At the end of 2014 I had a baby … this was a major life change (MAJOR!) and I spent the better part of 2015 trying to get a handle on caring for a constantly changing small human. As a result, some of my maintenance tasks that I had previously been on top of, such as paper filing, were put on the back burner.
I will admit, a few times this was terribly annoying, especially when I spent more time than desired searching for a specific paper, but overall it wasn’t the end of the world.
Come 2016, it was time to transition and archive my 2015 files and just about everything worthy of filing was still in the “to be filed” file. Oye. I had my work cut out for me!
I’d be lying if I said it has been a piece of cake taking care of the backlogged accumulation of papers. It has taken many hours over several sessions to get it into its current condition of all 2015 papers in archive storage, papers identified for scanning, and not to mention the oodles of shredding.
Some things I did along the way that helped expedite and not add to the overall process were:
Review incoming mail – discard obvious junk such as sale fliers, credit card offers etc.
Remove everything from envelopes – trash the envelopes and junk internal leaflets
I share this experience with you to highlight that Yes, I am a professional organizer and life intervenes with my organizing systems too and while it’s not fun to pick up the pieces, it can be done and FEELS SO GOOD to be in working order again.
If your life has you playing catch up or in the midst of a major life event, have some compassion for yourself. While your systems may feel upside down at the moment, they are not lost causes. When you are mentally and physically able to reengage in your work, tackle it in small chunks of time – 20 or 30 minutes here or there. Enlist the help of family. In my case, my in-laws entertaining and caring for my child frees up a little time to focus on house projects (and write this post for that matter!). Don’t beat yourself up. Life happens, your working systems will be reassembled and fall back into place.