Monday, March 5, 2012

1 year to an Organized Life - March Week One

This Week You Can:
  • uncover the reasons why you find the world of paper so daunting
  • read several case histories of others who found a way out of paper chaos to order
Having your paperwork organized is critical....if it's worth saving it's for a reason, and for that reason you need to able to find it!  This week we will begin to tame the paper monster.  For some of you, the thought of this just turned your stomach and maybe you want to crawl into bed and forget about it.  YOU are the one that needs to do it the most....and you can!  The hardest part is starting, and I speak from experience.  Everyone has a slightly different idea about what should be saved and for how long.  Regina has some guidelines for paper retention in a grey box on page 68.  I did THIS POST on financial records a while back.  You have to decide what works best for you.  

One major paper problem we had was the mail.  I don't know about you, but for two people we get an awful lot of mail!  Magazines, catalogs, credit card offers, automobile offers, mortgage offers, bills, and of course those all important pieces addressed to "resident".  Especially when I was working, when I got home and got the mail, I would flip through it and see stuff that I needed to take care of now (bills) and then stuff I would look at later (magazines and catalogs) and then the stuff that I knew I wouldn't look at (junk mail) and I would then just set it down on the table and start making dinner, mail forgotten.  I have recently gotten much better at this....

The first thing I do when I look through the mail is decide where stuff needs to go.  This only takes a few seconds to a few minutes, there is NO REASON to set it down and say I'll do it later.  Do it while it is in your hand and fresh on your mind, trust me you will feel so much better just doing this if nothing else!  If it's a bill, I open it and start a recycling pile of the envelope and any advertising material stuffed in there.  I then put the bill on my desk.  I pay bills and catch up with receipts twice a week.  Junk mail goes into the recycle pile, unless it is a credit card offer or something like that that has any personal info on it and that goes into a shred pile.  Catalogs and magazines I want to look at are put on "my" end table next to my chair.  Underneath that end table I have a plastic milk crate thingy that I put the recycling in.  When I sit down to watch TV (I look at catalogs and magazines during commercials) or to specifically look at my magazines and catalogs, as soon as I am done with them I reach under the table and drop them in the recycle bin.  When I look through magazines and there is an article that I really like that I think I might want to read again, or if there is a coupon or recipe, I tear out the page or cut out what I need (this end table has a drawer where I keep note paper, pens and scissors).  When I'm done looking through all of the mail and then have a pile of ripped out magazine pages, I take them straight to my desk RIGHT THEN and file them.  I have a file for recipes, ideas, and exercise ideas.  

That's just my point of view.  Did you learn anything new from doing the questions in the book this week?  I learned that my mom does the same thing that I used to do....or more likely I did it 'cause she did.  Some papers got taken care of right away and others were left to sit.  She's really bad about magazines.  There was one point where she had about 5 years worth in a back room.  Thankfully that's all cleared out episode of hoarders for her.  Every now and then I still have the tendency to hang on to something, maybe a special offer that came in the mail, because I'm not sure if I want to do it or not.  The best thing to do is go with your first instinct.  Either jump on the offer or recycle it.  99% of the time if I hang on to it, I never do anything with it.

This should be a great month!  I think if you have all your paper under control you'll feel a lot better about a lot of things...that's how I felt anyway!

Until Next Time.....


  1. I jumped the ball here, but I have already started doing this last week. I was amazed how many medical bills were just jammed away and how much shredding I had to do. But praise God I just got a letter from my bank that said "FREE SHREDDING DAY". Ya!