The Amazing Power of Shredding

Empower word cloud with abstract backgroundShredding is empowering.


I’ve been doing a lot of paper shredding in the past few weeks (my shredder’s message screen lights up with “overheat” if I go at it too intensely, so I have to spread the process out). I’m finding my spirits are lightening and I’m feeling more and more energized as the paper piles go down.

For those of you who aren’t aware, in early 2009 I moved into my parents’ home, anticipating that I would be caregiving for my mother, who wasn’t able to live alone anymore. I found myself shoehorning my own belongings (including a lot of paper) into an already-full apartment, although she wound up going into a nursing home, instead.

Since my parents’ deaths four years ago, I have been gradually — as time and emotional attachments permitted — sorting and shedding belongings. Until this winter, the shedding hadn’t included shredding.

This winter I tackled the papers, theirs and mine. While keeping all that is necessary (sorted and filed instead of piled haphazardly – and oh, how I love my new filing system!), there was still a LOT that could go. Letting go of all that paper, and the mental and emotional baggage that accompanied it, has been a freeing experience.

In a way, this can apply to the writing process, too. Not just in shredding many extraneous copies of various drafts (which I’ve been doing – I do keep every draft in a computer file, though). Sometimes there is a phrase, or paragraph, or whole section of a manuscript that you just love, but you know it isn’t serving the story. It’s hard to excise that piece of writing, but if you can do it, you can free the thoughts that want to be expressed and find the words and phrases that will do them justice.

In my storage room and in my writing, I need to shred the things that aren’t needed anymore, to make space for new things to flourish. By doing so, I’m finding empowerment, and I’m being energized. I want that kind of empowerment for you, as well.

I did an internet search just using the words paper declutter empower – it’s amazing the number of hits I found. A few of the articles particularly resonated with me. They may do so with you as well. Note that these links do not imply endorsement of the websites, just appreciation for the words of the post.

From Lisa Sharp’s website Clear Calm Space, Your Clutter is Keeping You From a Life You Love.

From Third Mountain, a post about the way decluttering can be energizing.

And a post by Rachel Papworth of Green and Tidy, on the Women Unlimited Worldwide site.


Have you ever felt empowered or energized by clearing out the old to make way for the new?


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Empowerment through paper shredding? Learn more from @BethStilborn’s blog.

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