Well, as you might have guessed, I didn't go straight on to clothes. I took a look in the wardrobe and decided I should focus on slightly more limited challenges first (there's no way the wardrobe is a potential quick win to boost morale!). So I thought a good followup to magazines and catalogues would be paperwork. You know what I mean - all the important paper that you really have to keep. Not junk at all, right?
Wrong. Because if you're anything like me, not only do you have the current important piece of paper (statement, policy, receipt, whatever), but you also have last year's, and the year before, and probably several years before that as well. To compound matters, I have five places in three different rooms where I keep said paperwork. Not without any system, I should add - roughly correlated with when I started to keep that particular type of paperwork and how regularly I access it now. But certainly not straightforward enough to make putting new papers away a quick and easy task, which only adds to the piles of stuff sitting around.
Here are some of the things I pulled out and got rid of:
● several years of expired home and car insurance policy documents
● letters reminding me of long-gone medical appointments
● notices about long-expired savings rates (5.1%, imagine!)
● a paper TV licence from five years ago
● the sale paperwork from my Stalybridge house (sold in 2008)
● insurance paperwork from my car crash eight years ago (even the legal firm said they would get rid of the file after seven)
● notices about pensions I have transferred out of
● minutes from a church committee I used to be on (not my current church)
This list goes on, and there are more files I probably should throw away, but I'm not quite ready to let go of some things yet. Later on in this process I'll look back and have another go at getting rid. Already it feels cathartic to have got this far. It'll be interesting to see what happens when I move on from 'throw away' to 'give away', which is what I plan to do next.