i’m very bad at filing and any type of paper organization. every year — tax time, usually — i hate myself for my habit of throwing any piece of paper with a number on it into the box marked “taxes” or “insurance.” but, i have very little desire to sort through the piles of instruction manuals for electronics we no longer own and the garbage/recycling collection calendars from years’ past. i have an insane amount of patience for many completely thankless tasks (pulling a countless number of rusty nails out of barely worth saving hardwood floors, for example), but filing is just not one of them.
so, to motivate myself, i bought this little helmer drawer unit from ikea, about six months ago or so. it did nothing to motivate me to file papers correctly, even though it’s conveniently located on the main floor, in our spare bedroom closet. i continued to chuck anything related to the mortgage, insurance, warranties, my rrsp, etc., in a box in the basement. i don’t think we even need to keep half that stuff to begin with, it’s just that rrsp statements look like something i may need to refer to, sometime. (the time that the bank took pity on me and reprinted copies of all of my rent cheques from university free of charge because i was audited and i was a poor, hapless student that the cra shouldn’t have been preying upon probably won’t be repeated as i’m slightly less poor and only a little hapless now.) so while in texas, i found these little scraps of paper at a store on south congress called uncommon objects. i think they may have been part of a board game, once, albeit a very strange one. that, or some guy thought it’d be brilliant to print some odd phrases on some old-looking paper and charge some vacationing canuck $2 a slip. (see? still somewhat hapless.)
i had a hard time picking six, and regrettably left “a sheaf of wheat” behind in austin. but now that we have a filing system that makes little to no sense, i’ll probably use it. “a street sprinkler”: that holds all our city of toronto stuff. “a piece of frozen mud,” that’s our tax stuff. and “the president of the united states” is my current term school work. i didn’t want to cut the slips to fit, because some of the phrases were too long. i used double-sided tape and eye-balled the centres.
with a better basement storage system on our wish list as we tackle the basement temporarily, i know i’ll be going through all the boxes of paper downstairs with “a fine-tooth comb.” (can’t remember what’s in that drawer, btw.) ideally, i’d like to scan and back-up any necessary documents from 2012 or earlier and discard their paper versions, keeping only relevant hardcopies for the most recent calendar year in one of these drawers. except tax stuff, which i think you have to keep for seven years. repeat at the start of every new year.
anyways, i like these little labels and imagining their back story, though they’d be easy enough to diy (garamond + old paper + mad libs…could be a fun afternoon!) plus, it’ll take an intruder a little while to figure out where we keep our passports.