I've spent a number of hours now sorting through papers, saving usable worksheets and items suitable for making lesson-appropriate copy masters, and of course in the process holding on to a quantity of items which "might come in useful." This makes for slow progress, and it feels as though I end up with nearly the same amount of stuff after I'm done that I started with.
I just, however, had a somewhat cheering thought. Our school is gradually moving toward more computerization, and finally most of the classrooms are equipped with digital projectors. What this means is, since I also have access to an electronic "Student Response System," once I get my stuff organized, and once I learn to use the Student Response System, I shall be able to scan or otherwise enter the data from all this paper and conduct many of my lessons in a paperless environment! Plus, having invested from my own pocket in typing tutor software, I hope to have the students keyboarding with sufficient proficiency that they may complete their written work on the computer.
For our handwriting practice, no joke, I started having the kids write in Moleskine kraft-paper cahiers. With fountain pens.
My cheering thought, then, is that over the next few months, I should be able to create a virtually paperless classroom system which meets the needs of "21st century digital learners" while reducing, as one of my correspondents so eloquently put it, the "Feng Shui nightmare" which currently plagues my life.