Organizing is a process, not a single step. This theory does not exclude we organizers. Quickly after I reveal to someone my chosen profession, I'm usually asked, "How organized are your files?" Because of purges like the one I did over the weekend, I can confidently say, "Very. I walk the walk." To walk the walk and live as an example to my clients, I have to put in the work. Just like you, my expired coupons, old statements, faded article tear-outs, and useless warranties don't march themselves into the recycling bin. This weekend I went to file something and cringed a bit at my small, but growing stack of un-filed papers sitting on top of my file cart. An otherwise lazy Sunday afternoon abruptly turned into an impromptu organizing session with myself.
Time spent: 1 hr 45 minutes. Folders eliminated: 6.
This is a process that I typically do about twice per year. It is not scheduled, rather, I act swiftly when the burning urge hits. Perhaps you can't relate if your love affair with sorting paper hasn't brought you to make a career of it, so I strongly recommend you DO schedule in a purge at least twice per year. Put it on your calendar and set a reminder.
It wasn't an entertaining afternoon, nor an overwhelmingly satisfying one. In the end, my stack of trash pictured here was only a couple inches high. I share this peek into my closet to admit that it takes significant time and focus for me to stay organized. My clients feel better when I tell them that I have paper too and it gets messy too. Remember this the next time you look at your files and think it's time to tear through them. We, the ones who agree that life is better with less, are all in this together.
Do you feel bit more motivated now to dig into your files? How satisfying (or unsatisfying) is it when you get around to doing the work? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!