Sunday, April 3, 2011

369. How to Purge 25 Years of Files in 3 Days

  • Decide, once and for all, to get rid of all unnecessary files
  • Open closet in study to look at teetering stack of boxes full of old files. Shudder. Close closet.
  • Repeat above for, say, 365 days.
  • Have a very realistic dream that you open closet to retrieve urgently important bank statement from 1987. You cannot find it (although, honestly, where else could it be?) but instead, entire stack of boxes falls, crushing you. You scream out in your dream and your young son calls a special ambulance spaceship made of Legos (maybe it is your son’s dream?) to take you for help. Wake up in a cold sweat with a stray Lego squashed into your face.
  • Tell yourself that all you really need to tackle this file purge project is 2 days, 3 tops, and vow to stop procrastinating.
  • Decide checking email and writing blog is not procrastinating, it is productive.
  • Decide that looking at art on etsy is not procrastinating, it is educational and creative.
  • Surf Internet to try to remember name of artist you like, the one who painted all those pictures of cake in the 60’s. Crash computer.
  • Stare at computer in disbelief. Panic. Cry. Call husband at work.
  • When husband gets home, have him immediately look at computer to try to fix it.
  • Listen in shock and disbelief as he tells you that even though your computer is brand new and has virus protection, it is infected and you must take it in to one of those Computer Guru-Geniuses to remove the virus.
  • Call Computer Guru-Genius to get quote. Listen in shock and disbelief as he says a triple digit number.  Shudder.
  • Realize you promised to babysit your neighbor’s son the next three mornings and won’t be able to take the computer in until Friday. Cry.
  • After you take your son and the neighbor boy to afternoon preschool, open study closet to retrieve official-looking shredder (dusty but new, still in box, with original tags). Plug it in.
  • Methodically go through file after file, and box after box, only stopping when shredder overheats. Feel like Wonder Woman.
  • Repeat for next 3 days until all you have left is two rectangular plastic bins of files (one for you and one for your husband), your high school yearbook, and a manila envelope of old Christmas cards that you’d like to keep for sentimental reasons.
  • Look at basically empty closet; feel huge sense of accomplishment, on par with when you graduated from college or started your first real job.  
  • Wonder if you have any champagne in the house.
  • Wonder if 3 PM is too early for champagne.  
  • Decide it is not.   
  • Take 17 giant garbage bags full of shredded files outside for the trash.
  • Take a few photos of closet with your digital camera.  Wonder if you should enclose these photos in this year's Christmas cards along with photo of your sons.  Seriously consider it. 
  • Sip lovely and well-deserved celebratory glass of champagne while gazing adoringly at spacious study closet.  Think about other areas of the house that need your attention, like your clothes closet or the kitchen pantry.
  • Decide to wait 6 more days to take computer in for repair: you’ve always wanted an alphabetized kitchen pantry.
(“Momentary Obligatory Virtue”)


  1. I was wondering why I hadn't heard from you! Now I know that productivity really is the enemy of frogship. Stop it, stop it now. (And congrats, I should do that too, blah blah blah, stink eye.)

  2. Thanks for writing, Megan! Yes, I was productive for once while the computer was unproductive. Felt good to get some things accomplished. :)

  3. I'm always amazed at what I can accomplish in like 30 minutes of uninterrupted time. I always think I should step away from the computer during nap times and get things accomplished... but wait, I just got an email.


When you write a comment, it makes me feel like I won the lottery or at the very least like I ate an ice-cream sundae. (This has nothing to do with the fact that I did just eat an ice-cream sundae.)