Monday, March 24, 2014


Exactly how does one go about organizing things?  People have more than once raised an eyebrow at my filing system - uh, prior to actually filing.

I stack.

In my office, back in a corner, I had a small table where I put stuff that had to be filed at some point in time when I got around to it.  In all fairness, not all of it was to be filed.  I'm a programmer and some of the stuff was printouts of code before a modification was entered.  So, it was like a backup copy if something went wrong with the new version.

But, there was also the other stuff, things that really did need to get filed - copy of letters, documents, and other -- what I considered nonsense crap -- items that needed to be saved for some obscure reason.

At first it was just a small pile, then it got taller.  Finally, there were two piles.  Over the next year, it became three files.  Hey! I didn't say I was a filer.  In fact, that table now had a total of 4 (FOUR) piles of stuff that had to be filed and the stacks were pushing the 15 inches or better for height.

Now for the interesting aspect of my life.  My boss came in and asked if I had a copy of XYZ letter that we'd sent out to ABC company.  I told her I was sure I had it.  I walked over to the file cabinet which was by my table of "2-B filed" items.  With a quick glance back at her, I asked, about when was that, do you remember?  She said about 7 months ago.  I examined my stacks of files and started down one particular stack.

Her immediate response was: You've got to be kidding. Bob! It will take you the rest of the afternoon to find that..."  I pulled out the letter and handed it to her.  She was flabbergasted but took the letter, made a copy and gave it back to me.  I carefully re-filed it back into the stack.  That was several years ago.  By the way, when I left that company, about a week before I did, I asked my boss what the policy was on files.  She informed me that they would probably just dump my files so as not to confuse my replacement.  I told her I could handle that and over the next few days, shoved the trash bins full of shredded files.  I also was the courteous guy who dusted out the file cabinet that never really got used.

Right now I'm looking at my desk.  At first look, it appears to be very chaotic and a total disarray. Yet, I know where everything is. Every time I attempt to organize - basically, I lose everything and don't know where to find it.

Even my hard drive on my computer is what appears to be nothing but absolute chaos.  Still, within the chaos, there is peace and harmony.  I have this urge, this desire to organize but yet I don't know how to go about it.  For me - I'm retired now - stacks are my friends and a naming system for files on my computer have worked for me for so long, I'm not sure I could really do a straight and narrow file system.

Why am I worried?  For one of the strangest reasons of all.  A buddy of mine passed away a couple of years ago.  He was borderline hoarder and squirreled things away.  His wife decided to just dump it all and let the chips fall where they may.  My wife and I talked her into a day of going through things.  I found bags of stuff he'd bought - still in the bags with the sales slips and price tags attached.  I questioned just how many circular saws one man needed -- as I bought two and got one free from his wife -- to add to my 2 circular saws.  Hmm?  But I digress.

I think he, like me, in his own little way, had a system of knowing where things were.  Therein lies the problem.

If something were to happen to me, would my wife consider most of the stuff in my office area a lot of junk?  Would she go through it to really evaluate.  Or would my kids just figure it is a lot of dad's junk and they can finally get rid of it?

I've got a notebook with detailed information about my accounts online with passwords and how or what to do in the event of my demise.  I'm an author.  I get royalty payments.  Even when I'm gone, I will continue to receive royalty payments for my heirs.  They need to know where that money is and how to get their hands on it. LOL.

Organized?  Not really but sort of.

Until next I ramble on...

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