Fun with Filing

January 7th, 2010

Ha ha.  Got you on that title.  Filing, fun ? Filing paperwork is about as fun as doing your taxes or getting a root canal.  Filing paperwork is zero fun as my daughter would say, especially if you’ve let it get way out of control, like I have.  Filing is the exactly the opposite of fun.  That is, until you come across some very pretty organizational tools. 

Hello my lovely. 

file tote scandanavian

I saw this deliciously darling file tote at the local stationery store and had to have it.  Notice how it knows how chic it is by calling itself a “pretty file tote”.  Kind of like that 80’s Pantene commercial where Kelly LeBrock used to say “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” 

I don’t hate you “pretty file tote”.  No darling, I adore you, especially after you saved me from such wicked despair. 

Self proclaimed “pretty file tote” inspired me to tackle what was tormenting me for months – a ghastly pile of paperwork to be sorted.  I’ll spare you the photo of what my haphazard box of disorganized papers looked like a few days ago.  Let’s just agree It was the definition of a filing nightmare.  Besides, if I showed you, self proclaimed “pretty file tote” would gasp audibly and refuse to be associated with such a mess.

Enter attractive office supplies, and my dearest darling love – the Brother label maker.  

pretty files

 

I had a pretty good plan awhile back.  I was really good at discarding junk mail the moment it crossed the threshold.  I separated and recycled it the minute it came through the door. 

The leftovers were the true problem.  I had a mediocre system in place before, “Bills” here, “Catalogs” there.  I had all the birth certificates and legal documents kinda sorta pretty much organized.  But way too much miscellaneous paperwork was slipping through the cracks.  The “mail to be sorted” multiplied like rabbits overnight.  It became my nemesis.  I would pass by it late at night, fist in the air, and mutter through gritted teeth “Curse you, vile mail to be sorted box”.  Yes, I hated it that much. 

My previous system was like any invention.  Often it takes the first edition to reveal the kinks in the design in order to work them out.  I think I’ve finally worked them kinks out. 

I’ll agree to reveal my plan, but you’re all sworn to absolute secrecy.  Never mind that I’ve published this for the world to see.  Details.   

First, I highly recommend you arm yourself with a label maker.  As you can see, we have a mutual attraction to each other.

love brother label maker

I love my Brother label maker.  He had me at hello.  

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Get Organized

January 6th, 2010

I can’t be the only one to notice how many times the words “Get Organized” appear on the cover of a January magazine publication.

magazines copy

They’re onto us.

Or are we following them ?

No matter.

January is representative of a fresh start – which inevitably leads to so many of us in small or large ways to declutter our nests and “get organized”.

I’ve been hard at work getting my own home organized for over a week, and I’m making serious progress.  At last, the junk drawer, the pantry, the kitchen, the bedrooms and bathrooms are returned to order, with the help of a lot of baskets and colorful bins.

Aren’t baskets and bins simply the best tool for corralling just about anything ?  Magazines, blankets, towels, toys (what’s left of them after my decluttering spree) all have their own place to rest.  I think that is the real key to organization – actually having a place for everything.

Just a few more days tackling some problem areas, and I’ll be back to business as usual.  But first I have two zones I have yet to conquer – the mudroom/rear entry and the unsorted piles of paperwork.  I’ve got big plans for both.

bhg mudroom 5To me, nothing represents organization in the home more than a well designed mudroom or entry.

I think if you asked any busy Mom what’s the one room she couldn’t live without, or wish she had, it would be a mudroom.

See Exhibit A to the right, courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens.

Sigh.

How marvelous to have a dedicated dumping ground just beyond the entrance for hats, scarves, coats, boots, backpacks, sports gear, and all of those necessary items that come with having a family.

I collect images of well organized entryways.  They just make me very happy.

Below is our rear entry – the Before. Ooooh, a blank canvas.

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Thoughtful Disposal

January 5th, 2010

I was laughing at myself last night because I really boxed myself into a corner on this one.  Day Two of my week long topic on ‘Starting Fresh’ is marked “Donate/Recycle”.

At first, I was amused because I assumed the subject of recycling was elementary.  I thought, what the heck am I going to talk about?   Doesn’t everyone know how to recycle?  Isn’t everyone a participant in responsible disposal ?  Even my kindergartner knows all about recycling, so I thought.

Then I started doing some research online.  I realized I had much more to learn.   Here’s just a few tidbits I picked up having spent some time researching the subjects of recycling and donating unwanted goods. christmas trees

Christmas trees.  If you’ve purchased a live tree like I did this year, you’ve got to get rid of it.   Do you know where your tree goes when you put it out on the curb ?  Do you treecycle ? Many waste companies will recycle, compost or mulch it for you.  The Boys and Girl Scouts have a national program to pick up your tree curbside for a small donation.  For a great article on disposing of your live tree in an eco-friendly way, click on over to Earth911.com for their helpful tips.

Plastics. Ever wonder what those numbers mean on the bottom of your containers?  There’s a uniform coding system for manufacturers, and as it turns out, not all plastics get recycled.  It’s based on the container’s imprinted code that identifies the type of plastic.  If you’re curious how to recycle different types of plastic, click here.

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