork and shredding it! It is very tiring and time consuming! I don’t know how many bins have been filled as shredded paper seems to take more room that just throwing the originals in the bin! However, it has been interesting to see how much things cost over the years. Once I have recovered, i need to do mine! Might have more room in the cupboards then! Haha.
    Take care Barbara. Don’t over do it. Don’t want to see you back in hospital!
    Less is certainly more!
    Ooh I’m the same with cds too! The only wayI can listen to them now is on a portable CD player!!! Haha.

  31. I sorted all our paperwork in 2020.Rather morbidly decided everything had to be in order in case Covid got us.
    Since then I have tried to keep on top of it with a sort through every few months.
    Good luck with your mountain but think of all that extra drawer space. x x

  32. No Barbara you are not alone. During Covid I went through all my paperwork and shredded years. I think we probably all keep too much. I only keep two years now and so at the start of a new year I get rid of what I don’t need. Getting bills etc online keeps the paperwork to a minimum but you have to be diligent and file it on the computer so you can find it if necessary.
    Good luck with shredding it all but think of how many empty drawers you will have!! xxx

  33. I am a terrible hoarder too. I have a pair of scissors that have 5 blades so I tear off any personal information and cut it into tiny diamond pieces, bin that and put the rest in the recycling. I tend to do it while I am watching tv in the evening.
    Love and hugs

  34. You are not alone our shredder packed up just as we were getting into a good stride. So Amazon to the rescue next day delivery we managed to shred loads realising that you have to keep all business accounts etc for seven years it was time to say goodbye to years of business records! Such a lovely feeling of space and order. But don’t do too much! X

  35. Hi Barbara, I’m so glad to see that you’re home and feeling better, even if you are little overwhelmed with paperwork.
    You are definitely not alone! I staged my own intervention when I could no longer fit all the bills, bank statements and important papers into the massive filing cabinet I had for that purpose. I even found a shoe box stuffed with till receipts! I mean, what was I thinking?!?
    I’m pretty sure my logic for keeping them was the same as yours. For over a month last year, I shredded papers every evening, until the shredder overheated and cut out (about an hour) and I felt so much better. Easier to keep on top of too.
    Ask me to do the same sort out and get rid with my crafting stash however…. not a chance!!!
    Look after yourself and take it easy.
    H x

  36. You are not alone, we have years of paperwork to sort, trying to slowly work my way through it. Take time and look after yourself. Love Sue x

  37. Oh my goodness Barb, you have just described the unhealthy relationship that I also have with paperwork! I have had a burning bin at the ready, at the bottom of the garden for 2 years now and still I haven’t tackled the mountain, which is more like the Himalayas!!

  38. LOL! You are no different from the rest of us Barb we are all guilty of keeping old paperwork and many, many other items that really should have been disposed of (just in case). I do hope you find your paperwork after all this effort.

  39. My thoughts exactly Barbara. But now I see my family take a photo of a cheque and it’s paid in! In my day the accountant wanted every cheque book and paying in book stub!! Maybe the accountant won’t charge as much now??? Doubt that very much. Time to pay somebody else to do the so called paper work perhaps? I’ve had more than enough of it for sure!
    I like hard copies but I’m over ruled time and again.
    So good that you feel inspired Barbara, but, slowly, rest a while too. Keep safe.x

  40. Good luck with your sorting! I tried shredding mine but it isn’t allowed in our recycling bins so still stuck with it unless I add it to the compost bin. I don’t bother to shred now, I just tear in half and put it in with all the food peelings etc. It vanishes in no time. Just continue to take things very slowly!

  41. Hi Barb, shredding is one of the most therapeutic things you can do very similar to clearing out the closets or that kitchen drawer where the “allsorts” live. It seems to also clear out the mind. My husband is a constant shredder. He is obsessed with the thought that our identities will be stolen if every piece of paper isn’t shredded.

    Ask St Anthony to help you find your missing paperwork – works for me every time.

    Take care,

  42. Oh you are so not the only one, Barb! We’ve been having a paper clear-out over the past few months – it’s very therapeutic! My shredded paper does into the compost bin, so I feel doubly virtuous 😇🤣

  43. I seem to think that credit card sellers can present payment up to 8 years. So I keep these for that reason and to my benefit it turns out, as I had someone in Italy to present a bill to my credit card company some 5 years after I had been in the shop. As I had my bills I could prove it was the exact amount, that I had paid it and it was fraudulent activity. The money was paid back to me and I assumed they dealt with the business. So it does pay to keep the correct paperwork sometimes.

  44. Just take care that you don’t burn out the motor in your new shredder. It can happen very easily if you’re dealing with mountains of paper. How do you know that? I hear you ask!!

  45. We scan all our documents onto the computer, but I still have the urge to keep hard copies. Good luck with the clear out xxx

  46. I’ve also been told to keep bank statements and other important documents for 10 years and so my cupboards were full of files and folders with all sorts of paperwork for years! Then after the flood in the Summer of 2021 in Germany my flat had to be completely refurbished and now that I finally get my new furniture next time I go back I will have a mountain of files, documents, CDs, DVDs , books etc through. Mind you, this will give me the opportunity to have a good clear out and declutter. Oh dear, I think I’ve still have got salary slips from when I was working over here in the UK in the late 70s.
    Anyway, good luck with your clear out, Barbara xxx

  47. Hello Barbara, good to know I am not alone in the mountain of paperwork … We moved after 25 years last year, but due to a slipped disc I couldn’t actually move my neck for 7 weeks, so all good intentions of sorting it all didn’t happen and it was all packed and moved with us. Am tackling a little every so often now but I’d much rather be crafting especially as I finally have a craft room waiting for me once everything is declutterd. CDs you say? … what about cassette tapes from my love lorn teen years ie 1983 sitting for hours recording fave songs from the radio, all greeting cards from age 13, till receipts etc & paperwork from the 90’s, not to mention all the VHS cassettes of TV programmes and my beloved collection of Disney films from when my son was a baby… yes I still have a cassette player, a video and cd player too 😅 We will get there one day, slow and steady , pacing ourselves to make sure you keep continuing to get well. Hopefully you’ll find your paperwork and I’ll find my folder with all my Groovi Tuesday and the SHAC doodles I managed to do… Much love and gentle hugs, Nahid xXx 🦋💕
    So many beautiful samples and inspiration for me to use my die and groovi plates from this collection 👌🏼🥰

  48. Getting rid of just ‘stuff’ you no longer need is good for the soul …
    have you ever needed any of those receipts? I think not . Clearing out leaves space for things which are of real value to you

  49. Hi Barbara. Oh yes, guilty too on that one! However, we seriously downsized house last year now the 4 Children have left the nest. we had MOUNTAINS of ‘Stuff’ So, anything that we wanted to keep my husband scanned it. We are now totally digital, so no more paper piling up! Also, he realised that evrytime he moved house over the years he had taken a pile of his old rugby shirts with him. Did he ever wear them, no. Did he ever look at them no. Only when he moved. So, we took photos of them and then threw them away. We have now done that with all the memories that we wanted to keep but never looked at. It’s been an amazing declutter! – Good luck!

  50. Barbara, there with you on “storing important paperwork” over the years. Then, realising the “mountain” must be shredded and disposed of! I got a bit fed up with the time it took to shred, the noise of the shredder, but most importantly, the time it took! Also, there is only so much composting I can do, and the local recycling doesn’t accept shredded paper! So now I use an ID protection stamp, a little ink filled roller that overprints the personal information, and the paper goes straight into the recycling without the need to shred! Job done! The really important paperwork is carefully filed away, which will prove useful in a couple of months when I have to change my trusty old paper driving licence for another piece of plastic because I will reach the milestone of “three score and ten”! Apparently I need photo ID to prove who I am!
    My CD collection (we’ll over 1000!) has been digitised into MP3 files and stored on pocket sized players and memory sticks! My music is always with me!

  51. I hear you with the paperwork. I used to keep everything but I sat myself down and found out what I did need to keep and did my own rule of thumb for that. I always kept all my utility bills, but now it’s all done online. My wage slips I kept for 5 years then each year end shredded the oldest and put the newest in.

  52. Hi Barbara
    Glad you are feeling a bit better and able to sort ‘stuff’ out. Reading the comments we seem to be all in the same boat and in the same age bracket with talk about VHS, CD’s and DVD’s. Dave and I had to upgrade our Computer and guess what this new one doesn’t have a CD player in it – no longer available-? I was told to download my family CD’s from my camcorder onto a memory stick, I also cannot get my VHS/CD recorder to play on our new Smart TV. I’m not a happy bunny. We take the shreddies up to the allotment to compost. Love the inspiration today Barbara I have bought in the sale and have set the sky box to record Paul this week. Lots of love Janet xx

  53. Hello Barb, Oh boy do I know what you mean, we have now twice (or is it 3 times), used the services of a secure shredding company, max number of bags each time! Now try keep on top of it with a big almost office size shredder (named after a breed of dog). We also did a CD cleanout a couple of years ago when we redecorated the front room, but nobody wants them or videos or DVDs anymore. We kept some special ones. Love the design of the week, but as I have just splurged on the members sales, am meant to be sitting on my hands. Well that may change during the week! The samples are so lovely. Great quote as always. Take care and stay safe everyone. Bx

  54. Hi Barb. Hope you and Dave have a wonderful day at the garden party. l would have gone for the 3rd. Wishing you a speedy but relaxed recovery, you have been through so much. You have my heartfelt best wishes. l received my club plate this morning and read your letter. Well l can only be honest and say that it made me cry. l know l am soppy but you really can’t help it can you. wishing you and all your family, not forgetting all the hard working people that you have working with you and for you all the very best for the future. with love xxx

  55. Great minds think alike
    I sat yesterday shredding old banking stuff took me two days as I had to let the shredder cool down a few times lol 😆
    CD collection maybe but I do have a player
    My DVD Collection is being slowly edited down too.
    Sitting here looking around my room. Wow I’m definitely not minimalist.
    You take things slowly and. Don’t forget to listen to your body xx

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