I hate filing. I have a really organized filing system in a four drawer filing cabinet, but there is a breakdown in the system – from when the mail actually arrives and gets opened, to when it actually gets filed (a period that often takes 3-4 months – yes, months). It all winds up in here.
OK, some of it winds up in our key/mail basket, but the rest winds up in the drawer pictured above.
So sure, it’s messy, but how is it costing me money? To answer that, I have to talk about what winds up in my junk drawer.
- Pens, pencils, erasers and other assorted office/school supplies, including envelopes
- Receipts from purchases
- Coupons – all kinds, including store coupons, fast food coupons, coupon/discount books, etc.
- Mail waiting to be filed (credit card/bank statements, etc.)
- Insurance forms & photocopies
- Dividend cheques (I’ll explain below)
- Assorted junk – keys, bike locks, shoe laces, ear buds, running flotsam, maps and more
Yes, I keep weird stuff in my junk drawer – but the reason it’s costing me money varies.
- Office supplies don’t cost me money –until I can’t find what I need because the drawer is too messy, and go out and buy more
- Purchase receipts – this costs me money when I can’t locate a receipt to return something or to file a warranty claim
- Coupons – I’m not a big coupon clipper, but too often the few I do clip expire before I can use them because I lose them in the drawer or forget I have them. As well, Bruce goes out to eat once a week or so; if he had the fast food coupons he could save money, but they are buried in the drawer.
- Mail waiting to be filed – doesn’t cost me a lot, except time if I’m looking for an important document that hasn’t been filed where it belongs.
- Insurance forms – this can definitely cost money, because I’ll toss the forms and receipts in a drawer and forget to file them, which means I don’t get reimbursed in a timely manner.
- Dividends cheques. I own ONE share of Coca Cola. 4x per year, they mail me a dividend cheque worth between $0.30 and $0.45 cents, in USD – which is a pain to deposit in Canada. So the cheques get tossed into a drawer until they are stale dated, and I call them to have 1 cheque issued for several periods. It’s a PITA, and although I’ve tried to resolve it, the Coca Cola company has been less than helpful (why would they, I own exactly ONE share!) How I got the share is an ugly PF story all by itself… I should blog about that one day.
- Assorted junk – well, this is both good and bad. I hardly ever throw useful stuff out, but – it’s only useful if you can find it when you need it.
I’ve tried getting organized. I’ve set up filing systems. I’ve (attempted to) read Getting Things Done (halfway through for the fourth time). I’ve cleaned out the drawer, only to have it full again within a few weeks. Part of the problem now is I hate “the drawer”. I dread opening it. I shove stuff in thinking I’ll sort it out one day.
So I’m looking for ideas. Suggestions. Anything, actually. I just need to get the clutter gone to feel better about my kitchen.