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Information overload?

Information overload?

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Information overload?

Susan Anderson

Let me say up front…I’m not a hoarder. I like a clean, organized environment. Unfortunately, it takes much dedication on my part to get even a portion of my life to a clean and organized state.

For example, there is a 3-inch high paper heap on the dining table. Another 4-inch mini mountain on the floor. All preserved because they are oh, so important.

Whenever I read something particularly pertinent to our lives, the article is cut out and saved. The problem is I have nowhere to store it.

That’s how the piles get so large. There is valuable information in those mounds of…important stuff.

Some documents are in pdf form, which is a great digital way to conserve beneficial items. The difficulty is the large and numerous archives currently in my computer. It’s like getting new shoes which end up in the cluttered closet. Even though my intention is to wear them soon, if I can’t see them, I won’t remember.

I’ll probably be wearing a different size before I find them again. And those saved pdfs - even if I save them to my frequently viewed desktop, it won’t help. My desktop is too chaotic.

Many emails are valuable references for family history and genealogy. But seriously, I get lost considering in which file to save new – and indispensable! – reference materials. It’s the “indispensable” part that causes me great anguish.

Sad to say (because I know the likelihood of ever viewing them again is slim), I’ve maintained many pieces useful for reference.

Today I received my second voluminous packet from AARP, proposing some Medicare part something in which I should enroll. Recognizing it as identical to an item previously received, I can surely toss one. Especially if I’ll never get around to reading the original.

Weekly magazines in the Sunday paper almost always include something of value. A half dozen appealing clipped recipes reside under refrigerator magnets. If they stay long enough, can I just consider them decorations? The bright colors do enliven the kitchen.

In one magazine was printed suggestions for improving brain function. It remained on the coffee table to re-read occasionally. It doesn’t help that it’s been there so long it’s part of the background, unnoticed. However, if I put it in a stack, I certainly won’t recall it. So much for better brain function.

At one time I determined to get organized. A three-ring binder with sections was the key. It included a reference section, one for household. Another part included ideas for outings (distressingly doubtful during the pandemic). One partition included hints for hobbies or social activities. It seemed like effective storage for planning and getting my life in order.

Then I couldn’t find it.

Hence all the piles of documents.

The silver lining to all this? When I do get around to clearing things out, I’ll find many expired or outdated materials. This makes tossing out relatively painless since I’m no longer committed.

This procrastination method makes me certain to get a little closer to clean and organized!

Susan Anderson lives in Opelika with her husband. Contact her at

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