I feel like I’ve spent so much of my life trying to either organize or catalog things. Really, I don’t think it became a real obsession for me until high school. I worked in the school’s library for two semesters. I filed cards into their proper place in the card catalog. I filed away magazines into the archives. I shelved books. During school breaks, I catalogued my parents’ movie collection, filling in gaps in the Rolodex where Mom kept an alphabetized record of the movies. I added the movie’s location in the collection and a description roughly cut out of the newspaper. I even went so far as to keep detailed, organized notes on all of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. It was fun for me.
At least, I assume it was fun for me, as I constantly reorganized my tiny movies and music collections throughout both my undergraduate work and my graduate work (which was ironically done in a museum, where I did classwork on developing databases and managing collections) for no reason other than I didn’t like the current organization scheme.
Over the weekend, I wrapped up several small projects that I’ve been working on for several months now. I finally finished adding all of the metadata and tags to my goodreads collection. I finished tagging my personal journal. I finished tagging my bookmarks, removing just over a third of them in the process. I finished tagging my Flickr account. Most inportantly, I actually tagged my Springpad account.
Can you tell I, the woman who’s grown up organizing and cataloging, got tired of not being able to find what I needed when I needed? It’s all in much better shape now, and I think I’m now ready to move on to projects that will rely on these newly-organized tools. Or maybe I just suffer from a pretty severe case of OC.
Except I don’t. Sort of. Today at work, I was asked if I thought the boxes we store archived files in needed to be alphabetized to make life easier. These are tiny boxes. We rarely need to fish out files from these boxes. If the folders were staggered to begin with, then it’s incredibly quick and easy to find the file we need. (I know. I’ve been through some of those boxes more times than I can count.) I told her it would just create busy work that none of us has time for.
Yes, I encouraged a lack of complete organization. Maybe there’s hope for me yet!