I spend a lot of time writing stuff down. This may explain (in part at least) my obsession with pens, pencils and all things stationery. This does not excuse however my shameful approach towards filing, or indeed ‘piling’ as I prefer to call it.There have been documentaries about my kind of problem. Hoarding papers and newspapers has been documented as being ‘Class A Crazy Old Lady’ behaviour. I like to keep a copy of articles I have written for clients or just for my own records… but, I told myself the other day as I tripped over a wonky pile of year old papers, I probably could do with having a little tidy up.
Famous last words. ‘A little tidy up’ took on epic proportions as I discovered that the wonky pile was truly just the tip of the iceberg. So I decided to ‘Do it Properly’ and actually booked off two working days just to file and chuck.
Day one I was feeling quite cheerful and positive: ‘Look at me, I am taking control of my life and my work! I shall sort out all of this old stuff and scan it and document it. And then I shall recycle it, thus saving the planet and looking super efficient all in one go. And then, and THEN my life will be perfectly organised and I shall be free of stress and everything will happen like magic’. And so I kidded myself through day one. I was slightly hampered by the non functioning of my printer-cum-scanner, but that didn’t stop me from getting shot of four big bags of paper to the recycling bins. Well done me.
Day two went the same way as day one, although it seemed to be hotter and still no functioning printer. ‘Just download the software and reload it,’ said my husband, ‘that should sort it out’. I was a little disheartened by the seemingly lack of real progress, I still couldn’t see my desk.
Day three of Project Paper Free arrived and with it came horrendous humidity, a non functioning (blatantly refusing to work, in that insolent, silent way that machines favour) printer, and the added bonus of road works outside of my house and the pressing need to stop throwing out papers and start writing articles for them! Cue full on melt down: what had I started? Yeah sure things were tidier, but I was also much angrier, and frustrated. The day passed in a fug of printer software, upgrades, downgrades, reboots, sticky heat and pressure. Surely filing shouldn’t be this difficult? What would happen if I just threw the whole lot in the bin? And just as I was seriously going to do that I spotted a vital piece of paper that lurking underneath a two year old gas bill. My daughter’s passport. Given that she was going to need that very soon for a trip to visit her grandparents, you can imagine how I felt. My heart leapt up into my mouth and I very carefully put it in a plastic wallet, filled out a filing card for it and actually popped it into the filing cabinet. This did not stop me however from being a foul mood for the rest of the day, so I would like to apologise to my nearest and dearest for being a grumpy mary: the day finished with a huge row and an enormous thunderstorm which cracked the stifling heat and drowned the printer which I had left outside in the garden in a ‘I will put this in the car later to take the computer repair shop’ kind of way. Sigh. On the upside, it is possible to see my desk now.