One of the things that has been eating at me for a while is my pile of paperwork that I haven't dealt with. Mostly, it's just filing. But there are things in this pile that I probably need to take care of. The pile has built up over the last 2 years, and now fills a laundry basket to overflowing, plus a stack of items next to the basket. Last summer, I sorted everything in the basket into broad categories (e.g., investments, bank statements, bills, insurance, etc.). Then I never got around to actually getting any of the things taken care of and I never got the piles of paper in each category filed into my cabinet. Eventually, after digging through the semi-sorted stacks enough for various needed pieces of paper, the whole bunch got dumped back into the laundry basket and came unsorted.
And now I've got another years worth of paper added to it. Unopened envelopes. Ticket stubs. Old bills. Notices from various places.
This stack has prevented me from taking care of other things. The paperwork to list my house lies in this stack. I haven't been able to put together investment information for possibly switching my investment accounts around. Invitations to events I forgot about and ended up not attending because I never sent an R.S.V.P. sit among the detritus.
A week or so ago, I was talking with Deborah, who also has a similar fear of paperwork. Luckily for her, I don't think she's let 2.5 years of stuff build up like I have. I wasn't sure how to face this pile, how to tackle my fear (yes, fear) of the pile. A thought occurred to me, and Deborah quickly agreed, that I have been looking at the pile all wrong. I've been looking at it as a huge pile.
Instead, I simply need to pull a handful of papers off the top of the pile every day (or at least quite frequently), and file them. Then go on my merry way. I'm not generating an inch of paper every day, so in short order (a month maybe?) I should have forced the pile to dwindle to a mere shadow of it's previous glory.
Today I started. In fact, to kick off the effort, I pulled out a handful in both the left and right hands. Tomorrow, I probably will not be so ambitious.
I created about 10 new files just from that 2 inches, and padded a few existing files. I dug up a change of address form for a bank account I hold in Idaho, filled it out, and mailed it. I filled out a form to get a Seattle pet license for Guinevere. And I found my Vanteon 401(k) materials that stated employer contributions are fully vested, just after getting the notice I wrote about in my previous entry. Nope, it really isn't much. But it's a start. And it's further than I've gotten in almost 3 years.