Filing Friday (on Thursday)

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Welcome to 2015!  A brand new year for you to make of it what you want.

I have been gradually decluttering for several years so there is generally only a few things here and there to leave the house.  However, there are a couple of hotspots that just seem to invite clutter to hang around unless I am constantly vigilant.

In the lead-up to Christmas I was particularly busy at work so things got a bit neglected at home.  Also, our car was badly damaged in a hailstorm at the end of November and was declared a write-off by the insurance company.  So, as well as everything else we had to buy a new car, organise insurance, liaise with the towing company to collect the old car and so on.  All of this resulted in paperwork, notes and phone messages on the desk. Everything was finalised on Wednesday – we have a new, insured car and the old one is gone so this morning I got up and decided that I had to sort out all of remaining paperwork.

I started with the desk, followed by the other hotspots which are the end of the kitchen bench and my dressing table.  It then turned into a major clean-out of the filing cabinet and other folders so The Duke and I spent several hours working through it.  Some papers had been carefully filed for up to 10 years without ever being looked at so we were really ruthless.

Apart from clearing the papers that were in the previously identified spots, I actually have nothing to show for our efforts except that the contents of the filing cabinet have been reduced from 3 drawers to 2.  Everything was relatively neatly stored – it was just that much of it was no longer relevant.

001The desk is mostly cleared – there are just a few more things that I need to put away.

002I just need to set-up the pedometers so we can actually use them rather than be lurking in the bottom of the filing cabinet!

003This end of the kitchen bench is one of the most frustrating hotspots – the pile of papers never seems to go away completely.  It may seem counter-intuitive to put a basket here to dump “stuff” in but my theory is that it will be contained rather than expanding and spreading its tentacles across the bench.  I have also designated Friday evening as “Filing or Fling” so everything that is in the basket by Friday evening will be dealt with accordingly.  In a perfect world the basket would be empty but I will be surprised if that happens.  🙂

So, beginning next Friday (not tomorrow) the blog post will be about the filing or keeping the paper clutter at bay.

I would love to hear of any systems you may have in place to help you manage the clutter hotspots and filing.

My Desk

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As promised yesterday I have taken some photos of my desk and the drawers.  There are papers and files on my desk during the day but I always pack them up before I leave.  On the extreme left is a vertical file where I keep assorted envelopes and a couple of manilla folders of pending work on the desk.  There is a dual screen monitor with keyboard and mouse.  Other things on the desk are the telephone, rubbish container (we do not have rubbish bins at our desks), block of sticky notes, desk calendar, stapler, calculator, container of pens and filing trays.

To the left of the desk is a small cabinet with 2 drawers and a filing drawer.  This is the top drawer which is mostly stationery items.  There is a bit more in here that can go when I get a chance.  The thing I use most is the paper clips.  I use them for files I am currently working on and once they are completed the papers are shredded and the paper clips go back in the drawer for the next round.  I only use staples when I am sending things to someone else so that I can be sure they do not get separated.

The next drawer has more personal items.  The three containers at the back contain dry crackers, home-made muesli and psyllium husk.  I start work early and generally have my breakfast when I arrive.  The notebook and papers are from a Journal Club I attend.  I have a teatowel and cutlery in one ziplock bag and toothbrush and toothpaste in another.

Beside the drawers is a cupboard with 2 shelves.  This has old files in it and I could probably sort through and discard at least some of them.

Do your habits at home spill over to your work area or vice versa?