One of the most important organizing systems in my home is a little file folder I keep all of my “action files” in. Incoming paper is sorted right next to this box and paper is immediately filed into its proper home.
Since implementing the action file box, there are no more piles of paper on my kitchen counter waiting for me to “take action” on. In fact, it was the very first organizing system I blogged about! This is all to say that, despite its ability to keep paper clutter at bay, my file box and I had a major system meltdown last week.
Meltdown? Yes, meltdown. My cell phone officially died; so when my 3-year-old asked to play with it, I was happy to turn it over to her.
We’ve discovered my darling daughter is a “collector.” Does anyone else have a little one like this? Somehow things from all over the house end up in her bags and purses. When we’re hunting for something, it often turns out that Tessa put it somewhere.
So when the phone went missing, I wasn’t too concerned. I knew it would turn up eventually since there weren’t that many places it could hide and her room is typically in pretty good order.
Fast forward to almost a month later and I still couldn’t find my cell phone anywhere. I wouldn’t ordinarily be hunting for it, but when I realized I needed the SIM card to switch into my new phone, the search was on. Instead of thinking, “the cheapest cell phone on the market is missing”, I was now desperately searching for the SIM card and $100 of recently refilled minutes. So much for the “toy phone”.
I began to look everywhere and even got the hubs involved. I went as far as unearthing all of the dust bunnies under my bed and even posting about it on Facebook. Still no phone.
It was about then that my turn came around to make the play-dough for preschool. I trotted off to the “pending” file (housed in my action file box) to get the recipe I had filed at the beginning of the year in preparation for my turn. And right there in the file box was… my cell phone!! It all came flooding back. I had placed the phone in the pending file while getting ready for a trip because it was something I was going to take care of when we got back.
After being back for 3 weeks I had obviously not even touched the file, even though a review of it is technically on my weekly schedule. Oops. I had cleaned out my “to pay”, “menu”, and “coupons” sections, but “to file” and “pending” had been woefully neglected. Total system fail! And all this time I’d been blaming my little collector.
Moral of the story: Here is where I say something spectacularly brilliant, but honestly, I am just trying to keep it real here. We are not perfect and even the best organizing systems in place can only work as well as our own follow-through.
And with any system, if something is not working, it is time to revamp! I am working on just that. I’ll share more on that another time because I want to work through it for a while before I blog about it. For now, here is a sneak peek on my new and improved “pending” file.
Have you ever looked everywhere for something and it was exactly where it was supposed to be? Have you ever had a breakdown of an organized system or space? How did you fix it? Does anyone else have a little collector in their house?