Top 10 List: 10 Reasons Why A Miscellaneous Folder is a Bad Idea

posted in: Lists, Organizing 6

Not too long ago, I wrote a post on how to file miscellaneous items.10 Reasons Why a Miscellaneous Folder is a Bad Idea

I thought it only natural to address that black sheep of filing, you know, it’s something called…[cue ominous music]…the miscellaneous folder!

It sure is tempting to create a folder, stuff various things inside of it, and call it a day.

Yes, this is a quick fix when it comes to filing things.

However, in reality, you’ll actually be doing more harm than good.

Here are ten great reasons why a miscellaneous folder is a really, really, really, bad idea.

Number 10.

You’ll forget what was filed inside the folder in three months’ time. No, seriously, you will.

Number 9.

You’ll have to define your definition of miscellaneous in order to file items in the folder.

Number 8.

You’ll have to update your list of items contained in the folder on a regular basis.

Number 7.

You’ll waste time sorting through all the items to find what you think you might have filed in the folder.

Number 6.

Asking someone else to pull out a particular piece of information from the file will prove to be that much more difficult.

Number 5.

Asking someone else to re-file a particular piece of information from the file will prove to be that much more difficult.

Number 4.

A paper and/or digital file can only hold so much information!

Number 3.

You’ll feel more unorganized with a vast quantity of miscellany.

Number 2.

You’ll become lax in filing information in your other files.

Number 1.

You’ll soon start to file everything in the folder…it is labelled miscellaneous…right?

How about you? Have you ever created a miscellaneous folder? Did it help or hurt your ability to file or find items? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.
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6 Responses

  1. Organized Living Essentials

    This is so true! I tried the miscellaneous folder and it was such a confusing waste of time.

    • theorderexpert

      Thanks for stopping by. Hmm, you know you just gave me an idea for another post! Stay tuned…

  2. […] time sorting through all the items to find what you think you *might* have filed in the folder and so on. Save yourself from a miscellaneous headache and instead take the time to properly classify and […]

  3. Janet Barclay

    Aware of the hazards of having a Miscellaneous file, I used to have one, but with strict guidelines. I could only put items in it that didn’t fit into any of my existing files, and once there were 10 papers in it, I had to go through and create new files for any topic with 3 or more items. I just hate having file folders that only have 1-2 pieces of paper in them!

    • Rashelle

      Nice system! If possible, I also try to avoid files with 1-2 pieces of paper in them. However, sometimes I just let the files be because I know I can find the file ASAP. It’s all about trade-offs… Thanks for your comment!

      • Janet Barclay

        Now that I think about it a bit more, I actually had a Miscellaneous file for each section of my filing cabinet – so a Misc – Clients, Misc – Suppliers, etc. so they weren’t a total mishmash!