Banning the MISCELLANEOUS Label

  • By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com
  • 18 Jan, 2017
Paper Files
If you look at what constitutes most piles of stuff or paper, you will likely find 90% of it is unnecessary or no longer useful and one or two things may be something of value. The lonely thing of value tends to be the glue that holds the rest of the useless items together–and useless items tend to […]
If you look at what constitutes most piles of stuff or paper, you will likely find 90% of it is unnecessary or no longer useful and one or two things may be something of value. The lonely thing of value tends to be the glue that holds the rest of the useless items together–and useless items tend to proliferate. This is actually how most piles originate and grow. The pile then becomes a source of aggravation rather than a good place to return to find things.
Furthermore, if you tried to label this pile for longer-term keeping, it could not be described in one category or word. It would likely be called “Miscellaneous.” I seek to eliminate the Miscellaneous Label with clients as they generally represent a mishmash of things that aren’t valuable enough to be categorized. What might seem like a simple fix to store a few unrelated things over time becomes just another pile of unfound and unused items.
If you look inside your miscellaneous paper file for example, you might find a couple kept  business cards, a few papers about upcoming events that have passed, an old list of things to do, some receipts, an advertisement with a coupon to your favorite store, a recipe, and the vaccination card for your child’s school records. They have been in there for over eight months now, and you had to review them again to remember what was placed in this catch-all file. There is one item of value–the vaccination card that should be filed away in a specific place such as Vital Records for that person. The other items can be managed in other ways or discarded/recycled: the business cards can be entered in your Contacts list and tossed; the recipe can be found online or can be photographed and kept in your favorite digital program i.e.; Evernote, the coupon is likely expired because it was forgotten; the to-do list is no longer relevant; and the receipts should be reviewed to see whether any impact taxes or should be kept for proof of ownership–most likely the receipts will be eliminated too.
From this example, you can also discern real file categories that might be needed, instead of the MISC label: Contacts, Recipes, Coupons, Receipts, Vital Records, etc. If something is important enough to keep, then it really should be important enough to have a category that won’t create a bottomless, mismatched pile.
So give it a try–attack one of your miscellaneous stacks and see what you come up with! Start by eliminating what isn’t needed/expired. Then apply categories to the items that remain and assign a better labeled home. Let us know how it went!
By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com 01 Mar, 2017
Travel is supposed to be fun and relaxing, but getting ready to take a trip can be stressful!  Being organized with travel lists can take the stress out of your preparation. These three types of travel lists should be comprehensive enough to encompass all things travel: Pre-Travel Tasks, Packing List, and Vacation Activities. We always recommend […]
By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com 13 Feb, 2017
Do you keep supplements and/or meds in the pantry, or utility closet, or in a designated medicine cabinet in the kitchen or mudroom? Wherever they may be, chances are it is an area that becomes unruly quickly. Small bottles, awkward packaging, and measuring tools don’t rest well on shelves. We have a few tricks for keeping the meds […] 
By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com 06 Feb, 2017
Whether you love record keeping or hate it, it is that time of year that we all have to do it; or at least, think about doing it. Pulling together tax documentation can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. There is a simple formula for keeping financial paperwork throughout the year. […] 
By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com 30 Jan, 2017
We’ve had questions about what products we might suggest to help store toys so that they fit well in the play room, in response to last week’s blog. In general, look for furniture that takes advantage of vertical space–not just low-to-the ground storage; make sure there are varied depths of bins or shelves to harbor everything […] 
By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com 23 Jan, 2017
Frequently I hear my clients say that the play room always looks like an explosion. Kids toys often are stored at kid height along the perimeter of rooms nearly encasing the entire space with what can feel like continuous clutter. So many toys these days require their own floor space like doll houses, and play […] 
More Posts
By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com 01 Mar, 2017
Travel is supposed to be fun and relaxing, but getting ready to take a trip can be stressful!  Being organized with travel lists can take the stress out of your preparation. These three types of travel lists should be comprehensive enough to encompass all things travel: Pre-Travel Tasks, Packing List, and Vacation Activities. We always recommend […]
By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com 13 Feb, 2017
Do you keep supplements and/or meds in the pantry, or utility closet, or in a designated medicine cabinet in the kitchen or mudroom? Wherever they may be, chances are it is an area that becomes unruly quickly. Small bottles, awkward packaging, and measuring tools don’t rest well on shelves. We have a few tricks for keeping the meds […] 
By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com 06 Feb, 2017
Whether you love record keeping or hate it, it is that time of year that we all have to do it; or at least, think about doing it. Pulling together tax documentation can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. There is a simple formula for keeping financial paperwork throughout the year. […] 
By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com 30 Jan, 2017
We’ve had questions about what products we might suggest to help store toys so that they fit well in the play room, in response to last week’s blog. In general, look for furniture that takes advantage of vertical space–not just low-to-the ground storage; make sure there are varied depths of bins or shelves to harbor everything […] 
More Posts
Share by: