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Home » Reflections » Fridays, Filing, and Five A.M. Laundry

Fridays, Filing, and Five A.M. Laundry

This morning as I slid between sleep and wakefulness, I heard a washing machine filling with water in the apartment upstairs. The sound of the pipes clicking on and off wasn’t particularly loud or obnoxious, just enough noise to let me know that someone was getting ready for the day. Maybe they were planning a long weekend away, or expecting company to stay overnight. Before the sun came up, my own husband started a load of work clothes. Usually we manage to keep laundry under control but not this week. This week the baskets are overflowing. And my husband will be working all weekend so something must be done. Now.

The same thing happens with filing. I’m in the fourth week of a lifestyle improvement project called ‘The Game On Diet” and I’ve had to do twenty minutes of filing every day since we started. The piles of paperwork weren’t quite as high as the mountains of laundry, but they were still daunting. At first, I invented my own system of piles mentally labeled ‘to do,’ to file later,’ ‘to shred’ but then I found an article in the Washington Post that advocated an actual file box. And that box has been a brilliant aid to my endeavors. It’s reassuring to hear from a professional organizer that we can manage our paperwork in small bursts of regular action. I’m figuring out what to keep and what to toss with the help of a list from the Consumer Union website. Apparently they do more than evaluate washing machines…

What filing and laundry have in common is that they simply must be done. Disaster ensues otherwise. Why live without clean underwear? Not that paramedics or doctors really care, but it’s much harder to decide what to wear when your choices are three piles: barely worn, worn a few times, and wore to the gym twice. Finding the motivation to take care of filing and laundry can be hard and for most people it’s a cycle; you do it well for a few weeks, then you skip a week to remind yourself how unpleasant that can be.  You can pay people to do your filing or your laundry, or if you’re lucky both, but in the end only you know where your husband’s birth certificate and his socks really belong.

Large portions of the workforce are kicking back with a brew now as I actually head out to photograph not one but two work events. I’m jealous, but only a little. Have a great weekend…

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