Flat Filing

It’s so easy. It’s so lazy. It’s so overwhelming.

There is a reason file cabinets store material vertically: it’s easy to store, see and retrieve paperwork. So why do I flat file?

What is flat filing? Well, it’s the art of finding a flat surface of any kind, and begin the process of laying paper upon paper, magazine upon magazine, until you have a tower of paper. It could be an end table, desk, TV, countertop, dresser top, or well, you can list a few here too.

And the sad and somewhat unusual thing is I generally know which stack and about how far down a certain piece of paper is…thus being able to retrieve it in almost the same time as if I had filed it in a file cabinet.


Except when I don’t remember.

When I cannot pinpoint which mound of material or even if that is determined, how far down I must go to find the piece of paper. And heaven forbid if the paper is a sticky note…

So why do it? Laziness, pure and simple. I would like to “blame” it on a variety of other excuses: no time to file, don’t know where to file, don’t know if I need it in the future, not in the right room, file cabinet is full (which is another issue to handle), and on and on.

And yet, taking that piece of paper and walking to the file cabinet, make sure it is worthy to be filed, and placing in the right file folder takes only a nanosecond longer.

So, my answer to “why?” is laziness. The inability to raise myself out of my chair, take a few steps and open a drawer.


So, I’M to blame for the frantic moments when I can’t find a critical piece of paper…


And here I thought I could blame someone or something else.


And there are so many instances where laziness and comfort rule, whether it’s paper shuffling, exercise routines, learning a new skill…it’s all “flat filing” of a sort.

So, here’s to the cessation of finding flat surfaces which are in need of paper company. Here’s to taking that one extra step to file, exercise, walk, do…