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#1 of 4 Old 08-17-2010, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I found two boxes of old financial papers in the closet. I knew most of it could be tossed by I wanted to go through it first. It was so emotionally difficult because the papers were from a difficult time in our life when my DH was unemployed for a about a year. Financially, we went down the tubes - so many late notices, old bills from all of our infertility treatments. Plus all the evidence of things we used to have - 401Ks, rental property, vacations. I feel like that is the point that things started spinning out of control for us.

But that was almost 10 years ago and I simply have to let the papers go and the feelings go. Deep breathes.

This is why people get discouraged when they declutter - it is taking all my might not to just shove these skeletons back in the closet.

Let them sleep in the middle, Let them be little
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#2 of 4 Old 08-17-2010, 08:43 PM
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i think that part of this is really just what you look for/at when decluttering. my husband tends to read each sheet in detail, then think over it. so ti is more emotional (and takes a lot more time), than simply making a decision and then sorting.

for example, your paperwork was over 10 years old. You don't need it for tax purposes, so no need to hold onto it. in such a thing, i would have simply looked for anything legal--such as when you paid a debt that was in collections. that could easily slip into the tax records for the appropriate tax year, and the rest could be shredded.

instead of agonizing over each piece of paper, literally and emotionally, you just shred away. it makes it quick and easy.

when dealing with papers, i start with the date--how old is it? if it is very old, and obviously not necessary for legal or tax purposes, it can go right into the shredder, no need to read or look at it. just letting it go. if it is newer (within the last 7 years), it might be helpful to have for tax purposes, and so needs to be looked at and filed appropriately. then you have to pay attention to the details of it.

but otherwise, the quicker the better, and the date can help.
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#3 of 4 Old 08-17-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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It probably depends on the person and how your mind works...it's not that you are wanting to pay much attention to the detail, it's not that you are trying to take your mind back to those hard times, but if you are a sensitive individual it is very likely to happen. One moment you are briskly sorting papers, the next you are carried down memory lane...and two minutes later you find yourself frozen in the same position, clutching a piece of paper!

Yes for most of us decluttering is hard, it does take on emotional journeys, to places we don't always want to revisit.. That is one reason why many of us will avoid sorting certain things, not that we are afraid those pieces of paper might have silverfish running on them, we are afraid of the feelings they will dredge up.

Yesterday I hauled out a pile of things from my son's room to go through. I came across cards and drawings given to us when my 18 month old son was diagnosed with cancer...my mind naturally strayed then from the task I was on, and I found myself going through a rollercoaster in my mind, going back through the pain of that time. I finally managed to shake myself free of those thoughts, and move on, and get the job finished. But you know what? That emotional journey was NOT a waste of time. I felt that I tied off some uncompleted thoughts about things that happened back then, I sorted through some bad feelings about certain people in our life back then.

So decluttering is not just about the mere physical removal of things....it also about emotional purging, it is cathartic. If you allow it to, it can be good therapy!

SAHM to three
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#4 of 4 Old 08-17-2010, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it was a cathartic exercise. After I got through it I did try to put a positive spin on it and remind myself that we were on a good financial path before and we can be there again and the two kiddos snoozing on either side of me are the result of those infertility treatments.

And now those papers are gone and I don't have to go down that path again. I purged the papers and I purged the bad memories.

Let them sleep in the middle, Let them be little
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