In the spring of 2015, when I graduated college and effectively entered the “adult” portion of my life, the thing that surprised me most was all the paper.
I had grown accustomed to piles of paper throughout my schooling career, of course — the endless syllabi and textbook printouts and ten-to-twenty-page research papers I would hang onto long after they had been graded as a memento of a time I had once possessed critical thought — but I had thought that when I left college behind, my diploma would more or less be the last piece of paper I had to keep track of.
This, as it turned out, was not exactly the case. As soon as I moved to a new city and started a new job, I was saddled with new paper items like leases and work documents that, though they came in a lesser volume than in college, had much greater importance.
And unlike college, I couldn’t shove them to the bottom of my Herschel and hope for the best. And, considering I lived in a tiny room in a lopsided Brooklyn apartment that didn’t even have room for a real closet, let alone a sturdy mahogany desk in which I might be able to organize my important papers the way they deserved, simply sticking them into crevices and hoping they would appear in the moments I needed them most was just not an option. I was stuck.
My solution came in the form of something I had managed to resist all throughout college — a simple file folder.
Now, I understand that being amazed by the sheer utility of a basic file folder is a fairly mortifying — if predictable — problem for a millennial to have. But I also suspect I am not alone, and, to that end, I am happy to recommend a file folder to anyone who also found themselves surprised by an adult-onset paper onslaught.
Technically, as long as a file folder has clearly defined pockets, pretty much any one you choose should work. But I am partial to this one from Skydue.
It comes in a variety of fun, soothing colors and snaps shut with a clasp so nothing important will fall out. It also has four roomy pockets that can be used for anything — work documents, tax information, old birthday cards you know you don’t technically need but also can’t quite bring yourself to part with — with space to make labels like “work stuff” or “tax stuff” or “home stuff,” or, simply, “miscellaneous.” Or whatever! I don’t know your life.
But what I do know is that you just need to get yourself a file folder (or two). It’s not the cure for everything, but it will help at least keep that pile of papers that you should probably pay attention to at bay.