Keeping Track of Paperwork
How well do the two halves of your couple manage paperwork?
Is it just us, or is spring cleaning the worst way to celebrate nice weather? “It’s gorgeous out honey, so grab the rubber gloves, 409, and the vacuum cleaner and let’s hunker down indoors with some chemicals!” It doesn’t compute. Now that spring is giving way to summer fast, we’re feeling even more anxious to organize and clean (which we’ve in no uncertain terms, put off). But the peskiest of all the clean- out chores is dealing with paperwork…something the two halves of this couple handle very differently.
She Said: I’m a fairly good steward of paperwork, but not good enough. I keep things. I file things. But I don’t always do it, which means I panic at a fairly regular interval when I can’t get my hands on something right away. My filing system is also haphazard at best. I found a letter from an old friend the other day filed under the ‘D’ tab in a filing folder. The letter was maudlin and not really worth saving, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I kept it (or filed it under ‘D’) in the first place. After staring at it for five minutes, I figured out that I’d put it under ‘D’ because it was depressing. That’s a weird thing to do, so I chucked it and shook my head. After seeing that letter, I decided to gut the file folder which was bulging with paperwork. I ended up throwing away a full garbage bag of obsolete junk. While I’m glad I kept my tax forms, I don’t understand why I still had paperwork from a storage unit I moved out of in 2004.
He Said: Ah paperwork. Organizing forms, receipts and documents isn’t exactly a natural talent. I’m the guy who still has a copy of his third grade short story The Golden Compass, but can’t find a copy of his lease. My philosophy has always been, if it seems important shove it in a drawer or glove compartment; it will be there when you need it. Not always the case my friends. I had to request a replacement copy of a vehicle registration recently, and let me tell you, it wasn’t a simple process. Courtney offered to help me look in my car for it first. After she discovered close to thirty paystubs from fiscal year 2008, a copy of an article I wrote last December, a handwritten note from a camp girlfriend, but no registration… well, I can let you finish that sentence. I don’t want to be disorganized; it isn’t something I enjoy. But keeping track of thin, flimsy pieces of paper has never been my strong suit.
For couples, the paperwork issue becomes thornier as your lives start to merge. We are happy to report that we have managed to keep our marriage license in a safe place, but ever since we started a life together, we’ve had to be a little more heads up about documents. So our advice to anyone who struggles with this is, file it now, not later, and remember, accordion folders are your friend!