se7en

The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Project Simplify: Se7en Paper Piles…

March 20th, 2011 · 10 Comments

I am loving Project Simplify!!! The projects are manageable – nothing like the projects I set for myself!!! This weeks project was papers around the house… hunt them down sort them out, chuck them out, whatever… get the piles of paper sorted… I can do that!!!

project simplify

In general our papers are under control. It helps to bring nearly no paper into the house and ensure that anything that is lying around gets fed to the recycling bag on a Thursday night… I hate to have the recycling bag anything other than full!!! We don’t get magazines anymore we just stopped when I realized that for the price of two magazines that I browse I could buy a great book that I actually wanted to read… so no magazines cross the threshold. The only papers that were out of control were the kids personal papers – lets just say they needed a little guidance!!! So here are Se7en Paper Piles around our house… and let me say papers are not my passion and this is just so not a beautiful post!!!

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  1. The Post Pile: A couple of weeks ago I was battling with our post pile because it was actually a drop zone for pamphlets, too lazy to walk to the recycling bits, broken books, mending and a couple of sheets of actual mail!!! I had an epiphany the other day when I realized that we get so little mail that it isn’t actually worthy of a spot in our home!!! The photo is of this weeks mail… two magazines and a newspaper went straight to recycling along with the box from a couple of books. I removed the drop zone and I am sure all those stray things are getting dropped elsewhere!!! But the mail goes straight into the recycling and if it is a bill or a pamphlet I file it straight away… Why was I waiting until I had a huge pile to file? One or two things once or twice a week and I am done. So the post pile is gone and I have a folder next to my desk with all our bills and important papers slotted into their own slot.

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  3. Bills from year to year: The tax man among others requires that we keep our bills for a number of years… at the start of a new year I get a fresh folder and put the previous years folder onto the shelf. Then I take the oldest file off the shelf and get rid of those papers.

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  5. Warranties and Manuals: When we get anything that has a warranty and that requires you to keep the till slip I staple the till slip to the manual and pop it into the manual drawer. Once a year I whiffle through the manual drawer and toss out anything we no longer own or whose warranty has expired. Sometimes you are required to keep the packaging as well… in which case I pop the box into the garage and save it. When we have had to provide a proof of purchase I just have to find the warranty in the drawer and the box from the garage and we are sorted.
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  7. Passports and Birth Certificates: These papers are so vital that they are saved in their own special drawer, all passports all birth certificates in their own folder – far from the madding crowd.
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  9. School Papers: And there are tons of these… As we finish a book it gets popped into a box, each student has their own box during the year. If it is just a paper it gets stuck into the corresponding journal: history, math or art or whatever… when the journals are finished they get popped into the box as well. At the end of the school year I take out the previous years boxes from the top of the cupboard and place the latest boxes into the cupboard. And then we start a new year fresh with empty boxes on the shelves ready to fill up by the end of the year. The books are in chronological order should I ever need to refer back to them.
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  11. Kids Art: And we have profusions of this!!! If it is magnificent then we keep it in their memory box. If it is great it goes up on display until recycling day… so much of my kids artwork is documented we don’t actually need to keep it as well!!!
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  13. Blog Bits and Pieces: I do pick up bits and pieces of paper all over the show – usually business cards or scraps… with ideas… I used to keep them in a stack but this year I have been sticking them into my diary – and it works so much better. When I am done with them I cross them out. Otherwise they glare at me from the page!!!
  14. And the Se7en + 1th Thing:

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  15. Kids Papers: My kids collect and gather masses of papers… and as our house gets more streamlined so there glaring masses of mess get to me more!!! So this week I helped them tackle their papers.
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    We hauled them all out into a huge pile and separated them into categories… junk, pamphlets, art, stories, dragon drawings, inventions, you name it and they have it!!! We popped each category into an envelope and stored them in a box folder. Similarly with streams and streams of paper dolls… each family goes into an envelope and the whole lot get to live in the paper doll bag.

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That’s papers for you!!! I can’t wait to see next weeks challenge!!!

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Tags: Organizing Se7en

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Karyn // Mar 20, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Whew – I am very impressed. Papers are the one thing that always seem to overwhelm me. Well done 🙂

  • 2 se7en // Mar 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Oh Karyn… At this moment in time our papers are sorted but I fear the paper monster is lurking in my kids closets!!! Just waiting to get out as soon as I glance away… I reckon it is going to be a long lesson of repeat and repeat and repeat… and as my oldest said to me the other day… every time you sort these books you are donating just a few more, I think you are refining our home!!! He has a point: refining indeed!!! Have a good week!!!

  • 3 Rebecca // Mar 21, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Thank you for the link to Project Simplify! I have been finding out about such great things from you! I’m going to join in this week I think! I read the book but felt a bit overwhelmed by the process even though I really want a more simplified home! Perhaps this will help me, as I often feel like I need someone to come over to my house and walk me through it. (i AM grown up. i AM 🙂 I just have trouble carving out time for this, but I know it needs my attention! Anyway thanks again and Happy Week to you.

  • 4 Richele // Mar 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks for letting us share in your victory! I really like your envelopes and folders for your children’s drawings. We’re still working with our kids on ‘letting go.’

    How great that you don’t get much mail (I think). I signed up on the ‘do not mail’ list as I dread going to the mailbox – there’s always so much junkmail that I’m afraid I’ll miss something really important.
    Best,
    Richele

  • 5 se7en // Mar 22, 2011 at 1:16 am

    HI Rebecca, I must say I am loving Project Simplify!!! How often do I set aside a week to just sort the papers – I tend to take on a room and then break it down into drawers, shelves and so on. Turns out – it is much too much to sort a room!!! And just the papers is quite enough. So here is my tip: start small – really small. Clear a tiny patch and keep it clear, clear another patch and keep them both clear and so on!!! I really only work on this for a couple of minutes a day – maybe just fifteen minutes… But I try and do a little bit everyday. Give it a try because every little bit does eventually make a difference!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

  • 6 se7en // Mar 22, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Hi Richele!!! So nice of you to stop by!!! It really helped my boys to see that their papers could go from chaos to sorted… even if there papers were sorted into picture styles!!! It worked, it was neater and when things didn’t fit into their selected categories they were quite happy to toss them out!!! We are lucky not to get mountains of mail and the mail we do get we can mostly toss in the recycling – so out it goes before it gets a glance!!! This weeks sorting out of the kids stuff is going to be quite a challenging one!!! Our toys are under control but it is their personal stuff: pieces of string, stones, pens, stones, nails, stones… did I mention small rocks!!!! It is going to be a busy week!!! Hope you have fun simplifying!!!

  • 7 Cheryl // Mar 22, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Paper and stones seem to collect in our house. I’m not very good at decluttering either of them. We live in a stone house and one day I suspect it will be totally filled in with stones. Baby steps. Must remember baby steps.

  • 8 se7en // Mar 22, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Oh Cheryl… I have one word: S.T.O.N.E.S.!!! Not to mention precious recycling!!! I am often glad our house isn’t double story as it could well crumble under the rocky burden my children seem to think it can withstand!!! This week we are tackling kids stuff and it is going to be “interesting” from whatever angle you look at it!!!

  • 9 Josie // Mar 27, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    decluttering aaargh! my house is a shambles – it usually is – I would far rather read with the kids etc. than clean up – I have an AVALANCHE of papers EVERYWHERE…my poor husband 🙁 I fear he may not make it through the door one day! I feel so convicted – then I try very hard to start (a table surface at a time)…and I DO throw a lot out…but then I see I have moved it all to table 2 – so I start table 2 the next time, but now table 1 has accumulated some stuff again…so I go back to Table 1 and clear it – and now – yes – now for Table 2 – and if I get through table 2 – I find table 3 is now piled high (with the remanants of table 1 AND table 2) yes yes yes – I am throwing away and filing during the process 🙂 Then I am TIRED and off to do the next urgent thing…come back a week later and Table 1, 2 and 3 are in avalanche mode again 🙁 THIS EXCLUDES the rest of the house!!!!!!

    H-E-L-P

  • 10 se7en // Mar 27, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Oh Josie… I so know what you mean!!! As you sort one thing another disaster is mounting behind you and as soon as you turn your back… and repeat!!! I am determined this time to keep what is done sorted. Very little steps are working for us… I have a feeling it might take less energy to maintain our clean-ups rather than starting totally fresh every time!!! I wish you all the best!!!

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