Something somebody wrote on Xanga made me think that I should share my filing system with you. 


I have a hard time staying ahead of the mountain of papers that come my way through the course of daily life.  I feel like I should keep certain things but what and where?  A boss once told me that if you haven’t looked in a file for a year you should toss the contents.  This seems pretty harsh to me, but I bet his kids will thank him for this when he dies.  Several years ago my husband’s boss gave me $100 so I bought a used four-drawer filing cabinet.  The bottom drawer is full of maps and AAA guides.  I have maps of China and the ocean floor and the moon and public lands of Wyoming and places you might find arrowheads and private lands you can hunt on without asking permission.  “I have a map for that.”


The next drawer is full of owner’s manuals for everything we own, some things we have sold and probably some things we have never owned.  The drawer above that is for our farming business.  I was happy to discover that this end of farming requires keeping a lot fewer papers than the government’s end.  It has folders for our bull’s papers with their names; Mac and Brad, (we name our bulls after the guys we bought them from, you might want to keep that in mind if you sell us a bull) and one entitled “Pets and Vets” where I keep the vaccination records and info on the three different vet offices we use; the one that won’t come out on Saturdays and the one with the cute vet.


The top drawer is reserved for family stuff.  I have folders for each kid I fill with pictures and artwork and their shot records.  That is the idea anyway.  Paul’s folder is pretty much empty and I haven’t added anything to the other kids’ folders for years.  I have one marked “Fun Stuff to Try” which I also haven’t opened in years.  Maybe we should try some fun stuff this winter.  The rest of the files are a hodgepodge of things I should hold on to but am not likely to need.  


When I used to work for the government they would send out these forms every six months that I knew I should keep, but I knew not where.  Finally I made a folder entitled, “Personnel Papers (those one forms they send you).” We were required to maintain about three different passwords which were to change every two or three months.  I still keep my master list of passwords in a folder entitled, “Top Secret Information – Restricted Use.”  I have a “Hate Notes” folder where I file my correspondence with the local post office and our Representative, and a “Love Notes” folder where I put correspondence that makes me happy.  I have a file for “Letters from Grandma” and one called “Useless Junk” which is full of… well at least it is organized.