Monday, January 26, 2009

Oh, to be more Organized!

This weekend, we moved my office to a different part of the house. It's hard to believe that four years of carefully accumulated paperwork can be boxed up (and totally jumbled) in less than 30 minutes. But it's true. It can. And it was.

So, yesterday began the long process of de-jumble-ification. At this point I have come to one conclusion: "Psychic Filing" does not work.

Psychic filing is when you can look at the mass of piled paperwork that surrounds your desk and say to yourself, "I know exactly where everything is." You get frustrated when someone (usually your spouse) asks to see a bill or receipt or God forbid! the manual for a major appliance. "You can't just ask for that!" you say, then "Give me a minute to get it, for Pete's sake!"

You focus your concentration with the skill of a trained Jedi Knight as you think back to the last time you saw the piece of paper in question.

I had it in my hand when Primo gave me his class photo. That was the day we made paper flowers in playgroup for Mother's day. Which, of course, means I had gone shoe shopping earlier in the day for sandals to go with my green dress. I used the shoebox to hold the seventeen beautiful rocks the boys picked up for me during our walk to the purple dinosaur playground, and the shoebox was... the shoebox was... Blue! Keds! I didn't find sandals, but I picked up my summer pair of Keds!

You walk over to the teetering pile of precariously piled paperwork and pull out a single sheet of paper from beneath a blue Keds box. It is the April water bill your husband just asked for.

He is mystified. And with good reason. He has just experienced the wonder of psychic filing. (And the only time it has ever worked in the history of humanity.)

Of course, any good psychic filing system is helped by bursts of cleaning, shredding, and re-piling, which can only be performed by a trained psychic filer.

It can be completely destroyed, however, by simple things:
  • a child looking for a blank piece of paper to draw on,
  • unexpected "helpful" cleaning by your mother-in-law,
  • wind,
  • or an untrained psychic filer dropping an ill-balanced piece of child's artwork onto the top of the pile causing everything to fall.

Of course, it can also be destroyed by an office move... but that goes without saying.

I wonder, as I spend hours shuffling these papers into that pile and that and that folder, whether my move from psychic filing to something more organized can ever be permanent. I usually "resolve" to get more organized and do, from about Jan 1 until March 12th or so. But this year could be different -- especially since I just moved my office and everything.

Maybe this is a brand new starting point. I hope it is. I guess only time will tell...

"What's that honey? You need the long-distance bill from July?"

Oh, brother.

- Midwest Mom


  1. LOL I thought this was my post hahahhaha I have my organized sections in the house and those less or should I say impossible to find anything :)

    You'll do it this year :)I know

  2. Yet your blog is perfectly organized! Go figure lol!

  3. Ha! Laurie, that's virtual organization!! It's not real life! :) - Julia

  4. I don't know what you're saying. Psychic filing works great for me. Of course, it often leaves me lying awake at night scanning my brain in exactly the manner you described. Maybe if I were more organized I could actually use the nighttime to sleep rather than locate.

    Great post... it had me laughing out loud.

  5. Boy, I can definitely relate - it's my mess and I control it!


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