UPDATED - 9-2008
My friend Dr. Amie Ragan, author of the brilliant "Psychology of Clutter"blog, recently invited me to answer one of her reader's questions about how to get over your hatred of filing and even make it more fun. "Fun" is a lot to ask when comes to filing! But believe it or not...it's possible! With a few adjustments you can learn to appreciate and even LOVE your files!
Check out my Guest Post where I answer Mack's question about how to make filing less of a pain on the Psychology Of Clutter blog!
Dr. Ragan's blog is sadly, now gone from the web, but the article is now reprinted below!
About Organizing your papers. I know several prescribed methods for doing so, and I use a file cabinet along with an inbox to store papers until filed. I keep a fairly good filing system. However, I hate actually filing and will put it off until the box is full or I can’t find something important (like financial papers). Honestly, I would like to throw half of this stuff away, possibly including said financial papers. Is there any way to make this more fun? And in a related question, what papers do you consider it essential to keep and for how long?
You are so not alone!! Most people hate filing. But it's not the fault of the files! It's usually the little things that people do in setting up and using their files that make them painful to use. Like overstuff them! Another reason people hate to file is that they don't use quality filing cabinets and supplies they actually like. So many people's file cabinets are practically falling apart or get stuck when you open them, etc. A quality filing cabinet, drawer, or even a desktop file box which contains your most frequently used files and is located near your desk or bill paying area can change your life!
The best way I have found to avoid putting off filing is to ELIMINATE your "To File" pile altogether. Keep your frequently used files near enough to you so that you can file papers immediately and it won't back up on you. Plus if your files are near where you work, when they start getting overstuffed, you'll notice immediately and can take 5 minutes to purge your thickest files.
For more tips, see my indepth article:
All the best!