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  • jdettmann

File It Under ‘F’.

Later this morning I am going to a one-hour organisation workshop. I made the booking on a whim when I was in a fancy stationary shop a few weeks ago considering all their overpriced but prettily designed notepads and books, which promise to make your life free from chaos and clutter.

Of course when I made the booking I didn’t write down the time or date anywhere, so a few days ago I remembered about it, in a panic, and had to call the shop to ask when it was and whether I had missed it. They laughed at me.

Such incidents of domestic hopelessness have been on the rise lately. In January I forgot to register the car. That wouldn’t have been half as bad had my parents not been driving the car, with my kids in it, when the police pulled them over for driving an unregistered, uninsured vehicle. They were on their way out of town for the weekend – our kids’ first weekend away from us – and so H and I were two margaritas deep when we got the call that they had been ordered to sit in the car by the side of the road until we went home, found our paperwork, registered and insured the car. It was with great shame and much swearing that we did so, but they got back on the road eventually and have been remarkably kind to us about it.

I keep making notes for hilarious blog posts and then forgetting where they are. They could only be in a few places, but they aren’t. I hate filing, almost as much as I hate opening mail, so these things get done cursorily and haphazardly, but I figure if you’re going to do a really poor job of something, it’s better to not do it very often. So I don’t. Which is why H’s study, which is where  our filing cabinet lives, looks like a paperwork graveyard. No, that’s wrong, because graveyards are very orderly places: everyone is filed correctly. The study looks like a lorry carrying paperwork had a head-on collision with a bus full of apathy.

But today is going to change all that. This morning I will learn about organisational systems, and not my kind of systems, which are systems that don’t work. These will be systems that DO work. Systems that are simple to operate and sustainable to keep up. These will be systems that change the inherent make-up of my personality. Magical systems. These systems will not allow piles such as the one pictured above: horrible, depressing teetering piles containing medical receipts, bank statements, and who knows what else, including something in a paper bag that may or may not be a book I bought for Dad’s birthday in February. Piles that are as big as Everest and as likely to be conquered by me. There will be no place for those in the new system.

I expect these systems will not only transform the paperwork side of my life, but will also spread to other domestic areas at which I am rubbish. Laundry, for instance. After the systems are in place, we will have no more repeats of the incident in February in which I washed a brand new red t-shirt in the load of white laundry. Come now, I hear you say. Everyone does that every now and then. To which I would answer, maybe, but does everyone then call three pharmacies to find out who has stock of Run-Away Dye Remover, drive up there, buy two packets because they have such little faith in their ability not to do this again, come home, run the pink load through the wash again with Run-Away and then discover to their bafflement that it didn’t work? Does everyone realise it’s because they didn’t take the red t-shirt out of the white load AGAIN? Is everyone that dumb? I suppose it shows how organised and justified I was in buying two packets of Run-Away to begin with. Good system, Jess.

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