Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Piles of Files

I am not one of those people that goes to the mailbox every day, immediately gets rid of the junk, pays the bills the day they come in and then files everything appropriately.  I wish I was.  But - alas - I am not perfect.  I don't check the mail every day because - to be quite honest - it's pretty much junk and bills.  And I know when bills are due every month and I pay them online - so I don't really see the need to actual look at the paper copy.  And I check our bank accounts several times a week online - so I don't really see the need to look carefully at our monthly statements either.

This - by itself - would not be an issue.  But the fact that I am not one of those "open the mail and immediately file it" kind of people becomes an issue when my nights are consumed by schoolwork and I just kind of put things in piles and ignore them.  And those piles have a way of multiplying when I am in class and at the library.

How?  It's a mystery.

A mystery that takes over my desk.

(Oh and this picture was taken 15 minutes into the process and at that point I had moved two piles - at least four inches high each off of the empty spot next to me desk.)

Anyhow - I decided I would take a stab at some of these piles today ... I'm almost embarrassed to show you all these pictures (Mom, maybe you shouldn't look at these).

That green file in my lap was a "to be filed" file that I started ... in September.  When it got too full to put anything else in I just started the piles.  Oy.

I found my checking account statements from an account I closed in college!!  Why do I think I need this stuff?

Ideally, I would have gone through the files and tried to make sure they were in chronological order - but I've decided to play on this newfound "I'm not perfect" revelation and just get things and the right files and be done with it.

The good news is that I once again have a floor next to my desk.  There are still some miscellaneous files that I need to deal with, but they can wait until tomorrow ... or the day after.

I'm smiling because I found the title to my car.  And my health insurance card.  And Bruce's.  (Seriously, Mom, I hope you stopped reading.)

Does anybody else out there have a hard time keeping up with the mail and all of the filing (or shredding) that needs to happen as a result of the mail?  Any good tips?

Also - how long are you supposed to keep things?  I have every bank statement since I opened my checking account four years ago.  I feel like that is unnecessary.  What about utility bills?  In theory - everything is online so why do I need the hard copies of my Georgia Power bills from when I moved to Atlanta in August of 2007.

My birthday is in February.  I think I am going to ask for a heavy duty paper shredder.


  1. I think I'm going to have to start sending postcards more often so you have something to look forward to in the mail :) It's only four months and one week until my next adventure.

    I file things right my trash can. Last year for Christmas I got a paper shredder and I love it. From an environmental standpoint I try and limit my mail (well, except outdoor gear/biking catalouges - I kill lots of trees looking at those) and I think from the two months I was away I had maybe three pieces of mail that I actually kept. Everything else was shredded :)

    I've loved reading your blog posts as of late. I'm happy to feel like I can keep up with you and Bruce even from a little bit away :) Miss you guys.

  2. Oh, this was too funny! This is totally my life! You don't even want to see what my pile looks like!!! :)

  3. Ha! Oh this post reminded me SO much of myself : ) I'm the worst at keeping paper documents neat and organized. I'm not sure how long things like power bills or bank statements are supposed to be kept, but I think some of mine might qualify as antiques at this point, haha.

    Thanks for sharing about the iPhone app for Starbucks!! I just downloaded it and might not get anything done at work today because I'm playing with it!

  4. Matches are much cheaper than paper shredders. Just sayin'...

  5. Looks like my office. I'm the most organized person in the world, but I have not one piece of advice on how avoid piles. I have them all over my office :o) I guess I feel I need to them to be in sight until I'm done with them so I don't forget to do what I need to do with them!


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