Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a twenty-something male is living on his own and is pretty bad when it comes to basic life skills like maintaining one’s files and/or opening mail. The mail all goes into a pile on the young man’s desk. When the desk starts to overflow, the mail (most of it unopened) all goes into a box that can be safely hidden away until a vague, unspecified future date when the young man “will get around to it.”
The idea was that I needed a paper shredder because I was getting roughly a hundred pre-approved credit card applications a week and I knew that if I threw them out, anyone willing to root around in my trash could sign up for a shiny Capital One card with a low APR of only 23%. This might sound paranoid but for the fact that I have literally had to chase someone out of my trash bin who was rooting through my discarded stuff.
So all those Capital One offers went into the box. And I was also vaguely uncertain about how long I needed to store my pay stubs, so those all went into the box too. And since I wasn’t sorting my mail, it all went into the box. My bank statements went in as well, and the bills, and the student loan stuff . . .
And of course, I was paying my loans online and doing my banking online and paying the bills online, so there really wasn’t a need for any of that paper. I didn’t want to throw it out though, so into the box it went.
I asked for (and received!) a paper shredder for Christmas and armed with this fearsome tool of whirling blades and gnashing teeth, I resolved to finally get through my box. I hauled it out into the living room and proceeded to open and then shred roughly three years of statements, applications, and other junk.
I hauled away four full trash bags of shredded paper that day. My only regret is that I didn’t take a picture of the before and after.
Now? Now there is a trim little file folder on my desk. My important documents are in there. Everything else goes right into the shredder, instead of a box.
Is this what growing up feels like?