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Is Out of Sight Always Out of Mind?

Is out of sight always out of mind? It can be unless you have a system in place for reviewing the contents of the boxes and bags that are stashed in your attic or basement. The same issue applies to those files from closed projects that is taking up valuable space in file cabinets or in an off-site storage facility. An annual review of the files both onsite and offsite is imperative.

There’s a good chance that you can relate to this story. My husband was in charge of getting our building’s storage room cleaned out and re-organized. As our neighbors removed household and other items, it was easier to see what was on the shelves. During one of his inspection tours, he noted a box on the very top shelf of my one section. He pulled it down and saw that it belonged to one of our neighbors. He promptly put it on her shelf and sent her a message advising what he had done. Her immediate reaction was that there was mistake and the box wasn’t hers. In any event, she made time to stop in the storage room to check out the contents of the box. As she started wading through the crumpled-up newspaper, she caught a glance of the date…. 2001! She dug out one of the carefully wrapped items and peeled back the layers of paper to find a long-forgotten Thanksgiving table decoration. She continued digging through the box and found other holiday decorations all of which had been out of mind for 20 years!

Why does this happen? Aside from not having a system in place and a date on the calendar for an annual review of the items being stored, you are probably keeping items that you don’t really want or need. If you are more selective about what is kept, you will save yourself lots of time and money.

So, before you take the easy way out and start piling items into boxes or a file cabinet, make time to seriously sort through them. If you are having trouble making decisions as you’re weeding through the stuff, set parameters of what to keep. For example, keep only one of your child’s projects from each year of elementary school and take pictures of the rest.

I encourage you to re-consider your approach before tackling a pile of memorabilia or old work files. Is out of sight always out of mind for you? Reach out and share.