Scutwork Diary, Day 11

Laundry is delayed today. I will be starting on the filing work, it’s going to be split into four 20 day chunks. There will be making files, filing papers by gross category and then more granular category and I just don’t want to keep going with any of it.

It’s not even that it’s boring, it’s that as I look at the precise household bottlenecks that would improve our quality of life by being fixed, I’m continually shocked at the sheer amount of time neded. It will take another eight days to have a list of clothes to buy for the kids and maybe us parents along with storing all excess clothing and linens somewhere reachable but not too reachable to do season-based wardrobes. Whether the eight days is all together or spread out over the next month, that’s still about how long it would take. Same for getting filing caught up and making a new system to account for the life changes we’ve had since the last time I put a filing system together (5+ years ago). We’ve had so many life changes it is probably two or three solid months at an hour a day to get a filing system with easy maintenance set up and running.

This is what a backlog of functionality looks like. Months of work to set up systems that make it hard to clutter, hard to be disorganized, and easy to maintain once you’ve put the work in. I guess I thought writing it all out would unlock ways to get everything done in a couple-three day sized chunks and that I’d find lots of small successes to make it almost fun to do. That’s just not the case. I have weeks of slogging ahead because organizing paper is the ur-battle of our current life situation. We have a lot of administrative burdens and meeting them means a large, detailed filing system.

So for today, I’ll be tackling the first 20 day chunk which is Household. Next or concurrent will be School, followed by Writing and Personal. The end game is enough files for all our household subcategories and my desk empty of household paperwork. And this is the goal for the other three categories as well. I began on this a while ago, but from the wrong angle. I focused on temporary filing locations with a hazy plan to deal with it all later when they filled up. But instead they’re just not getting used and I would have done better to avoid temporary storage to neaten things up since it totally didn’t.

This will be challenging, because it always takes a day or two to figure out just what kind of categories your personal household paperwork breaks down into. “Bills” and “not-bills” is adequate for many, but it wouldn’t work for us. Anyway I should have the list of categories done tonight and then tomorrow I can make the necessary folders and files. After that I’ll be able to assess the next step for day 3.

Project 1: Homeschool Consolidation, completed, took 3 days.

Project 2: Annual Castle Ladyhawke Remodel Design, still at day 1 of estimated 2 to complete.

Project 3: Laundry Triage and Scheduling, day 2 of 10 completed.

Project 4: Filing Consolidation and Organizing by Subject, estimated 80 days to completion.

Project 4.1: Household Filing and Consolidation, day 1 of 20 complete.