If I Only Had a Brain

Recently I was skimming through a your-home-can-be-as-organized-as-mine book my mom accidentally left at our house. I was curious to see what this organizational expert would have to say about categorizing. I found what I needed in the table of contents and turned to the section on categorizing with a touch of renewed hope.

But the section I needed didn’t exist. The focus was on systems to keep papers, important documents, email in order, always ready for you to retrieve in a moment. The sentence about categorizing said something like: “Make a list of categories that will cover all work, home, travel (etc.) documents you need to keep and retrieve in the future.” Not even a footnote. No recommended reading or mention of a “how” anywhere.

The author was born with an innate ability to create order, therefore it didn’t occur to him that the Organizationally Challenged need more than the simple instructions: Make Categories. Before we go further, you should know I am an adult with undiagnosed ADD. So the instructions, “make categories” makes as much sense as “solve this equation:”


You should also know I’m on my fourth filing cabinet. I just keep starting over. I can’t possibly figure out how to get organized if first I have to spend 12 years going through the previous filing cabinet.

So I just start fresh and try, try again. My files, left to themselves, end up with crazy titles like “to keep,” “to keep from Jess,” “school,” “Jess,” “things I like,” and inevitably I stand at the drawer with a cool story Jess wrote at school, and discover that one piece of paper could go into ALL of the 5 files above. It might work if I just used one file, “TO KEEP,” but then I’d just put everything in that one file, and does that really help anything?

So this is another opportunity to need God. I’m super good at that. I’ve been asking for order in my life for years; it’s actually a promise he gave me in 2001, and piece by piece it’s coming together. I was in the pool the other day and a list of categories just fell into my head! I think it was the first time ever I made categories. This was better than the face of Jesus in an onion. It’s a miracle!

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