Friday, 25 April 2008

Filing and Clutter

I’ve just been reading a book review of Ten Minute Clutter Control in The Writer’s Roundabout blog. At the end, Rebecca, the blogger, wonders what other tips are out there. It got me thinking about how I cope.

I work at home in a small office which would otherwise be a bedroom. It’s right next to our master bedroom. When I move from project to project and task to task, I don’t often have time for filing in between. The piles of paper on my desk and other surfaces grow higher and higher.

Eventually, they have to get sorted. One by one I pick them up and take them next door. I use our bed as a sorting table and the miscellaneous piles become organised piles. This doesn’t usually take too long. It’s the next bit that can be time consuming.

I deal with the organised piles as and when I can. After a couple of hours of research or writing, I need a break from that. I go and get a fruit tea or a coffee and bring it upstairs. While I’m slurping I’ll be considering the pages in one of the piles, deciding what to do with them and then doing it.

It might be putting things in date order, stapling or sliding them into plastic folders and slipping them into a slot in my filing cabinet. Some of them will go into the recycling pile, but I’m obsessive about tearing off all personal information first. That will go into the shredding pile.

And there’s inevitably an enormous pile of THINGS TO DO. Getting that one lower gives me the greatest satisfaction.

The great thing about using the bed is that it all has to be finished before we can get any sleep – and that’s really motivating. So that’s my tip for today.


Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

*chuckles* I've used my bed to sort piles too. It is a fantastic surface area to work with and a comfortable and relaxed environment.

Of course, this does leave me wondering how much time you would actually save if you sorted and filed the pages as you finished using them. If you spend hours at a time sorting these papers wouldn't you save time and increase efficiency by taking an extra minute or two to file it correctly the first time?

Having said that, I tend to be a stacker too. I have folders full of IN piles which are to-do. My desk is scattered with papers and booklets, a stack of magazines. lol It's amazing that any of us can accomplish anything at all.

jakill said...

Thanks for your comment, Rebecca. You're right about the time saving by doing it as you go. Trouble is, it always seems more important to get something out of the door than into a file, if you see what I mean.

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