[not from one of my kids: it's PreK_Paper_Tiger01 by TheArtGuy on Flikr]
This weekend my paper problem bit me in the -cough- posterior.
This may not resonate with many of you. It is my understanding that most adults in this world, particularly the adults who aspire to be productive members of society, do responsible things like filing away monthly statements, putting their car registration in the glove box the day it arrives, and getting a safe deposit box for critical documents like car titles, birth certificates, and Social Security cards.
I want to be a grown up. Really I do. But I haven't quite gotten the paper management part of that down. Instead, I have this complex system of grocery bags, shopping bags, and cardboard boxes that contain all manner of things. Receipts? check. Instruction manuals? check. Tax records? Check. What? You're looking for the charger for the new camera? Oh yeah, I've got it here in this basket.
The boxes/bags/baskets correlate roughly to seasons, or more specifically, domestic events to which we've invited people. This box is from when we cleaned up for Cecilie's birthday party, that basket is from when we cleaned up before Annika's baptism, oh yeah, and that big bag is from Christmas and when Annika was so sick.
Wait, don't touch that bag, that's papers I've already sorted and they're not urgent, they're just, you know, things that we want to keep for some reason or other.
Right, yes, I know that box is labeled 'Critical Papers.' But that's just instruction manuals for the kitchen appliances and a tool that I wasn't sure if we'd need to keep..... Oh really? You found Lars' birth certificate in there? See? It IS critical papers!
I think I should get points for at least not throwing things out. Except: of the last 18 months of insurance coverage, I could only prove I'd been covered for the six months between August 08 and February 09. I could only prove I'd owned the Explorer for the last 12 months, despite the fact that we bought it in October 03. But luckily I had an old registration card that proved my father owned the car before me. That was really helpful. Turns out that even my 'clearing out' efforts are sporadic enough to screw up any semblance of system we might have going on.
This weekend, I've had to track down insurance papers, birth certificates, old report cards, yearly tax statements, and the kids' social security cards. Believe it or not, I've managed to pin down most of it, or been able to prey upon the kindness of customer service agents to re-print certain documents.
But This. Is. Just. Ridiculous. Anyone got tips for helping me grow up?