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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Organizing Your Home: Developing Systems {Part 3 ~ Papers}



Day {4} of Organizing Your Home: Developing Systems
{Part 3 ~ Papers}
Today's topic is one of my FAVORITE because I really feel like I have this perfected! Maybe it's because I stay at home, or because there are only 4 of us, or because I am the ONLY one who ever messes with any of it, but either way I am so thrilled to share with you today what my tips and tricks on everything paper!
Let's jump right in!

{School Work}
 UUUGGG, does anyone else think the schools are single handedly taking out the rain forests. Every day the schools are sending home something for me to look at and every day they go right in to the recycle bin! Really though, the system I implemented for my kids and myself takes self discipline, the kids come in through the garage and they immediately see this
then they grab their folder out of their wall pocket, get their school folder out put it on the counter, put their lunch boxes away and put their backpacks up. I then make sure they were good little Campbell's sign their folder and get out any papers that were sent home. I first look at the graded work, nod for approval then set in my toss pile, then I begin skimming the other massive amounts of notifications they send home. If it requires my signature I set in a pile, if it needs my further attention I set it in another pile and for everything else it goes in my toss pile. I IMMEDIATELY toss my toss pile in to the recycle bin YAY. Then I go back and sign the papers that need my signature and have the boys put them in their folders RIGHT AWAY! Over the next few minutes the boys are reading or doing homework and I take that time to go through the other pile and determine what it is, do I need to volunteer, do I need to bring/send something to school, is it a PTO meeting or something else that needs to go on my calender??? I get out my calender and fill in where and what I need to be doing on the specific days and then toss those papers too. I spend about 15 minutes every day doing this. There is no sense keeping all that paperwork. I have tried, I pinned it on the cork board, put it in a folder for my self and no matter what I always forget about it. Now if it's things like Valentines Day lists or something like that I do put it on my cork board in the mud room.

{Mail & Bills}
Who gets more junk mail than me? Please tell me no one! I get so much junk, junk that looks like junk, junk that looks serious and fools you into opening it and then of coarse the junk that you have to pay...oops I mean bills. Our mailman is like clock work every day at 3pm he is putting my mail in the box so every day at 3:05 I am going through the mail. The junk goes to the recycle bin before I even walk back in to the house, the bills get opened, the trash and envelope it was mailed in goes to the recycle bin and the bill gets placed in the envelope and put in our bill box which is hanging on the kitchen wall. Our bill box has a slot for this week and next week. Everything I get for that week goes into the next week slot. I pay all bills every Friday, so every Friday the next week goes into this week and next week is empty waiting for new bills. Make sense??? The only thing I do keep besides the bills is the circulars from the local grocery stores, I like to price compare so I put the current adds in my wall folder in the mud room. All in all this takes me about 5 minutes.
After I pay my bills I immediately throw any old receipts away or extra pieces of bills that are not relevant, then I keep the bill stub and file it in my desk drawer. We have slots for everything. They get put in their proper slot and the bills to to the mailbox. If you don't have a desk you can use a portable file storage system which come in a wide variety of decorative colors and styles or even a wall-mounted storage system.

{Family Calenders}
I shared with you in the first post that we don't have a family calender hanging on the wall, we are to active to keep something that everyone can see. I keep a day planner that anyone can look at but because my job is SUPER MOM I am the only one who ever does. The day planner keeps activities for each of us, I look at it several times a day just as a reminder and carry it in my purse so that I always know what we are doing. But if that doesn't work for you there are so many options! You can make the oh so popular chalkboard wall and put all your activities on there, purchase and install a dry-erase calender, download an electronic calendar that the whole family can access on the Internet. Gmail, Yahoo, MSN and most programs have calendars that the whole family can link up to. Or as many do use their Iphone or Ipod or other PDA. By using some kind of family calendar you will definantly stay more organized and keep the papers at bay!

Short, sweet and to the point! That is what I like. I hope that you find this helpful, get a grip in those papers. We tend to see the amount of papers that come home and get overwhelmed, but if you deal with each separately you will find the job is big or time consuming.
What do you do? Please share your system with me!!

Jen

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