One of the new target areas on my most recent "to-do" list was my bureau. Namely, the top of my bureau. Lots of stuff collects there. Come to think of it, that was the same situation with my father when I was growing up. The bureau top became quite the stuff magnet.
I started to tackle this once and for all. It's still a work in progress as I type this, mainly because it's been a careful process of sorting through it. I'm most certainly going to end up throwing away most of it, but given that some of these things include papers with bank account numbers, receipts, etc., it's worth dividing the trash into "to be shredded" and "not to be shredded" piles.
The most popular type of item was, indeed, receipts. Usually I'm very good with keeping receipts and keeping them separate. Normally I keep them in my wallet, then eventually transfer them to an envelope when my wallet gets too full. They then get transferred to their respective bank or credit card statements before being filed away with them.
Still, I managed to find 20 loose receipts on my bureau. Some of these were on my wife's credit card (she doesn't want to throw them away, but doesn't want to keep them either, so if I'm around she hands them to me). Some were just too big to fit into my wallet. Here's just some of what I found:
- 2 receipts for CVS. For those of you who don't live in a region where there's a CVS and never heard of them before, CVS is actually one of the largest drug store chains in the US, second only to Walgreen's. Growing up, my mother told me that it stood for "Convenient Variety Store", though it turns out that it's actually "Consumer Value Stores". Of course, they never use that name, and I doubt half of the CVS employees know what it stands for.
I guess I saved these for the "Extra Value Dollars" they usually print on the end of the receipts. That's their cute euphemism for "coupons". Usually when you end up buying a certain product, your coupon will be for some rival product of the same type.
I used to go there a lot, but since moving in 2010 I haven't been around a CVS, so I go elsewhere. So there's really no use for coupons or receipts like these.
- Several receipts from Daddy's Junky Music. I'll have more to say about them in a future blog post.
- Concert ticket receipts. And yes, of course they're for concerts that I already went to. The funny thing about Ticket Master is that they not only give you a printed receipt in the envelope on a sheet of paper, but an extra printed ticket that just has your name and address on it. My wife saw this in the pile I was throwing away and gasped "Don't throw out my ticket stubs!" I showed it to her and explained that it was just a receipt.
- Ski rental receipt. Now that was actually quite handy to have at the time. They put me in ski boots that were ridiculously tight, even by ski boot standards. So I went back to the lodge, showed them the receipt, and they set me up with new boots. That was a great trip. It was also about a year ago. And I have photos from the event, so I don't even need this as a souvenir.
- A sticker type of receipt that says "Nonrefundable if lost or stolen" with a bunch of numbers on it. What did this go to? I have no idea. I'm guessing maybe the lift ticket I got with the skiing trip.
- Dunkin' Donuts gift card receipt. I have $5.82 left on my card. So what? (An amusing side note: many years ago I got directions to a wedding reception. The lady who wrote the directions actually wrote one of the steps as "Turn right at the Duncan Donuts". Since when did chocolate crullers become part of a royal Scottish clan?)
- Hotel receipt. You know how they print out a full 8.5x11" sheet for this and slip it under your door before you leave? Well, you can't fit that in a wallet. But the bureau is no place for it either. Into the shredder you go.
- A printed receipt from Edible Arrangements. The person I gave the gift to got them. That was back in 2010. I could have started growing a new tree with the seeds by now.
- Optometrist visit receipt. All this really reminded me was that the bastards don't take my new eye insurance plan, when I thought they did.