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!!!
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!!!
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!!!
- 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!!!
- 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.
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.
And the Se7en + 1th Thing:
That’s papers for you!!! I can’t wait to see next weeks challenge!!!