Erica, my dear friend and professional organizer, hates the way I file. Well, perhaps it’s not quite that strong an emotion, but she does shake her head at my complex filing system and (occasionally) sighs deeply.

I micro file, you see.

It’s the only way I can find things after I file them (this of course assumes that I actually force myself to endure the single most boring job in the universe: filing semi-important papers).

I need to separate things that live together from those that don’t. Gold star for Linda: that’s Organizing 101. But I have discovered that my definition of “things that live together” is a bit peculiar – at least to the organizing world.

For instance, Erica (mistakenly) believes that Life Insurance, Investments and Retirement can be lumped together in one drawer of my filing cabinet. ACK! NO!

In my ADDiva brain, Life Insurance is about Death and gets filed with the Wills and Five Wishes (really important documents about End of Life wishes).

Investments are about Money and go with the (very skinny) Financial Planning files.

And Retirement has two distinct sections: before 65 and after 65. The ‘young’ retirement files go up front with tantalizing articles about places to visit and pay stubs that show much we are contributing to the 401k. The ‘old’ retirement files go behind with the Social Security statements and a summary of all the different places we have little bits of money for retirement.

See? Complicated. Even a little OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). But it makes sense to me. I wrote this entire post without even getting out of my chair to look at the files in person, yet I knew exactly where Retirement, Investments and Life Insurance were located. That’s how intuitive it all is to my ADDiva brain.

It took me a while to get to this point. I have to think HARD about what is intuitive for me. Where would I look for Life Insurance? What does that mean to me? What’s similar in my mind?

Then I try out the system. Does it work? Can I find things? Does it take me 30 minutes to remember my previous “intuition?” If so, it’s probably not that intuitive, after all. So I adjust. To make it work FOR ME.

And that’s the point. No matter what your system is, if it works for YOU, it works. Period.

Let yourself off the hook – stop trying to follow the “rules” of Organizing.

Create your own system and let it work for YOU.

Whew – what a relief, eh?