Tickler Files

I got a new desk over the weekend. The one I had was on its last legs, I bought that thing over ten years ago and it was just a desk in a box from Wal-Mart so it had a good long life. Now I have my new desk, I love it, but as I was transferring everything from the old desk to the new desk I realized that my desk had gotten out of control.

My files were a mess. I had neatly labeled files but then I had a big file in the front I would throw everything in until I could get around to filing it. I’m embarrassed to say that there were several bills in there that were months old. I had to get this mess organized.

I sorted through everything, which took a while because I have a file of my daughter’s schoolwork that I’ve saved and of course I had to read through it all. This is also where all the letters to Santa ended up. It was fun to read through all the letters and old schoolwork but there were things in that file that needed to go, like the study book for the SAT’s. I cleaned each file, I tend to save everything, like all my statements from Social Security telling me how much money I’ll get if there is still Social Security when I retire, I shredded all but the most recent. I also had a file with the manuals to everything I’ve ever bought, a lot of that went right into the recycling bin.

Once I had the files cleaned there were still lots of pieces of paper with no home. Most of them were reminders, when to fertilize the yard, the name of the chimney sweep, and what tomato plants I liked this year. As I was looking at all of this I remembered an article I read about tickler files so I created one.

Basically a tickler file is a file for every month of the year, you can add day or week dividers if you like, and you put everything in there that you need to remember. I made index cards of birthdays and anniversaries for each month. I filed the tomato plant names under May, when I usually start my garden, I called the chimney sweep and filed his name under October for next year. I also put things like the name and number of the heating company I use to service my furnace every year. I hope this helps me remember all the things I usually remember a month too late. I’ll be adding to it as I go, and every month I will move the old month to the back so the current month is in front.

I feel more organized already! And, thanks to all the pens I found I won’t need to buy any for about a year!