What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

– three-ring binders

on March 28, 2015

You know this plot. You have papers. Maybe you’ll look at them again someday. Anyway, it took so much work (or cost so much, or seemed so important to someone) to create or acquire them that, obviously, they must be kept! So you punch three little holes through every sheet and snap them into a binder. Ah, what a feeling! You’re organized! Satisfied, you slide the book you just made onto a shelf (or close it up in a file drawer, or balance it on top of a pile because your shelves and file drawers are full).

[Three, four, or more years go by.]

You notice the binder, open it to check what’s in it, snort, “Well, that’s useless now,” and dump the contents in a recycling bin.

But what to do with the binder?

Shrugging, you stick it in a storage cabinet with the collection of other three-ring binders that have been emptied and kept against the possibility you’ll need a binder someday.

[Three or four more years pass.]


You open the cabinet and a dozen or twenty binders fall out, smearing you with dust on their way to the floor. “Huh,” you think, “are they breeding in there?”

[In fact, they are. Having recognized that the waning of modernity could make them, if not endangered, at least into little more than museum objects, three-ring binders have committed themselves to a population growth program that should, by 2035, make them one of the dominant species on the planet.]

You gather up the pile and take them to a thrift store. After all, someone always needs a three-ring binder, right?

shedding style: give away
destination: Goodwill

Comments welcome … are we bound by our binders? Shall we set the captives free?


4 responses to “– three-ring binders

  1. Omg this post is so on point! I am definitely guilty of keeping binders for the future day that I absolutely need to organize and file papers. That day has never come. So now I have binders…along with packs and packs of tab separator sets and plastic sheet pockets that I haven’t used or looked for in over a decade. They absolutely need to go!

  2. Ours tend to have two rings (a European sub-species?), but the principle is the same!

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