Fall Project: Getting the File Cabinets to Close


Faulty file cabinets are threatening to ruin Thanksgiving in our house this year. They have been crammed with so many things I thought I needed to keep “on file,” that they are heavy enough to come crashing down, through the ceiling, into the gravy boat, and crush the delicate “handprint” turkey centerpiece we made as a family back in 2005. Also, they are a little difficult to close. Here are some solutions that might remedy the situation:

–Using salad oil to grease up the wheel-like things in the grooves for each drawer.

–Standing at the other side of the room and running full force at the drawer to knock it senseless.

–Taking an axe to the top of the cabinets, thus creating an airway through which the contents could “breathe.”

–Pushing the cabinets through the second floor, onto the dining room table now, rather than waiting for Thanksgiving. That way, we’d have time to clean up most of the mess and create a kind of sky-light effect from the second floor, for which we could be grateful if we use our imaginations hard enough.

Here’s what I actually did:

I sorted through each file folder and each piece of paper in both of the cabinets in my office and placed the papers I didn’t need in the recycling bin. (This job is not quite over yet. I still have more papers to sort through). It turns out that all of the photocopies I made in graduate school, that I thought were so important, mean absolutely nothing to me now. Also, I’m not sure why I started to print off my short stories and keep hard copies of them. I have backup files of backup files on my computer and on flash drives—but I know what you might be thinking: Wouldn’t someone find a treasure trove of stories to plagiarize if they just sift through the trash? No, no they wouldn’t. Either the stories have already been published or they were so bad that they were rejected. In other words, “story thieves” would only find a treasure trove of form rejections and “please don’t submit here again” letters.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if material from this blog hasn’t already been stolen online by Sally Smithers in Mrs. Plummet’s seventh-grade expository writing enrichment program. Imagine the grades that student will get if they, in earnest, with a serious reading voice, present the following information to the class: “According to the experts at Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks Headquarters, cornbread stuffing ghosts are haunting the insides of turkeys this year.”  Mrs. Plummet might be a little suspicious, but she’s tired, and she just wants to go home, so she’ll write “very creative and informative” on Sally Smithers’ paper, and just like that, the Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks blog will be ransacked by seventh-graders all over the nation. They’ll be writing on the bathroom walls: For a great time source of information, go to https://fixinleaksnleeksdiy.blog/

In any case, I’m only down to one filing cabinet now, and I’m just working on evenly distributing the weight in the top and bottom parts of the drawers, so that they don’t fall forward onto my foot when I open them. To solve this problem, I could:

–Place a bookshelf in front, which I could move to the side each time I want to get something out of the file cabinet (which doesn’t happen very often).

–Get rid of the filing cabinet and create a “filing closet” that shares space with my clothes.

–Create a shelf of “filing memories” to commemorate the things I would put in a filing cabinet if I had chosen not to get rid of it.

–Donate the filing cabinet and all materials inside to Mrs. Plummet’s seventh-grade class.

Your Turn: What projects have you started this season? Do you suspect/fear/hope that school-aged children are using your blog for their assignments?

20 thoughts on “Fall Project: Getting the File Cabinets to Close

  1. While I am at work in the north, my husband, who is 2000 km south of me is moving from one side of town to our new home on the other side. Both places are the same size but we seized the moment, so to speak, and divested ourselves of a lot of stuff, including files, file cabinets and other stuff we thought we were supposed to keep. It was great getting rid of it!! Good luck with your sorting and may your cabinetry function flawlessly for years to come. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My strategy for the overloaded file cabinet is the trusty kick-the-drawer method. That said, I have started going through my work files and throwing resources away so I’ll never be tempted to work in higher ed administration again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You know, many of us have SO MUCH stuff. It’s sort of understandable, because our homes would look weird with little in them. Anyway, a few months ago my wife and I got rid of about 200 books that we knew we’d never look at again. Some were in bad shape and had to be trashed. Most were donated to various organizations. It was a start.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a great idea! Some of the files would be rather large, so there would be hours worth of scanning to do–I’ll probably have to save that project for when we are snowed in. Also, if I didn’t have filing cabinets, I could create a comfy reading nook in my office instead.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ken needs to take some serious tips from you–he’s a paper hoarder and has things like hydro bills going back ten years, university lecture notes and all kinds of weird stuff that I can’t get him to throw away, unlike me, who keeps very little paper and uses the cloud and an external hard drive for storage. Our offices are completely the opposite!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Opposites attract:) I also just cleaned out my refrigerator–and this project led to me cleaning out my closets, drawers, tidying up the junk drawers, the crafting drawers, and the pantry. It feels great!!!


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