“If you’re going to organize a file system, you’ve got to do it right.” ~ My Mama
She was (and still is) the Queen of manilla folders, color-coded labels, and file cabinets fully organized from front to back. She found beauty in the flow of organized tabs, all at clearly defined heights and patterns, so her fingers could easily walk from A-Z whenever she searched for something.
Ask my Mama for anything – a receipt, a bill, letter or notes – be it from last week or 3+ years ago, and lickety split! She’d produce the artifact in record time and in pristine condition. See, it’s one thing to have an old receipt, but another to still be able to read the details – dates, items purchased, and time bought.
This, my friends, is organized archiving at its best.
But are we giving Queen Archive herself a run for the money – with the way we file, organize, and protect OLD memories, events, grudges, “what they did”, “what I used to do”?
Some of our internal file systems would put Mama’s system to shame. We can tell someone the date, time, AND the weather of the day they offended us. We have painstakingly filed, labeled, and color-coded events in our lives, and at any moment, re-play the entire situation as if it were happening that very second. We feel and re-live the agony, disappointment, or frustration we’ve protected in our mental archives for weeks, months, and years.
Quitters, it’s time to stop archiving – and start PURGING!
Know What and When to Purge
Does every memory, event, or situation deserve to be archived in your heart and mind? No.
Ask yourself these questions about your artifacts from the past:
Does this artifact make me feel joy, happiness, wholeness?
If the thought causes you dis-comfort and pain, it needs to go. Keeping harmful memories around is like having your own personal torture chamber – with YOU as the warden. Purge it!
What good has this past artifact brought to my life?
You’ve put in some time and energy remembering, referencing, looking back at the thought, memory, or situation. What has been your return on investment (ROI)? Was there any benefit to being able to pull it out of the archive for reference? If it has not been useful or produced any good results – Purge it!
What do you lose, how would you suffer from getting rid of it?
If you woke up tomorrow, and could never find this piece of the past – what would you lose? How would you suffer? Think about it…it’s gone, irretrievable – are you honestly better off? Then PURGE IT!
A beautiful archive is a noble thing when the protected artifacts bring utility, goodness, joy, and truth. Take an honest look at your mental, emotional, and psychological archives. If you need to, seek professional help to guide the organization process and clean out the clutter that needs to be purged. Know that sometimes the best organized spaces are those that are stripped and empty – prepped for a fresh, clean start.