First let me say that I think you may be confusing the term "project" with "window". A window is not a project in itself. A project is a folder with a .sublime-project and .sublime-workspace files in it. If you want to know how to create a project, keep reading.
handycam wrote:Sometimes, as I work through the day, I inadvertently open a new file from the Finder (double-clicking it) and now it's a part of my project.
Well that's easy, change open_files_in_new_window setting to true in your user settings... Now when double clicking a file will always open in a new ST window.
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"open_files_in_new_window" : true
handycam wrote:Conversely, sometimes I will inadvertently close a file that is part of my project. So, to add it back I need to hunt the file down again and re-open it into the project.
That is easy too... press cmd+p and type anything remotely similar to your file name, then press enter. Magic, the file is now open in your project window and it took you less than 2 seconds. This works on the condition that the file is in the project folder, and you have indeed configured a project, not just opened a window with tabs. As skopp pointed out, it's normal behaviour in pretty much any IDE in the world to work in workspaces which are represented by a project folder.
But ST, being such an amazing IDE, also lets you add a number of different folders to a project. For that you first need to create a project. To do that open a new window with cmd+shift+n, then go to Project/Save project as. Now the folder where you save that file is the project folder, and can access all the files in that folders and sub folders with cmp+p. If you want to add more folders from different locations in your hard drive, you can go to Project/Add folder to project.
If the problem is that you don't really work in "projects" but in "window views with tabs", with files from all over your hard drive with no order whatsoever, that is really your very unique way of doing things. There's no way an IDE will help you there . You could use spotlight, or even better, Alfred or QuickSilver to find the needed file (the one you accidentally closed) in a matter of seconds without never leaving your keyboard.