So when I’m on vacation, my brain (or what’s left of it) goes on vacation as well, which is why this post is late. I completely forgot to write it last night and I only just realized this. Sorry.
Anyway, some of you might know I’m a hoarder by nature. I tend to keep things in case I need them at some later date, which brings with it the very Kate issue that whenever I put something away “somewhere safe” I can never bloody find the thing again.
So this week has been three days of hunting through assorted saved paperwork dating back to before I moved to the USA (20 years of documentation… joyous) in search of the Very Important Document that I knew I’d put Somewhere Safe and needed to find.
Two bulging trash bags of obsolete paperwork and a relatively small pile of documents to keep later I finally found the thing – and yes, it was in a safe place. Just not the safe place I’d thought it was in.
Yes I do have a number of storage caches containing various important things. Yes, I occasionally put something in the wrong one. And yes, I absolutely need to clean the bloody things out more often. I also need to win the bloody lottery or otherwise acquire enough of an independent income that I don’t need the day job because I don’t have the time to keep everything organized.
Or rather, I don’t have the time and mental energy to keep things organized. The latter being more of an issue than the former. By the end of a work day, I have a severe case of no can haz brane, and the end of a work week is usually worse. It takes most of the weekend to recover, and then the cycle starts again.
My vacations usually consist of a day or two doing nothing, followed by a slow ramp up to actually being able to think – the sorting I did this week happened in bursts with mental recovery time in between because I’m still thinking through a heavy layer of cotton wool from accumulated fatigue. It’s my life – it’s more or less Kate-normal to be this way, and I’d probably need a week or two of near hibernation to really recover, but I don’t have it so I make do with what I can get. Narcolepsy may be pretty much invisible to the general population, but that doesn’t make it suck any less (probably my biggest fear is that I’ll be in an accident and lose my drivers license because “driving while narcoleptic” can be a thing – it’s not technically illegal where I live, but having to prove to a government body that I’m managing it properly isn’t something I want to do. Public transport is non-existent around here, so no license = no going anywhere unless someone drives me).
That said, I now know where the Very Important Document is, and it’s in one of the safe place caches that makes sense. Whether it will still make sense in a year or two is anyone’s guess, but it’s a reasonably obvious location.
So, have a Buttercup being very relaxed and unlike her normally dignified and regal self, and may the USAians among us all have a wonderful Independence Day weekend.
I can sympathize. I’m much the same way. I really need to clean out the top of the garage. I really doubt I need the electrical bills from 2005, though it’s interesting to see just how much I paid then compared to now.
Exactly! Receipts from 2002, for things I no longer possess because they crapped out years ago, are not things I need to keep.
March is “where is that receipt for the tax forms it has to be over here except its not” month. The up-side to using the shoebox filing method – everything’s in there. The down side – EVERYTHING’s in there, except the on-line things that I forgot to print out which are, of course, what I really need.
Precisely. I had several major dumping grounds for documentation. The two safes (one for small stuff and one for letter sized stuff), the piles around the safes for anything that needed to be looked at and sorted “later”, the messenger bag with all my immigration documentation (I thought – I’d moved some of it to the piles near the safes), and some secondary piles in the study.
And of course, what you really need is never where you thought it would be. That would be too easy.
I am Making An Effort for this stuff!
I made the effort. I was victorious! I gathered everything together, sorted the dross, sorted the rest into folders, and then scanned everything and burned copies to CDs and thumbdrives, which went into the safe, the primary go-bag, and off-site storage.
It was wonderful.
It was also fourteen years ago, and it has been “time to do it again” for… a while now.
Wow! It’s been longer than that since the last time I did a major clean-out. I really need to do more than I managed this week, but it will take me something like a month (which I do not have).
I’m lucky The Husband is a chucker-outer. He helps to balance my hoarder tendencies.
And my keyboard goes odd… purging stuff after each tax season. 😀
We’re keeping tax stuff back 10 years, just in case of IRS audit. Other things, not so much. And yes, it is indeed an effort. Too much of one, sometimes.
Wow you just described life with the lovely Mrs Westernciv. She also has Narcolepsy, well controlled but the same sorting, saving, documents saved in computer file and printed out, OMG. And the fatigue. But also the amazing creativity and thinking processes.
Thanks for sharing.
I sympathize! Narcolepsy is a nasty thing to live with, even if it’s not technically a “severe” condition (yeah, like hell. Tell that to someone who’s gone years without being fully rested – as I’m sure Mrs Westernciv will agree). Well controlled usually means “can function more or less normally but constantly fatigued and lives with it”.
If she hasn’t run into any other issues from the narcolepsy, let her know to keep an eye on things: the hormones that narcolepsy screws with are also critical for digestion, so they can cause interesting issues long-term.
I did succeed in finding an old story that was coming back to life.
My favorite thing about vacations is the 200 emails per day backlog I have to look forward to sorting when I return.
As for lost documents, I’m actually pretty good at filing things where they belong. During the packing-to-move process, I dumped a bunch of old stuff (I had taxes back to the 1980s), but I generally take care of that at the turn of the year when I move the “active” folders into “archive” and create new active ones (e.g. the House 20xx folders get kept, the current year of Q1 20xx, Q2 20xx, etc… bills are archived, but that’s a perfect time to get rid of the previous set).
When the house started showing, I dumped everything on my desk, which included the active folders, into a box and added it to the giant pile of boxes in the garage. Two days later, the loan people wanted my June mortgage statement. Too bad for y’all. I have it, but I certainly cannot lay hands upon it. I told them to get it themselves or cancel the closing; their call. Somehow, they managed to extract one from the mortgage company.