Friday, March 16, 2007

A Fileus Amongus

The trouble with organizing...
is that pretty soon folks get to paying
more attention to the organization
than to what they're organized for.
-Laura Ingalls Wilder

I had a boyfriend not all that long ago who, every time a mushroom joined us for dinner, would shudder in horror and declare, "There is a fungus among us." (Same boyfriend who in his early 20s auditioned to be a game show host and truly wanted the job.) For some reason I thought of that this morning, that and how he would always tease me about my "filing fits".

In order to maintain an effective grouping of files, you must have a system. My system is this: (1) stack everything in various neat piles throughout the house; (2) let stand at room temperature until said piles begin to slide, disperse, or disintegrate, and (3) find fresh, pretty files, label them anew, and spend an entire day shoving papers in files and asking, "why in the world did I keep this?" and "wonder what happened to that Joe Miracle guy from the college newspaper?"

Today is a filing fit Friday. [Sigh]

Oh, the stuff we keep, right? I'm a habitual thrower-outer and garage sale holder, but even so, I have a lot of paper stuff. Receipts, recipes, magazine clippings, notes, coupons, letters and postcards, drawings, Lacy's handmade cards, sermon outlines, IMs, business emails... stuff. And as I gather it from the four corners of the house this morning, I'm wondering: if it all blew away, would I notice? If it all burned, would I care?

It's odd: the more Laura Ingalls Wilder quotes I read, the more I think I should pay closer attention to the woman. She was brilliant. When I stop to consider her thoughts on organization (although I realize I'm misapplying the quote), I realize: I'm paying far too much attention to the actual organizing than to why I'm actually organizing.

So before my filing fit begins, I plan to pour another cup of coffee and determine the why before the how. I may even craft a filing mission statement to outline my objectives.

(And if that procrastination plot doesn't take all that long, I suppose I will have to begin filing.)

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend, no matter how you spend it! -B


Anonymous said...

When you are done filing at your house feel free to come file at mine. I am as bad as it sounds like you are about keeping things, but sure as you get rid of them you will need them again.


Autumn said...

FYI...Joe Miracle is joining the NAVY!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!?!?! is his wife's can read all about it. Just in case you know, you really wanted to know;)

Deb said...

What gorgeous Cavallini files!
Happy St.Patrick's Day.