SCRAP Step 3 — Office bits and pieces

My de-cluttering continues a day at a time and another small step towards clutter freedom.  (You can see my other blogs on this theme by clicking on “Clutter” in the TAG CLOUD).

Today I turn my attention to the top drawer of one of my office desks.    The one I can’t open without a fight.

At one time I must have been thinking of setting up a new branch of Staples the stationers, because I seem to have accumulated an awful lot of things I must have needed once.    But obviously not twice, or three times, or four times, or more.

I have five staplers and seven boxes of staples.  I think some of them came out of Christmas crackers a few years ago.     Most of the staples are the wrong size and don’t fit the stapler.    I also have three staple removers.    Gosh at one time I must have had a lot of fun with staples.    Now I need to go on a staple diet.

Then there are the hole punches, four of them.    Enough to make 10,000 holes in Blackburn Lancashire —— or bags of confetti for the next Royal wedding 😄

And pins  —- drawing pins, red round-headed pins, blue, green, yellow, white and black headed pins.    And paper clips by the box full.   And blue tack.   And  crocodile clips.   And glue in tubes and in bottles.   Oh and finally sellotape, rolls and rolls of it.    I could pin, stick, staple and clip for the European Parliament, although on second thoughts I would probably require even more pins for that !

Then I found a comb, goodness knows why it’s there since I haven’t needed a comb for years 🙂

Not quite finished yet.   I have got rulers —- several rulers, all of them in feet and inches, maybe I could export them to America?  At least somebody still uses imperial measures !

A locked combination lock, with a long forgotten combination.    Could be useful as a training aid for trainee safe-crackers.

Finally, still on my first office drawer,  I find two ivory chop sticks!   Not quite sure what they are doing there, but I think they are quite valuable, because along with a lot of writing in Chinese there is an English translation “Empress of China”.    I do not remember meeting her, perhaps it was when we had a Chinese take-away last week.

It looks like this could be another addition to the school box, although I think I’ll leave out the old comb and I still need a polite idea for the chopsticks.



There will be a copy of Walt Hopkins’ book — “Seven Ways to Lighten Your Life Before You Kick the Bucket” — for the best ideas on de-cluttering.


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15 Responses to SCRAP Step 3 — Office bits and pieces

  1. iglengel says:

    Been wanting to do what you are writing about for years, but haven’t started yet. If anything though, after following this blog, I am sure I will have a ball doing it.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • john graham says:

      The New Year would be a good time to start, but just take small steps would be my advice. Not that I am an expert in de-cluttering. If anything I am more an expert in cluttering😄
      Still let me know how you get on. Maybe you can pass on some tips to me.

      • iglengel says:

        I’ll try to let you know how I am doing. My biggest hurdle is my wife who feels everything we have has a purpose. But, every now and then, I do win and am able to get rid of some stuff. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

      • davidwfreeman237 says:

        24th December 2016, time UK 10.30. Christmas EVE- Happy Christmas

    • I like your wife’s point that everything you have has a purpose. Perhaps you could suggest that the purpose of some of those things is to give other people a chance to use them. That was one question I learned from my father: Could someone else make better use of this?

  2. Dear oh Dear!! deer John, it is as you have marked your page, punch your weight, or stapled your thoughts together, here in middle England the shortest day of the year??? as I collect my thoughts for to day at this time 07;00 it is still dark and gloomy outside, as I gaze through the window looking for that Dawn, and morning sunshine promised by the weather forecaster/persons on TV last night.
    How ever your draw is full, your comb toothless, as you put on your specs, call for your, hearing aids, grapple with your walking aid, I am munching ‘breakers’ Rice Crispy’s, and enjoying that morning cuppa.
    The glue and the paper, and the sellotape, are as you say ideal for that school box: However I am disappointed in you, and castigate you with three lashes of a wet hankie: Where oh Where are the blunt ended scissors for the children to cut into pieces/shapes, and generally have a good time both in body and mind making and creating objects of desire, within the mind eye???? shame on you sir!!!
    As to your chops sticks, with the empress of china impressed on them, well you are inviting ribald comments from me, some polite, some from an old salt.
    First the acceptable response, you must drift from the UK to Northern America, and the St Lawrence; The shipping line Canadian Pacific of long ago named their passenger boats and liners Empress- of————– ? For the Empress of China you need I am afraid a little more imagination, to travel to the orient in your wildest dreams, either by Swires ‘ CHina Steam Navigation’, or an P&O passenger boat or liner, or again the’ flicks’! and that 3d seat in the first three rows of the flea pit watching a film ‘The last Empress Of China’?
    Now for the challenge if you are up to it, the ‘Chop Sticks’ they are more than the pinched table wears from the local ‘Rising Sun restaurant,’ Are they not???? Are they not the ‘golden tongs’ in which you hold percy, and dream of all that has gone before you?????
    You should not ask me for sense, I only speak nonsense?? The dawn is breaking, a clear sky it is now 07:45 in middle England. Have a good day John.

  3. At 17:00 tonight 22 December 2016, i received a large brown envelope/package, from a deliveryman. lots of excitement, especially as it came from a friend. Inside the package there was not letters, but a book entitled ”Seven Ways to lighten your life-Before you kick the bucket”
    I am intrigued by the title and the inner scribblings of the book, which I have glanced at.
    First of all the scribblings’ as a seafarer they intrigue me, and enhance my English vernacular: however as the TV programme past with Ronnie Corbet starred in ‘Timothy’, and his stage mother saying or stating ” language Timothy”, so i must be moderate?? hopefully.
    As to the second point the book title ”Seven WAYS—————–bucket”. I brings me up with a start, and takes me back to my seafaring apprenticeship as a marine engine with BRITISH PETROLEUM, and a book of the petroleum industry worldwide issued in 1975 called ”THE SEVEN SISTERS”, so the seven ways in the latest book title bring back many memories and smiles to behold.

  4. Decluttering is an exercise, and being completed by our mutual friend, who reads the blogs, but alas afraid to comment. The lady concerns feels that I maybe you, or us as the royal ‘we’ may benefit from her collection of small bulldog clips- which have plastic references to file, collect, sell, and other titles. My thoughts is it is all ‘Bull’ to us boys? we must progress and ride out the derision by the ladies that may offer advice on ‘HOW TO DECLUTTER’, as I may say their ‘Draws’ are FULLER than ours (Briefs), literally? and maybe those full blown ‘PASSION KILLERS’ that Nora Batty made known on her washing line, in TV.s last of the Summer Wine. Another programme for us older gents, of Fools and clowns vintage.

  5. Dear WALT & George, ‘Seven ways to kick the bucket’ Well dear sirs, AMERICANS IN Europe, an intriguing read, from two older ‘Scallywags’. Your reader is the obvious audience? Or is your contained audience at one of your seminars. You both offer insights into what one may do, achieve, or wish for in later life: When one has reached the biblical age of three score years and ten?
    My personal observations are that you are addressing basically a Male audience, and again speak at some junctures in ‘Barrack room ‘humour’, or should I be saying a dedicated educated audience, and like a good opera or ballet make the naughty suggestions in haughty tones, and an educated framework of thought word and deed, to music, or in this case the spoken word.
    Never mind, my mind is broad enough to encompass your intended words. I am no prude: however I am one of 4 children, the only and eldest boy of 3 sisters, my mother and father completed the family group. Dad never used ‘barrack room language’ all though he served in the British Army in WWII, and was fairly correct, and in some cases strict to impress on me as a mere youngster and young adult, to treat all my sisters and ladies who were aunts, and neighbours with respect, and to use language and customs and manners in the way in which Mum would wish, and in later life what one would use in front of their grandchildren, our children?
    Apart from these comments I have enjoyed your written utterings. I find your mutterings informative, and addressed I believe to an adult educated/academic audience? This is at variance with my current experience in my/our retirement village scenario, where most relationships both male and female have passed that macho, and libido point , where at mid-70 years of age we are appreciative of the company of one and other freely given without any form of attachment, except for respect, to ourselves and our spouses/partners. NO Bits on the side!!
    Most of us have had a life full of worktime experiences, responsibilities, and relationships both work, private and family wise. We cannot at our age alter the finger of fate: However we can read a book like yours and take heed of one or more, or all seven choices of how to kick the bucket? Take heed of the writings and keep taking the medicine and tablets, and most of all BE OURSELVES!!!
    Dear John, comments for you and your readers, REGARDS.

    • Hello David,

      Thanks for your comments. A couple observations from my side to add to Walt’s.

      Yes, you are right. We aimed to write a book that, while not ignoring women, spoke to men at a time when most gender sensitive writing is about women’s issues. It is also the product of a decades-long close male friendship between two guys, Walt and myself. As I sat in the doctor’s waiting room yesterday, I flipped through the mags on the table and found that of the 66 items, 52 were explicitly women’s journals and the rest news or generic. Not a single item in the stacks dealing with men’s lives per se. As one who works with men’s issues yet today, I feel that it important to address the feelings of loss, grief and loneliness in aging by offering camaraderie and comfort.

      As to the occasional barracks room vocabulary… Perhaps as you say, an artistic touch, as both Walt and I love wordplay and may adopt a syllable or two of Vulgarian betimes, when it rings true to our purpose. We also realize that our audiences may have differing habits and cultural norms, but in a globalizing world we strive to both share and meet difference with curiosity and flexibility, which can replace fear with fun.

      Anyway, we are happy that you found the read stimulating enough to share your commentary and wish you the best with the hope that some of our Seven Ways increase your satisfaction with life.

      Best for the holidays!

      PS: While it was not our explicit marketing ploy, we discovered that a lot of women buy stuff written by men for men because they want to know what we are up to!

  6. Dear John,
    Somehow this got posted twice and knowing that you are deepening your expertise in decluttering, you are perhaps more savvy than I in ridding the blog of the duplicate. Thanks.

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