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Step 2 Stop Creating a life that you need a vacation from

Posted by Chris Greten on

Taming the paper giant westboundsoap

Amazing photography courtesy of Glenn Noble

As promised yesterday, I would like to share some of the steps we are taking as we map out our plan to move west, closer to our kids. We are on a 5 year plan and when it is time to leave, I want to have everything taken care of and be ready to go. At this point the dream is to get in the car and drive off into the sunset throwing our hats in the air as we leave Chicago. So that means no moving truck! I have not officially done the math but I am estimating that the items we end wanting to keep will cost more money to ship across the country than to replace when we get there. So the plan is to replace most items when we get there. Time will tell on that but for now that is the theory I am going with.


So what does that look like? We have a rather small car, a Chevy HHR, and everything we plan on taking must fit in there and perhaps a small trailer to pull behind. As I look at my current surroundings you would die laughing if you saw all we had right now and you would agree that we have a long way to go! Currently I am working very hard to tame the paper giant in this household. Married for 29 years we have accumulated a lot of stuff and I do mean a lot of stuff! As I looked around I realized quickly the sheer volume of paper in our house seems to be the biggest problem to start with. We are going through our books and deciding what we really want to keep. This is a difficult and slow process as Joe is an avid reader and it is hard for him to part with books. We have gotten rid of several bookcases full already but we still have 3 full bookcases to go through. Thankfully I don’t have many but I do have some cookbooks and recipes. I am going to go through those choose what I absolutely need and scan those with my scansnap. This whole scanning process has been a life saver for me and you can read all about that here. One good thing is neither of us have subscribed to any magazines until now! I did just sign up for a subscription to Clean Eating magazine but I do intend to tear the magazine apart and scan it all in so that I have it saved on my computer and the cloud for easy access but do not have to keep the physical magazine.


The other thing I have to tackle is years and years of tax receipts for past businesses along with the regular household bills, receipts and statements. And when I say years and years’ worth I mean like 29 years’ worth! So again, same thing I am scanning away and shredding as I go. I am determining what I need to keep and what can just be shredded. It is a freeing thing indeed as you see piles and folders and boxes decreasing!


The final thing I have to get rid of would be all our photographs. Again, thanks to my amazing scanner I can scan them and save them in multiple places and get rid of the actual photos themselves. Not saying that part will be easy to actually throw them out but that is the goal. So that sums up how I am handling the largest amount of our current possessions PAPER. Tomorrow I will tell you about the next step! Leave me a comment as to what you are downsizing, I can use all the tips I can get!

Click to read how to stop creating a life that you need a vacation form Part 1

Click here to read how to go paperless


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2 comments

  • I feel your husband’s pain about parting with well loved books. I bought a kindle a few years ago to help with my book addiction. Sounds like you have a good plan in place!

    Marilyn Schendel on
  • I’m starting in on the same things. I can feel for your hubby. I’m also a book collector, especially since I homeschooled our sons. I’m done with that now, and I’ve decided to let many of the books go. It’s very painful. Having a Kindle has been good. I don’t like to read off of it as much as a book, but it eliminates the paper. I’ve also cleaned out all of my craft supplies, getting rid of what I’m not, never or ever will use. I’m ashamed of the pile sitting in my basement right now. Tomorrow I’m having a sale for these two things and I hope my prices are attractive enough to make it all move.

    Ann on

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