June 9, 2007

Going Through the Stacks of Paper

Posted in ADHD, Organization, Posts by Renee, Progress, Self-Therapy at 1:47 am by bloggingawayadhd

OK well I just finished my big organizing session. Took about 2 hours…. Sometimes it just makes me feel a lot better to have a “clean slate” to start with, even though the room won’t stay that way long. Hopefully as my ADD “therapies” continue, I’ll be able to do this more often.

So, I’m not really a dirty person – there isn’t rotting food or trash or anything dirty around my office; but I am a “messy” person. As most people with ADD can relate to, I make piles of things everywhere. I don’t like putting things away because out of sight may mean out of mind and I don’t want to forget anything important. I’m also a big pack-rat because I don’t want to throw away anything I may need later.

So, my office looks totally messy because I have stacks of paper all over the place. I know where everything is, though! The most important papers get stacked right by my laptop so I might see them and be reminded to do something necessary.

So here’s my method of madness for cleaning up/organizing papers. I dump everything into 4 huge piles: 

  1. trash
  2. file in to-do organizer
  3. important to keep long-term (recent bank statements, etc)
  4. don’t want to deal with it now

So, everything in stack 1 gets thrown away as soon as I’m done sorting and is never seen again. I go through stack 2 a second time after I’m done with the big piles. Everything in stack 2 gets put into its appropriate place in my little paper-stack organizer so if I need to find a paper with notes all over it for one of my contract projects, chances are it’s in a pile my “contract work documents” stacker. Stack 3 gets dumped into a box and put off until I need to find an old bill or when it’s tax time. At that point, it becomes a big pain, but for the time being, it gets put away where it doesn’t look messy. Everything in stack 4  gets neatened up and put somewhere in the room, where it usually stays until I need something and can’t find it, but suspect it’s somewhere in that stack, or until the next time I clean up. If an “ignore” stack 4 stays in one place for too long (like 2 months), I might just dump it into the box with stack 3 papers and store it away long-term to deal with later.

Then, once I clean up, my room slowly gets messier and messier until I do a major clean-up again. There really aren’t any organizational sessions in-between – it’s all or nothing!

So, right now my room is totally organized and vacuumed and sanitized, and it will stay that way until… well until about 3 hours from now when I need a paper handy and the stacking will once again continue.



  1. […] want to forget, but don’t need for a few days, off of my desk – hopefully avoiding creating piles of things and combating the “out of sight, out of mind” problem. Now, the thing I need should pop […]

  2. […] Oh, and he also makes piles of stuff, like I do. […]

  3. […] Steps to De-Cluttering and Organizing (looks like I was on the right track with my method of attacking my piles of paper) […]

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