Last week we had a guest speaker at the MOMS Club on organization. I was inspired again to get my act together and tackle some of my paper clutter that has been bothering me for quite some time now. Of course, I have other types of clutter but right now I'm focusing on the paper. The other day I bought a new file storage container from walmart along with some new file jackets (never heard of these until the speaker mentioned them at the meeting), and some manilla envelopes. The box I purchased was a stackable container and quite big so it did not fit under my desk that I indended it for. So I decided to just transport the files from the container I already have into this new box and store that in the basement. Start with a fresh new start and empty container.
The container that I was using to file the paid bills into was totally full. So much full that my fingers no longer were able to fit into it and I was getting so frustrated each time I had to file a bill. So for the past 3 or 4 months instead of filing my bills into the existing container I was stacking them up into a pile and putting a rubber band around them. Along with this pile I had magazines, recipes, layouts that I wanted to copy, christmas cards that I recieved from others, books that I had bought and other things that I have printed from the computer. The pile was getting so high that it was now hitting the light switch in the kitchen. So last night I sat down and tackled that pile along with the existing box and started transfering the files to the new box.
I also made up new folders such as one for the MOMS Club. Yes, I was starting to accumulate things from the MOMS Club such as members lists, phone numbers, directions, activity ideas, receipts and other things so now I have a folder designated for all this stuff.
I already had a oranization filing draw on my desk. It consists of 3 draws. One that I put bills that need to be paid, one draw has the business papers and the bottom draw has the paid information. I also have an inbox where I put magazines and mail as it comes into the house. (By the way, this box needs to be taken care of as it's piling high and needs to be emptied). I tried 15 minutes the other night to go through it and didn't even put a dent in it. That's how much stuff accumulates in my house.
As for the mail coming into the house. I've been trying so hard to sort and purge it as it comes in each day. Bills go into the have to be paid draw, business things go into their draw, magazines go into the basket at the door, most of the time I shred and throw out junk mail as it comes in but if I haven't had a chance to look through it then it gets put into that mail basket along with the magazines. I get tons of mail order catalogs as well that I immediately put into the recycle bin. I find if I don't open it up then I won't be tempted to purchase something so into the bin it goes.
I took this quiz at better homes and gardens and it says that I am a piler. My results by Kristen Finello. You tend to be a piler. You find that the maxim "Out of sight, out of mind" applies to you, so you prefer to keep things in plain sight so they don't get lost or forgotten. You're more likely to hang something on the refrigerator or a bulletin board than to put it in a drawer or cabinet because seeing it regularly jogs your memory. Remember: Piles aren't inherently evil -- they can be okay if they are specific enough -- but when a single pile grows to encompass everything from take-out menus to bank statements, things can get out of hand fast. The good news: You don't have to give up your piling tendencies. Instead, make your piles work for you. Individual piles of related materials (all expense receipts to be submitted, for instance) can be kept in nontraditional containers. Consider tools like baskets, trays, cubbies, and color-coded folders -- they'll appeal to your visual side, but also keep clutter at bay. And it's fine to keep important documents and files in your line of sight -- just contain them in a stairstep file or sorter so they're visible but not messy.
I also found this article Purge Those Papers: When to Toss Financial Records
Which important documents you should keep (and for how long)? Which can you toss? We have the answers. by Amy Debra Feldman
Okay, let's face it I am a pack rat. I save everything! However, there are times when I can't find something. I am in the process of giving each item a home to Live by the mantra "a place for everything and everything in its place." If you assign a spot for each paper, you'll know what to do with it. Indecision is a big cause of paper chaos.