things don't last the way they used to

I have one of those expanding file carry thingys that I keep my bills and receipts in.

Looks like this.......

but it has a broken catch. See it up there? Broken. b.r.o.k.e.n. Broken.

So every time I picked it up to put something in or take something out or just to check on something, the whole thing would gape open and hang heavy.

Quite annoying and I'd been putting up with it for years. I don't remember how long ago I bought it, but the catch has been broken since I moved here. That's over two years now.

So I bought a new one.

They're only $5.95, why didn't I buy one years ago?
What do you mean...because I'm a cheapskate?
That is not the reason.
Not at all.

Why then?

The files. I transferred the files from the old case to the new and it took me hours! 
(at least two, maybe two and a half, I didn't check the clock when I started) 

I had to go through everything, check it all, weed out the outdated and unnecessary. 

There were receipts in there for things I no longer had, and one section labelled 'warranties' had those little warranty cards that come with all appliances. Some of those are current, more than a few were for appliances that had long since died and gone to appliance heaven. Receipts dating back to 2008 for old Christmas gifts I'd bought.
Had a ripping time with those, filled the wastebasket completely!

By the time I was finished it was past my dinner time, but I wasn't hungry at all, so just had a tuna salad sandwich, so I wouldn't wake up starving in the middle of the night.

The new expanding file case looks the same as the old at first glance, but the handle is different, a little less sturdy. I hope the catch holds out as long as the old one did.


  1. I have one of those as well...I use it for manuals for appliances etc.

  2. I have one, too, and keep it for good intentions that may materialize.

  3. I had one, but it died fairly comprehensively. Now there is a filing cabinet. Which needs culling. Which really, really needs culling.

  4. We now have a filing cabinet but in the eighties we used two of those for filing. I am sure they cost a lot more back then than what you have just paid. They were probably better made though. Good that you had a clean out and not just stuffed everything in the new one.

  5. Been there, done that - and know what you mean.
    And, culling/decluttering does take some time, but feels so much better once it's done, I think.

    Hope this one lasts you quite a few more years.

  6. Clearing outdated documents can be a metaphorical experience, make us feel lighter. And yet, in these strange times, we mustn't neglect to shred or burn details that would betray our bank numbers to those waiting to rifle curbside garbage cans.

  7. A blessing in disguise perhaps - that broken handle - as now you have rid yourself of all that unwanted paper.
    I used to have one of those files as well but it was cardboard and no fastener and I got so fed up with it drooping open all the time.
    Next step was a filing cabinet as I had so much genealogical stuff to file away as well. I recently went through the files and shredded so much stuff I nearly filled the wheelie bin (they like the shredded paper as they use the contents of that bin for compost).
    I used to keep all receipts but my brother said to me recently that he bins his as they are all on record of being paid on his bank statement. Now I only keep the most recent electricity and phone receipts but there are others (rates etc) that I do like to keep a record of.
    Many places are now wanting us to have all our accounts send electronically but I refuse to do that as if my computer should die I would not be receiving the a/cs in time to pay them.
    Sorry,,,another lengthy comment, I really do talk to much at times don't I? : )

  8. Delores; I had manuals in there too, I kept only the ones I still need.

    Joanne; I had one section for of things I'd like to have one day. Emptied that one years ago.

    Elephant's Child; let Jazz loose in there? Instant cull.

    Andrew; I have a filing cabinet, it lives at my daughter's house, holding up her fish tank.

    Vicki; I always feel better once I've done a good clean out of something or other.

    Geo; burnt out the shredder motor last year, really must get a new shredder, it's hard work cutting up all those details with scissors.

    Mimsie; this one is cardboard just as the broken one was, very sturdy. I'd prefer a filing cabinet, but my daughter is using mine and I have no room for it anyway...ooh, just had an idea, there is space under the table at the other end from where I sit.
    I pay my bills online and keep an online folder for the receipt numbers for every bill I pay.
    I like your long comments, it's like having a conversation.

  9. I hope 2014 proves to be a good year for you and yours!

  10. I spent a full five hours the other day creating a budget spreadsheet. I know exactly why you waited for the new file!


  11. I don't envy you that task of sorting through accumulated paperwork. I'm glad it didn't take too long - and isn't it amazing just how much stuff we acquire?

    My father-in-law was a real pack rat and when he died and we sorted through the paperwork when mum moved from the villa to a flat, he had receipts filed away for things they'd bought in the 1960s! (this was in 2005) Everything was in impeccable order, but really ... why? We needed to hire a skip to clear the house of paperwork and old magazines.

    I also had one of those organisers before I was forced to get a filing cabinet as the poor expandable file threatened to bust its seams. I recall having one made of simple cardboard as well (similar cardboard to those manilla folders we used to buy) where I kept my notes at uni. Very useful it was as well.

  12. Jerry E Beuterbaugh; welcome to drifting. 2014 is pretty good so far.

    Pearl; I never learned how to do spreadsheets, I just use columns in an exercise book. Incomes minus outgoings equals balance.

    Marie; I had a similar clean out of files when I moved so there wasn't all that much in there, but a lot was obsolete. My sister is a pack-rat, she still has clothes she wore in primary school, she can't let go of them because they are hers. I don't think she's ever thrown anything away, unfortunately she is not at all organised and her house is quite messy because of all the stuff. My filing cabinet lives at my daughter's house. I'd get it if I really needed it, but I've simplified so much the expanding file is enough.

  13. I have one of those files, like you it took hours last time and it's due again... Im planning on putting it off until I die and the kids have to sort through it...


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