The risk in throwing things away is that you’ll wake up one morning and realize you just tossed out something you now need. In the vast majority of cases, this moment never happens and we go on with our lives with a little less crap laying around junking the place up. Some people have a harder time than others letting things go… or even just accepting that even though it’s something they very clearly remember doing that was important once upon a time, no one is ever going to need it again.
I can’t stress with enough conviction that we will never, under any conceivable circumstance, need to retrieve the office document archive from 1985. After 26 years, it’s probably safe to assume that those days when you were the young buck are well astern and you should probably just let them go instead of insisting that we hold them in our very small storage room “indefinitely.” Those boxes are more likely to fall over on some poor unsuspecting intern and kill them than they are to contain anything that anyone in the office might actually find useful.
I hate to have to be the one to bring this up, but you’re already the person in the office who keeps too many plants and too much trade show swag in your area. I’d consider it a massive personal favor if we could try to avoid you ending up on the pilot episode of Hoarders: Cubicle Farm Edition. So please, dear colleague, let it go.
Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of posts previously available on a now defunct website. They are appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.