Chaos theory

The fight against entropy is an uphill battle. Especially in a print shop.

In an attempt to be a responsible manufacturer, I try not to waste anything, which really means that nothing is thrown away (to the great delight of some unnamed god of clutter). There are piles of over-printed projects kept for sample requests, small but usable cutting scraps, boxes and packing materials from supplier shipments, little puddles of custom ink colors that are too good to throw away, a mess of scrap paper notes-to-self, plus the ordinary print shop ephemera of swatch books, reference books, art supplies, tools, boxes of finished cards in inventory, plus thousands and thousands of sheets of paper and envelopes.

It's a tricky thing keeping it all organized. And case in point, we don't.

This week I reached my breaking point. I stopped all work (because I could barely think with all the clutter) and started an all day venture into spring cleaning.

Looking at a four foot high pile of corrugated cardboard, I caved and brought half it it down to the recycling dumpster. Same with boxes that just weren't good enough for re-use. Three wax paper sheets dotted with months of various saved inks finally found their way into the garbage.

The most noticeable success so far was the complete re-organization of the swatch book, catalog and reference bookcase which had previously been stuffed seven ways to Sunday with duplicates, random business cards and other ephemera, and not at all prettily.

There are miles to go before we sleep, but I can see the bottom of the shelves once more, and that has made all the difference.

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