Monday, January 11, 2010

Paper, Paper Everywhere

I have never been able to conquer the paper mess. They seem to be everywhere - on the table, on the desk, on the counter, in my purse, stuffed into my work bag.

papers to be sorted
papers to be filed
papers to be paid
papers about what I have already paid
papers to be read
papers I have already read but might want to read sometime again
papers I haven't read and probably never will but then again might someday
papers with addresses and e-mails I should use but probably won't
papers with website addresses that sound interesting but will probably never visit
papers with knitting patterns I have already made
papers with knitting patterns I would like to make
papers about meetings
papers from meetings
papers about school
papers from school
papers about great savings if only I would remember to take them to the store with me
papers about things I would like to buy but never will
papers about where the things I need to buy are the cheapest

I have read all the "organize yourself" articles, books, and websites. I probably have some of those articles laying around here somewhere. I know the "handle it once rule". I have file cabinets with hanging folders and labeled folders, alphabetized even. I have an expandable file, I have baskets on shelves, I have 3-ring binders with dividers and paper protectors. I know the "set a timer" strategy. Yet the papers remain - and more keep showing up. They haven't taken over - yet. I do not need to sign up for the crew of "Hoarders" to come to my house - yet.

The papers move frequently. They move from the table to the refrigerator, they move into the "to be filed" pile, from the kitchen to the office, out of my purse to the table, and round and round they go. When do I actually file the "to be filed" pile, another one soon mysterously takes its place.

I tell myself that I am creatively disorganized, that I can locate what I need when I need it. And I usually can. But not without first spending some time going through the things I don't need first, sometimes a long time.

The thought of sorting and organizing all these papers seems like a daunting task, yet when I think of all the time I have spent looking for a particular piece of paper, it may be one of those it pays off in the long run things. I don't want to be remembered by my boys someday by how long it took them to clean up all my papers. Is there a 12-step program for paper addicts? Maybe I'll give the "set the timer" strategy another shot.

1 comment:

  1. I hear ya! I often find myself drowning in a see of dead squashed trees. ;)