May 29 was Paper Clip Day. I found out about this quite by accident when I was looking at my favorite daily celebrations site for some Memorial Day facts.
Until the day before the celebration, I had no idea that there was any such holiday. As someone who has a soft spot for office supplies, I must admit that I think paper clips are worth celebrating. Large, multicolored paper clips were actually on my Christmas list last year (not kidding). In fact, I might even be a little obsessive about the items I use to hold my papers together.
As someone with an I need to see it personal style, color-coding is often my method of choice. And, when it comes to clipping or clamping my course paperwork together, I often carry the color coding down to the tool that holds my papers together: green for my early childhood development class, blue for my child and adolescent development class, yellow for my first year seminar and pink for my positive psychology class. All the folders for these classes also match this color scheme, as do my electronic files, which my Macbook allows me to color code.
Sound silly? Maybe it is. But, when I’m working on two exams for two different classes, for example, a quick glance at the paper clip or clamp holding the pile together quickly tells me which is which. Tucking the papers into a file folder, usually a problem for someone with the I need to see it personal style, becomes less problematic when I know what the contents relate to before I even open the folder. Extending this color coding to my actual filing system in what I’ve come to call my topless file bins adds a uniformity (read: neatness) to the system that compensates for the fact that my file boxes of choice have no lids. I do, of course, need to label my folders, but I would do that anyway.
Some (my husband, perhaps) might argue that this is all an excuse for me to buy fun, new supplies when the perfectly mundane things I already possess would work just fine. I agree in part — I do love the thrill of the hunt for new and unique organizers — but I would argue that the mundane doesn’t always “work just fine” for my style. A stack of manila file folders, no matter how well-labeled, does not offer me the same organizational benefit as a stack of file folders where each color or pattern represents a different task or topic. I can spot the blue folder in the stack much faster than I could sort through the labeled pile of manila folders.
Do I have to match the paper clips and clamps to the color-coding? Not really. But, I must admit, what began as a fun little touch really does help at points in the semester when the papers begin to pile up and any visual cue is a lifeline to task translation.
Will I spend a ridiculous amount of money to carry this out? I will not. I have price thresholds in mind and often shop sales, dollar bins, and the dollar store in order to keep the price of my systems in line.
But I certainly won’t object to — or ask the price of — any office supplies Santa may leave in my Christmas stocking. In fact, next year, I might just insist on celebrating Paper Clip Day.
With gifts, of course.
Copyright 2018 Lisa Hess