Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Fresh Coat of Paint Can Make Even a Lazy Person Look Organized

You know how there are some people that like to keep everything? Magazines, bills, programs, postcards, wedding invitations, etc...well, I like to throw things away. I do. I love it. In fact I love throwing things away just as much as I love keeping them. Let me explain:

I like to simplify. Unfortunately, on more than one occasion this has gotten me in trouble. I might have thrown away important documents or even documents of interest that I’ve looked for later and couldn’t find. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t just throw things away willy nilly. I’ll keep them for awhile, but after awhile longer, they hit the trash bin.

The great purge usually occurs after I’ve let things build up in piles, or I’ve thrown it in drawers, set them on shelves, or (and this is really bad) hid them from myself by slipping them between books on my bookshelves. I know. It’s a wonder I can find anything sometimes. Maybe this is why I like to rearrange my room so much. By taking everything off shelves and putting them back on, I’m bound to find something I was looking for last year. But then it’s usually too late to need so I throw it away. Or put it back on the shelf.

A few months ago I had a stroke of insight as to why I let things build up in piles, lose them or simply can’t see them amidst the chaos. It’s because I hate filing. I do, I hate it. I hate it at work, I hate it at home. I have a file box at home, but even my file box isn’t that organized -- I’m not sure if I went to one of my files I’d find what I was looking for, which is ironic because I am a very clean and organized person. I am a big proponent of mis en place -- I don’t like messes, I don’t like piles sitting on tables or counters -- which is why I like to throw things away. So now, what we have is a vicious cycle I submit myself to. Filing isn’t fun. BUT I found a way to make it fun: Get a filing cabinet and make it cute. That’s how simple I am. If I have something darling to organize stuff in, I’m MUCH more likely to put it in there.

Did you know that filing cabinets are way expensive? Especially for the nice ones that are weighted correctly and have doors that open well? Well, they are. I went to IKEA a few times, Crate and Barrell, Office wasn’t looking good. So I went to Craigslist. SCORE! I got a $200 file cabinet for $35.

So now I can file away warranties, bills, brochures, programs, postcards, birthday cards, wedding invitations, talks I've given and lessons I've taught, and all those other things I sometimes wish I had but throw away because they clutter up my space.

This was my Saturday project. The cabinet was actually in pretty good shape (I kind of wish it looked more trashy so I could have a more dramatic before and after picture) but I wanted to paint it anyway. My vision started out much more high concept than it turned out. The idea was to paint a gradient, with the strongest saturated color at the bottom and then as the drawers went up, the colors would get lighter so it resembled a series of paint chips or Pantone colors. But, alas, the stores available to me did not have that many options when it came to colors. So I just chose a color palette I liked and went with it. What do you think? Right now I just have white primer on the outside, should I paint it another color or keep it white?

Bonus Point for whomever can identify the Post Title's Reference :)


Liz said...

Love it! I'm a big fan of craigslist and a good deal on something crappy looking just so I can paint it. I think it would be fun to tape it off in a fun design and then spray it a fun color. What do you think? Oh man, now I need a new/old filing cabinet!

Annie said...

Do you need me to send you another wedding invitation so you can file it in your filing cabinet? Sure, it's been almost a year, but I have about 100 left. said...

You’re really good at shopping! That file cabinet is well worth the cost. By the way, I’d like to give you some friendly advice about throwing files. Before you throw them, make sure that those files have no important information or images of you or your family. It’s best that you shred them so that they can’t be used for identity theft.