Friday, November 6, 2009

Too Much Paper

I am feeling rather overwhelmed by paper today. I meant to clean out my four drawer filing cabinet last year before I moved and didn't have time, so ended up moving the cabinet as is, fully intending to get to the job once I was settled in my new home. It is now several months later and while I continue to file things away in their proper folder now and again, mostly in the top drawer (which holds my most often referred to files, the ones for day to day mattes such as utility bills, credit card accounts, etc.), I have not yet done anything with the contents of the other three drawers.

I also moved at least 2 boxes labelled "miscellaneous paper/to be filed". I have no idea what is in those boxes and they haven't been opened for 11 months now. At this point, one would think, how important could any of that stuff actually be if I haven't missed by now? I am not actually brave enough to throw them out without looking but I am hoping it will be a fast sort and purge when I do crack them open.

In the meantime, I have continued to collect various pieces of paper and stack them up in several spots on my desk and there was even one large pile in the midst of my bead stash area.

This morning, after spending twenty minutes looking for the paperwork I needed to renew my driver's license (thinking I was going to do that today, but that was before I got to the office after it closed, not realizing they close early on Fridays), including sorting quickly through the same large pile on my desk three, count 'em three times, convinced that it had to be in that pile (but only going as far down in the pile as the stuff that has accumulated in the past 3 months, because the bottom part of the pile is older than that and it really couldn't be there), before realizing it was quite possibly to be found in the bead stash pile. Of course, I had to go through that pile twice before I found what I was looking for and that was only after having to pick up all the papers that fell on the floor when the stash tipped over. Sigh.

It was in the midst of that craziness that I thought, enough is enough. From now on, every piece of paper that comes into my home gets put away where it belongs.

So far, so good. I came home after work and filled an empty box with file folders and labelled them appropriately. Because of course, I have all the empty files and tabs on hand, ready to get organized, I just hadn't put them to use yet! I then set the timer, turned on some music and spent 30 minutes filing the bead stash pile. Most of which had nothing to with beads, by the way, although some of the papers were pattern instructions that I had downloaded or pictures of other's people's work that I find inspiring. I hope to have at least two more filing sessions over this weekend doing the same thing, which should eliminate the bulk of the piles and free up some space on my desk.

Some of the new files I created today may be duplicates of the ones already in my filing cabinet but that's okay, because I can easily merge the two files when the time comes. For the moment, the new file box is strategically placed in an easy to reach spot that I will readily use until I have more time to tackle the actual cabinet drawers. Since I'm off to Tucson next week for a PMC workshop with Kate McKinnon, I will be spending most of my free time over the next few days getting things together and packing for that trip, but suddenly, today, it seemed that even that pleasurable job could wait until the paper situation was addressed, at least on a temporary basis.

Wish me luck!

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