A friend went through a situation some months ago where his My Documents got deleted by a LAN administrator. He searched for something to "undelete" these files. I don't remember what he found but his experience set me off on a quest for something "just in case."
I found Restoration from Brian Kato. This is available here. It seems like there are newer versions available but none of the crumbs lead back to the author.
Anyway, Restoration works pretty good. Here's a screen shot:
Then today, I ran across Undelete Plus while reading lifehacker.
It works well also but has an easier UI. Here's a screen shot:
The big difference from Restoration is that panel on the left side. With a single click, you can subset by the file type, the folder where the file is located, or the drive. In this example, I had deleted an Excel file. By just clicking on the "MS Excel WorkSheet" in the left panel, Undelete Plus displayed the file I was looking for.
Obviously, this is a trivial example. If your real life is more complicated, there is a powerful filter capability.
Remember that undeleting files is not guaranteed. Your mileage may vary.