The Joy of Shredding

Real Estate Agent with The Virtual Real Estate Team 104556

Charlene and I have been working on business planning for the last month. new budgets, written core values, the creation of rules that governs the culture of our business are just a few of the things we are doing to insure 2012 will be even better. At the same time I am in the holiday spirit, and as the keeper of all the old family photographs I am categorizing them to get to a digitizer for a more permanent home to distribute to family members. Sometimes looking over the times of your life especially before your 64th birthday causes a few pangs of regret, bur during my search of the attic my attitude changed because of what I found.

In my search I found that I had saved boxes of old records, bank statements, and in the pre-online era, the checks them selves dating back to 1998. Knowing that many of these papers I don't have to keep anymore for the IRS so I set out to dispose of them, but these records you don't want to put whole in the garbage can, so I took them to The Shredder. Yes I put that in bold because I found the antidote to old painful memories and regrets, shredding!

I am like many of you, I have a hard time of letting go. When a buyers or another agent is too pushy, I get angry and have to hold myself back. When I think back to missed opportunities I want to bang my head against the wall saying how was I so blind? But holding those bank statements as they went through the shredder, not only was I emptying boxes of what I didn't need anymore, I also felt a lighter spirit inside of me, and a strange feeling started to overcome me and I had to ask myself what was this feeling? It was pleasure.

Pleasure from ridding myself of clutter, and ridding my soul of any obsession with the past. We tell our selling clients all the time, you need to declutter your home to maximize the sales potential, but are we saying this to ourselves about our own lives? I have spent a month getting ready for next year by making plans, creating flow charts, making my marketing have synergy, leveraging repeatable task for outsource, and making projections based on big dreams. That is all good stuff to do, but like a computer hard drive that is full to capacity, it just doesn't work as well. While you are preparing for the new year, think not only about what to do and how to do it, also give importance to what baggage you need to discard, both personally and professionally. For me I think like Hercules, it was his task to clean out the Augean Stables, not to put more crap into it.

FYI, my favorite tech object of this year is my industrial strength shredder, it not only shreds useless old data, it reminds me that when I wake up in the morning the past is prologue, and the future is now.


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Carlotta Remong
Berkshire Hathaway HS N.E. Prime Properties - Newport, RI

Joe getting rid of all the old bills and statements and paperwork that you don't need any more is so freeing. I need to do it more often as it piles up quite quickly and next thing you know the  clutter is back again.

Nov 20, 2011 06:52 PM #12
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Shredding is fun!  Even more hilarious is when your dog jumps into help or get your attention!  (I wrote a post about that.)

Glad you are getting in good order, with or without your canine help.

All the best, Michelle

Nov 20, 2011 07:21 PM #13
Justin Dibbs
United Real Estate - Ashburn, VA
REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale

I've had a couple of those home shredders but have always wanted to step up to the mac daddy big boy indstrial sized killer shredder.  Congrats on getting rid of some of your clutter!

Nov 20, 2011 07:37 PM #14
Joni Staples
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

Oh my gosh. I DREAD having to do this. I'm hoping I can have a huge bonfire instead!

Nov 20, 2011 10:08 PM #15
Ann Nguyen
Dickson Realty - Truckee, CA
Lake Tahoe Truckee Homes For Sale

My shredder has been working overtime & finally quitted on me. Maybe it is time to get the big industrial one :-)

Nov 20, 2011 11:30 PM #16
Anthony Daniels
Coldwell Banker - San Francisco, CA
SF Bay Area REO Specialist

Shreding documents, mountains or competitors is always a good thing.

Thanks for sharing your post.

Nov 20, 2011 11:39 PM #17
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

There is something so satisfying at shredding those piles of papers and documents!  It's such a good feeling to get organized and having less paperwork to file.

Nov 20, 2011 11:51 PM #18
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

I've begun using a shredding service and between that and using evernote to go paperless, I feel so much better about my approach to 2012.

Nov 21, 2011 12:06 AM #19
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Hi Joe--I think this is such a good reminder to people.  We set our plans for next year but are still weighed down by the baggage from previous years.  I have gotten to the point where I love getting rid of things and I love my shredder!

Nov 21, 2011 12:25 AM #20
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert

I like the big shredder box we have in our office now.  More for just clearing the clutter....I have a ways to go in my office.

Nov 21, 2011 12:34 AM #21
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I am shredding MORE and enjoying it MORE - removing staples and metal objects can be a challenge.  I want STAPLE REMOVERS this Christmas, please, Santa!

Nov 21, 2011 05:58 AM #22
Michael J. Perry
KELLER WILLIAMS Central PA East - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster Relo Specialist

I am long over do in this department !!! We've got boxes of past transactions that we just must let go of !

Nov 21, 2011 06:08 AM #23
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I need to buy a new one as the previous one did not last long.Thanks for the reminder.

Nov 21, 2011 06:13 AM #24
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

That is a huge project on my to do list for 2012 . . . 

Nov 21, 2011 07:55 AM #25
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Joe, my shredder gets a daily workout. I did the same thing a couple of years ago. Now I try to stay on top of it.

Nov 21, 2011 08:53 AM #26
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I shredded so much one day that the thing clogged and I spent two days unclogging it...its like a pet. You feed it too much and it gets sick....One snack at a time will do it..Joe

Nov 21, 2011 11:49 AM #27
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Yes, I too love using it and it gets easier the more times you do it. I hated to let go and was keeping way too much stuff. Now I scan it, if it is important.

Nov 21, 2011 11:53 AM #28
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Thanks for everyone stopping by, it has been awhile since I posted or had a featured post, and it is always gratifying to be read. The essence of the post is psycholoical rather than technical. Shredding is an exercise is realizing that we have the present under control and if we don't let go of the past in our mind or in our paper, then something is controlling us. I wish everyone a great 2012, one with health, success, and a clear mind.

Nov 21, 2011 12:14 PM #29
Brad Snyder
Sierra Vista Realty - Sierra Vista, AZ

Great post! We walk a fine line between saving important data and ending up om an episode of "hoarder's".

Nov 22, 2011 08:46 PM #30
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and that your Black Friday won't get too stressful and mess up the rest of your weekend!

Happy Black Friday!

Nov 25, 2011 10:34 AM #31
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Joe Pryor

REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties
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