The chemical weapons stockpile has been stored at Pine Bluff Arsenal since the 1940’s.The disposal of the ton containers at the PBCDF is the final campaign of the chemical weapons disposal mission. via KAIT-8.

Seventy years of stockpiled chemicals. Do governments ever throw anything away? The human gathering and storing instincts pop up in the strangest places.

Like my office. I started, um, reignited, my declutter mission, attacking the piles of paper so that FlyLady would be proud of me. I have to stop at times to let the shredder cool off. That’s when I hear all the precious sheets of deadwood declare their essentiality to my well-being. And who knows, but that tomorrow, or maybe even in an hour’s time, I may need the information or the proof of purchase that little square holds? Parting is painful sorrow.

Joy in Tanzania is cheering me, and millions others, on to greater heights of simplicity. I confessed, when she asked yesterday, to being a pile-shifter. But isn’t that what corners and cubbies are for, to safeguard sliding columns of yellowed paper?

The office curtains are permanently closed, the door locked. I tell people it’s to keep salesmen and thieves away, but actually I’m hiding from the local firemen, to avoid their pontifications about fire hazards and requirements to purchase 37 fire extinguishers, one for every dozen piles of stuff and each row of books.

As to what makes up those piles, the contents on those papers, we won’t even go there. Suffice it to say that not every I-dot or T-cross have yet been properly registered in my mind, files, or inner sanctum. They are silent, patient waiters, ready for service at my beck and search.

But they’re traitors, too. They multiply faster than rabbits, collect dust mites and other crawlies, slide in a long, slow collapse at inopportune moments, and whisper to visitors that I’m an unproductive slob.

So before they crowd me out of my own space, get me fired, or infect me with some tropical disease, I’m determined to get rid of them. Well, two of them anyway.

This is absolutely a doable task. After all, if the government can eliminate 70-year-old mustard gas, I can shred a couple sheets of paper from 1985.

3 thoughts on “Decluttering, the US government and I

  1. Randal, let me know how the office decluttering goes. The thing about it is – no one can do it for you, because it’s impossible to know what should be kept and what can be safely thrown away. So, have fun! 🙂

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