We recently moved. Not far, mind you; but just far enough to require a truck, a moving company, many boxes and complete upheaval of our orderly lives.
You’d think a professional organizer could handle her own move with ease. Suffice it to say, I’m as normal and human as the next person when it comes to sorting, purging and packing 18 years of life and a family of four, plus a cat and fish.
One evening after the move, in an attempt to get some boxes out of our office, my SO and I emptied the contents of the file boxes into the filing cabinets. Now we don’t do alot of paper filing anymore but we still had alot of paper files. We had already done a purge prior to packing – no need to pay to move your garbage. On this particular evening we were more concerned with freeing up floor space than ordering files so we simply emptied the boxes as they were stacked on the floor and promised ourselves to sort the files later.
That was a mistake. Fast forward four weeks and I still haven’t sorted those files. Until tonight. At some point over the past month I realized we had put the files in backward. I’m very visual and use an alpha filing system. With backward files that weren’t even in the right order, I had been completely disoriented and unable to find anything in the file drawers for many weeks.
The style of filing you use is less important than whether it works for you, it helps you store and retrieve material and you can maintain the system. My files have some colour coding and are alpha labelled and ordered. They have been like that for years and without that order I find I can’t use the system at all. The result? I have a huge pile of filing sitting in the filing bin.
I’m pleased to report that with one hour of focussed time and attention, my filing system is now back in order, sorted in the correct direction and ready for use. I’m no longer disoriented and I’m looking forward to getting the pile of filing into the cabinet where it belongs. Meanwhile, I’ve also learned that there is much, much more purging to be done. The purging will have to wait for another day.