Monday, March 26, 2012

1 year to an Organized Life - March Week Four


This week you can:
  • create a working file system
  • learn how to organize paper in other creative ways
  • discover what goes on your desk and in your office space
here's my before pic again so you can get a feel for the difference.....

Well, what do you think?  So what was my $2.86 fix?  A can of spray paint!  That's right.  See those standing files on the right and the flat files on the left? (in the after pic)  I got those from some office surplus years ago and they were slate grey.  In case you can't tell, I like purple.  So I got a can of purple spray paint and my husband gave each of them about three coats.  They match and look like I got them as a set even though I actually got them two different places.  If you look closely at the file on the left you can see paper in each one.  That is actually 12X12 scrapbook paper cut down to fit the trays.  Sometimes when it's really humid something you have spray painted can get slightly tacky.  You may not even be able to feel it, but paper can stick to it slightly.  So in case that happens, I put this paper in each tray so if something does stick it will be the backside of this paper and not the info that I temporarily store in the trays.  I used a different pattern for each tray since each tray holds something different.  If you like uniformity, which I usually do, you could use all the same pattern.  I love all the space I have on my desk now.  It makes it easier to dust weekly, and if I want to get out a craft project I only have to push a few things to the side and I can start.

I also worked on the bins I have in the closet to the left of my desk, and some filing.  And of course, the things I decided to get rid of were either immediately recycled or priced for the yard sale and put into the yard sale bins downstairs.  I hope you read the chapter for this week because Regina clearly explains a great filing system that will make your life so much kidding!  Don't forget to look back at January part one in the book for more tips for success.  

If you have a ton of paper to go through, you've got to try the method she describes on pages 90 and 91.  What I have done before is clear off the dining room table and take all my paper to go through, a pen and a pad of post-it notes.  Also have your recycle bin and shredder right next to you.  Start going through each paper and either placing it in a pile which you will label with a post-it, or placing it in the recycle bin or shredder.  By the time you are done you might have piles all the way around the table with post-it notes in front of each one saying what it is, and everything else has gone in the bin or shredder.  Regina suggests taking a break right here before getting into the file system creation.  I think my favorite part of the whole filing system is having a different color for each person in the house.  At Target pharmacy, each person in the family gets a different color ring around the bottle that is prescribed for them.  So when Dad gets sick, you don't have to pick up each bottle and read each label, you can look for the ones with only the blue band and find his meds a whole lot faster.  The same goes for filing.  If you need to find something pertaining to Sara you know you only need to look in the purple folders.  So simple, so easy!

On page 94, Regina talks about the out of sight out of mind kind of person.  That has always been me, and it has only gotten worse as I have gotten older.  I tried a similar method at work like she described where you keep the files in the front of the drawer that you use all the time and I have forgotten things over and over.  So that is why I have the five tray file on the left of my computer.  Each one stands for something and I can see at a glance what I have to do or what I'm waiting on to finish.  For example, the top tray is for any filing, bills and receipts.  I do these things twice a week, and it's a handy place for my husband to drop his things.  He used to just put them on my desk, and you saw how that looked!  The next tray is "ongoing to do", the most frustrating for me.  This is the stuff that I can't finish and file.  I'm waiting on someone else to do something first.  The next one is for everything related to Franny and upcoming blog posts I need to work on.  As I finish them out of that tray they are then filed or recycled whatever the case may be.  The next one is ongoing bills....this is where I have gotten into trouble before.  I have certain bills that I have to remember to pay each month on time.  These are things that have yet to be on the electronic bandwagon and have special envelopes and invoices.  I can glance over and see what's in there, so I never forget again.  And the last one, for now is for my envelopes and labels.  Yes these could go in a drawer or one of the bins, but I've got that last tray for now so I'll use it.

The next section is dealing with the mail.  I used to have a hard time with this but no more!  I used to flip through it and grab the bills or what I wanted to look at and leave the rest on the table.  I might go look at that pile again a day or two later and add to it or pull something out that I said maybe I would look into.  But all that pile did was grow until it was taking over a good part of the table.  Then I had to take a day and finally go through it.  EVERY time I did there was always something that I was upset that I had overlooked and now it was too late.  Now what I do with the mail is first thing I sort it between mine and his...his goes on his placemat and he knows he has to follow the same rules I do when he gets home from work.  I then take out all junk and immediately put it in the recycle bin.  I open up all bills and put their envelopes in the recycle bin and put the bill in my top tray.  Anything else that I need to read goes on "my" end table next to "my" chair.  My recycle bin is under this table.  The next time I am sitting down to watch TV, I read stuff in this pile during the commercials (or through the show if it is a rerun or something my husband picked ;) and when I'm done put it in the recycle bin.  If it is something I need to act on, it goes in the proper file on my desk,  Mail done every day!!

Next section talks more about've really got to read it, it will help you so much!  Then on to desk items and placement of furniture.  

This week was a lot of work, but it was also the one I got the most benefit from in terms of ease of use of my space and visually.  We've only done three sections in the house and I already feel so much better about it I can't even put it into words!  It has been so rewarding so far that I can't wait to get to the rest of the book, even though one of the chapters deals with the garage!!

I hope you have a great week, and it would be awesome to see some of your before and after pics!  Happy organizing!!

Until Next Time.....

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