Week #4 – Organize Your Papers

Week 5 – Organize your papers
(In the book these are located in Weeks 5 – 12)

Before I begin with my blog’s entry, I haven’t quite kept up with the challenge as well I would have liked. I was feeling way too overwhelmed, thinking that I had to be perfect and finding a way to “finish” each challenge. It was causing great stress in my life!

I spoke with Jennifer and she reassured me that it is okay – when you have great clutter, you need to do things in babysteps and you will take each day. So my house will not be perfect, any time soon, but it will be a clutter free space before I know it.

A few things about my home – we have lived in the same house for about 15 years. It is a 1980s house – we have not done much in renovation and the kids had taken things over. When my in-laws had passed away, my husband began to bring more things home from his parents house that he could not part with – those are all in the garage! I am hoping that the garage isn’t on the challenge until the summer! We don’t have a lot of closet space and we have a lot of stuff! We recently adopted a shelter dog. I have three children whom I love dearly and my husband whom I have been married to for almost 16 years. I have always worked full time, being an administrator/teacher in a school has me working long hours at times.

I will say that planning out my week and having a routine has been something that I have been working on on a regular basis. My calendar which I posted a few weeks ago has been a God-send! I am keeping track of all of the activities that my children do plus make sure that we know who and when we are picking up at the various locations. I am definitely a paper calendar person!

Week 5 – Organize your papers

(In the book these are located in Weeks 5 – 12)

The first thing that the book asks is if I could easily locate your family’s birth certificates, security cards? I can honestly say I can. We have a two drawer file cabinet that we have most of our important papers. I have filed in the recent months – general file names on the tabs with individual folders inside. Sometimes it gets too hectic and papers get placed on the side for a later date.

I will be creating a folder in the front of my file drawer with important information that can be easily accessed if necessary:
Family Health:
Doctors Names/Phone Numbers
Dentist Names/Phone Numbers
Allergies
Finances
Credit/Debit card numbers and important phone numbers **I will say this would have been handy when my purse was stolen out of the car!!
Bank account numbers and phone numbers
A budget (hmmmmmm – need help with this one!!!)
*home insurance / Auto insurance has been filed appropriately in the drawer
Safety
Emergency numbers (in the closet for the babysitter)
License plates and VIN numbers
Current photos and info on all the family members

We already have a fireproof box that we keep the social security cards, birth certificates, titles – I have the marriage certificate in the file drawer.

Organizing Mail (week 12)
This is a something that we have worked on this week. My kids love going to mailbox and bringing it in the house. However, it rarely makes its way to me. Typically, I will be walking around and I will find it three days later!

I have instituted that they bring it to the kitchen and leave it on the counter. It is near the family calendar. What I have tried to do is open it, toss the envelopes in to the recycling bin (under the table) and put the due date on the calendar. We are trying!! Sometimes this seems impossible but we try!

We took our name off lists years ago and this has helped the junk mail – if we do receive something, it goes right into the recycling bin.

Organizing Magazines and Newspapers (week 10)

I feel I have mastered this one!! We have the newspaper delivered only on Sundays; however, they do deliver Thursday too! On Fridays, I put the newspapers into the recycling so that we don’t have the papers lying all over!

One suggestion that Jennifer says in the book is to only pick up magazines when you have the urge to read it. I have done this and it is great. I have to get better at cutting out the important pieces or articles I want to read. This is a long term goal.

So I have been working and in closing – remember it is baby steps and you don’t have to be perfect on the first try!

Next Week: Pantry!

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2 Responses to Week #4 – Organize Your Papers

  1. Yay Michelle! I am SOOO proud of you for not giving up!!! I am sure there are others who feel the same as you and this is a HUGE source of inspiration for them. Thank you for being open here. I work with clients every week that feel the same way as you. Organization is not about “being perfect” it is about getting happier and less stressed! LOL Check out http://www.organizeacademy.com, a site we just put up where our motto is “Good Enough is the New Perfect”. We are NOT Martha Stewarts…:)

  2. pamela says:

    Michelle, I totally know how you feel. Our home belonged to my husband’s grandfather, and was full of all of the things he had accumulated until he died at the ripe old age of 96. We had a full house as we were starting our life together, and now, 12 years and 4 kids later, it’s kind of a mess. Please don’t feel intimidated, my house is a hot mess, too.

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