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Organization Skills?

June 26th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

When I step into my office at work I know where pretty much everything is. If it is not in a file, tray or cabinet someone has confiscated it off of my desk. Here I am organized. It's under control. So, when I step into my home why do I have the feeling I have been robbed every time I walk in the door. Ransacked. Pilaged. Papers ascew on the coffee table, mail on the arm of the couch, stray items here and there. Clothing, toys, etc. Of course part of the answer is obvious my children, DH and grandchildren do not come to work with me (thank God!)and of course life happens at home. Now it isn't always this bad at our house but I still have a hard time finding things and our home office/computer room is unorganized. I believe part of the answer is DH and I do things differently. Where he thinks something ought to be filed or kept and where I think it should be or always different even when there is a file for it!LOL! There have been several times over the course of the years he has changed our system without telling me. Sigh. So now we have half of some things here and half of them there. Just UGH.

Maybe I should go back to the FlyLady system babysteps and my timer and 15 minutes! Are any of you familiar with this? How do you all organize files, papers even finances? I'm curious!

4 Responses to “Organization Skills?”

  1. Buendia Says:

    I have a super simple method for filing/keeping control of papers.

    It starts with the inbox. Stuff goes here first, but I go through it and EMPTY it EVERY week.

    On my desk I have a stacker unit with a few files:
    1. Taxes - everything related to taxes so when I do my taxes I just pull this file and it's all there
    2. Money Stuff - our estimated tax payment vouchers and envelopes are here, handy for the next payment. My 52-week savings challenge. An envelope of emergency cash (not much, about $60)
    3. School/Camp - relevant info incl. the current schedule, student absence form, - this is current stuff, not old stuff!
    4. Vacation - stuff related to upcoming vacation; this includes printables that I copy for my daughter for the plane (we go to Europe every other year so it's a long flight)
    5. Filing - receipts, user manuals, insurance docs, medical docs, tel numbers scribbled on a napkin
    6. Recipes - that I may want to make
    7. Garden - this helps me keep track of what to plant and when

    Garage files:
    - a file folder for each pet
    - past tax returns and relevant tax info (direct from the folder that sits on my desk all year)
    - medical (just gets dumped in her in case of future reference)
    - important documents (insurance, etc)
    - "stuff we own" - this is actually a file box that I keep at the office. I just dump everything in here; I only go into it if I want to sell something and would like to include manuals with it.

    Once a week - go through inbox and put stuff into the various files above, get rid of what I call expired receipts (grocery, gas, etc) - I only keep receipts for things we keep which I staple to user manuals and a few select other receipts. I put the new phone numbers in ical, file everything in the garage. I pay the bills (although very few of these come in the mail; I mostly have payments set up automatically through my bank). I have a calendar reminder to EMPTY the inbox.

    Once a month - go through the filing and put it into the garage files or the House Stuff box. I have a calendar reminder to EMPTY the Filing folder.

  2. snafu Says:

    Everyone who uses it and sticks with the system finds Flylady works. Paperwork is the category that frustrates most people. 80% of the papers we keep are never needed again. The trick is managing the 20% that may be needed so that it's where it's needed, when it's needed without a search party and aggro.

    It helps to divide papers by categories. Super important legal documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decree, Military release, passport SS, Credentials & government papers are super important and need to be kept in a 'strong box' perhaps bolted in a cupboard. Add any legal documents, contracts and loans like mortgage, car ownership, school certificates, not easily replicated.
    We put each in a page protector in a 1/2 inch, 3 ring binder, easy to grab in an emergency.

    Current Bills: Bright colored, sturdy vinyl envelop on desk or computer for incoming bills - not yet paid

    PAID bills: Folder or box called PAID, throw all bills that were paid, when paid. Can you get electronic bills for those like utilities electronically? Do you need a paper copy? Do they make mistakes? Do you need to keep PAID bills? why?

    Receipts: major purchase, warranty, stapled to Manual, manuals dropped into page protectors & stored in 'D'

    Insurance: File folder for life, house, auto insurances; separate file for anything medical

    HOW TO: I keep printed info, I need it!

    Filing: We have a stationary box under the desk for filing. If it gets fullish I make myself file. I try to throw out as much as possible by asking myself..'what's the worst thing that would happen if this was tossed?'

    Note: I do my best to recycle all paper before it gets in the house. Pitch flyers, promos, junk mail, envelopes, inserts etc.

  3. North Texas Mommy Says:

    Buendia- Thanks for the info! I too put some of the older stuff in the garage but will probably weed through that too.

  4. North Texas Mommy Says:

    snafu-We do have a fireproof box with the important items and emergency cash.
    Our current bills I have in a planner/calendar type thing before they are paid. I pay most online except my car payment. I need to look into that option. It sounds like I have a similar system in place that I just need to weed and file!

    I need to get back on the Fly wagon! Thanks for the info!

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