Monday, February 18, 2013

Decluttering question - what about random flyers, catalogues, etc.?

A quick question for anyone who cares to offer any suggestions.  While clearing the Table of Doom is progressing nicely, I do have a small amount of stuff that so far I have been sort of moving around on the table and reaching underneath to get at more easily dealable with stuff.  I'd be interested to hear how people manage dealing with flyers, catalogues, business cards and that kind of thing.  For example, I went to a talk by one of the last remaining survivors of Hiroshima a couple of years ago - it was very interesting and I came away with a sheaf of information.  Now, some of that has been ruthlessly culled but there are one or two bits that I would like to hold on to.  I have a flyer for a DJ that I met at a friend's a couple of years ago as well - he doesn't have a website but he was really interesting and plays old-time music - I don't have much call for a  DJ but I'd like to hold on to it, because you never know (I find myself wondering if I fancied him at the time but I think I probably would have remembered that).  I have a catalogue from Manufactum, one of my favourite shops, even if I can rarely afford to shop there.  I love to browse through that catalogue though, planning my future house etc., etc.  I have been strong and dumped all the old Ikea catalogues but there will still be one or two that I prefer to hold on to.  Or there are flyers I've picked up for potential day trips or interesting exhibitions.

But these things are a bit messy and don't fit in any one area of filing.  I'm not sure about just shoving them into a box because that seems to be a recipe for collecting a load of stuff you never look at again.  So I'm curious to know how others deal with this kind of thing.

I also wanted to mention a blog that I came across yesterday, Our Freaking Budget.  I did have to laugh about the post on Inbox Zero: How to whip your emails into shape, though.  Johnny starts off explaining the Zero Inbox concept with this:
"Think about your real mailbox. You know, the one you where you get your real-life mail delivered. Do you just leave stuff in there? Do you look at junk mail from Publisher’s Clearinghouse and then just leave it there? Do you open bills, read them, put them back in their envelope, draw a yellow star on it, and then put it back in the mailbox? No."

Now, the reason this was funny to me is because I sometimes do leave stuff in my postbox.  If I open it up and the only thing in it is, for example, the weekly local paper, I know I don't have time to read it and don't want to add to the pile of stuff in my apartment, I have to admit that I've left it there for up to a week at a time.  And then, of course, even if I do take stuff upstairs, after a long time of not dealing with anything beyond the very urgent, what you end up with is a Table of Doom. Yes, this is my real-life equivalent of the virtual mess that is my email inbox.  I can laugh about  it now because I very nearly have the backlog cleared and have been dealing properly with stuff as it arrives pretty consistently this year so far.  Long may it continue.  But I'm kind of glad I hadn't read this post while still in the throes of depression and not coping with anything, I think. It's nice when things come into your life at the time you need them/are able to deal with them.


Dani said...

I try and refuse any kind of pamphlet / flyer. Reckon if it made enough of an impression on me, then I'll Google it later. You have to be tough to be kind (to the trees) :)

But - here's a thought - if you find that there's particular info you want to keep, why no get a hardcover book - the one with the alphabet. Enter in the name of the company / person, with a brief description and contact details, and toss the flyers into recycling - now LOL

And carry that hardcover book with you - that way you'll not be tempted to pick up a flyer on the spur of the moment just so that you can get the contact info.

Fiona said...

I struggle with random brochures/pamphlets etc. too. I try my best to save contact details to my phone's "Notepad", rather than taking the brochure.

Another strategy: David Allen in his book, "How to Get Things Done" suggests keeping a "Someday/Maybe" file, for projects you might do in the future. I keep mine in a standard A4 lever arch with tab dividers for each topic.

This would be perfect for things like "Future House"; "Future Study" (maybe the Hiroshima info could go there?), "Event Planning" (DJ info?) etc.

Sounds like the Table of Doom is coming along well!

Anonymous said...

I like the other commenters idea for a hardcover book. I never thought of that one. What I do is I have 2 file folders one for things like menus and fliers that I think I might use in the future and one for business cards. As for catalogs, I have a magazine rack and I only put into it catalogs I feel that I may order something from in the next 6 months. All the other junk mail stuff goes immediately into the recycle bin. I think your decluttering sounds like it is really going well. I have some things I should get cleared out but I am just not ready to tackle it just yet. Your blog is inspiring me to at least think about it, lol.

Moonwaves said...

Thanks for your comments - they've given me some food for thought. I was waiting for a tram the other day and as it was cold and it wasn't due for 7 minutes, I wandered into the department store I was near. And I saw a lovely, cute (that word should always set off alarm bells!) little accordion file that would actually be perfect for flyers. But at 20!!! euro, it wasn't too difficult to leave it where it was. It did remind me that I have an accordion file that isn't fully in use though, so I will use that as a temporary measure to allow me to move on in the meantime. Funny that I hadn't thought about it as it's not that easy to get accordion files here and I had just made a note in my diary a few days ago to pick up a couple of them to use in work when I'm back in Ireland in April. I'm getting close to finishing the table of doom now, it's getting exciting to be nearly at the finish line!

Anonymous said...

The accordion file is a great idea! I hope it works out. Good job with the table of doom. :)