Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Holy Grail of Organizing? Or Another Wasted Purchase? I Can't Decide!

If you are like me, you have piles. Deep down inside, you WANT to have files...neatly color-coded, alphabetized files in fashionable designs housed in cute but functional receptacles for said files. You want the contents to be neatly arranged, so whatever contract, bill, recipe or other item magically appears the instant you look for it.

The reality is, however, that files just don't work for some people. Some of us just pile, that's all there is to it. Trying to force a Piler to become a Filer is, in my opinion, a complete waste of time and an exercise in futility. Piler minds are wired differently than Filer minds.

As an unrepentant Piler, I am always on the look-out for that one piece of equipment, furniture, or system that will satisfy my Piler tendencies while producing the tidy orderliness of the Filer way. I have tried many different apparatus, all with the same results...works for a while, but before you know it, the Piles are back. It's incredibly frustrating. I am a reasonably intelligent adult...and I am bigger than these Piles, so why can't I master them?

I was wandering around Meijer one evening and as I passed through the aisle that contains the filing supplies my eyes happened to glance upon this:

This is the Pendaflex PileSmart Project Sorter. The "PileSmart" is what caught my eye. It gives validation to my preferred method of paper management.

It claims to help you "Organize Piles and Projects For A Clutter-Free Desktop" using "6 Color-Coded Sections To Sort and Retrieve Papers." You can also "Customize Sections With Blank Index Sheet" (and it includes a few extras).

When I saw this, it was almost like one of those Hollywood 'hallelujah' moments...almost like a choir of starry host singing and radiant glory shining down upon me.

"This is it!" I told myself. "This is the Thing I've been looking for to get those piles under control!"

There's only one small problem...(and no one who knows me will be shocked by this).

I haven't yet started using this miracle purchase made over a week ago because...


Whenever I start trying to decide what should go where, I am distressed that there are only six sections. What If I need more? And, what order should they be in? Alphabetical? Frequency of use? And what if, horror of horrors, I get it set up and decide I need to change something? I am completely paralyzed by indecision.

This brings to light the possibility that my Piler problem is rooted in some deep, psychological quagmire. Is it Perfectionism rearing its ugly head? (If I can't do it right, I won't do it at all) Or maybe, Fear of Failure (what if I assign categories and it doesn't work?). I did a search on 'psychological root of indecision', which produced a link to an abstract called Perceptions of parental control and the development of indecision among late adolescent females.
...it appears that a major source of the development of decisional procrastination tendencies in late adolescent females lies within the home environment. As expected, authoritarian parents who exercise overcontrol and inflexibility of authority untempered by warmth or support, were perceived by daughters as having a parental style that influenced their inclination toward indecision. Having authoritative parents, perceived as accepting and supportive of their children while flexible in their use of authority, and permissive parents, perceived as accepting without use of parental authority, were unrelated to decisional procrastination scores of daughters.
Certainly makes me think about how I parent my children...

Whether I can blame my parents for my inability to make decisions or not, the fact remains that no matter how marvelous this product may be (I may never know, at this rate)...it will only work if I actually use it. Nowhere on the label is any claim made that this product will actually organize your papers for you. Or that piles will be magically attracted to it and just end up in there on their own accord. I'm glad it was not outrageously expensive...$3.99 isn't too bad, but the Penny Pincher in me is quite irate that I bought yet another organizational 'gizmo' and it's just sitting there. On top of a Pile. How ironic...

This is not a solicited review of the Pendaflex PileSmart Project Sorter.


  1. Oh, Dawn. I'm sure you didn't really mean this blog to be funny, since you're irate and all... but it's hilarious! I laughed out loud at this phrase:


    I seriously can't stop laughing! Not at you... but at our funny selves. I'm not a piler, I'm a stuff-it-in-the-cupboard-and-hope-it-doesn't-fall-out-and-hit-my-head kind of person. Which of course, makes things disappear in the deep, dark recesses of afore mentioned cupboards.

  2. @esther...well, i did try to interject some humor there. it's funny in a very irritating way! sometimes i feel like a record (remember those old vinyl things from the stone age LOL) skipping when i try to make decisions :P funny, but still paralyzing! oh, and believe me, I have a few places you don't want to open, at least not without first donning proper protective gear ;)


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