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Tonight I did some cleaning – I know you ask why clean when I could be celebrating the new year?

Well, I was at work and I was caught up with my work so I looked around and saw boxes of stuff sitting there that have been there for a long time. So I started going through the boxes and found a lot of stuff.

Fortunately most of that stuff, some dating back to the last century – sounds old doesn’t it – was of such importance that I filed it in File 13. (That’s the trash can - or more importantly the recycle bin.)

I got to thinking – why do we make a folder for a piece of paper with two words “call Bob” on it and label the folder “possible story?”

Or why we keep notes from meetings that happened three years ago and all of those policies have now been replaced by other policies.

Why do we keep four copies of a handout from a meeting with advertising when one copy is plenty.

I found a box filled with notebooks left by a former employee who left us in 2008. Why didn’t she dump the stuff when she left?

Why do we keep copies of resumes from applicants in 2006 in folders labeled “maybe” or “worth pursuing” or more telling “turned us down.”

The simple answer is we are pack rats to some degree and think we have to keep it because we may need it again soon.

My goal this new year is to clean out all these folders filled with important information, promising only to keep the REALLY important papers. Maybe even learn to throw things away – or better yet put them in the recycle bin – as soon as I get finished with it.

If it is important enough to keep, I will find a place for it in a folder labeled “Very important, don’t throw away, may look at it again in a year or so.”