Friday, 4 February 2011

Sorting Out Paperwork

No one wants to do this job. Even when you quite fancy having a bit of a sort out the last place you want to go is "The Pile." It's an awful place. A real can 'o' worms job. All it does is remind you of how badly you procrastinate and which jobs you have been meaning to do, but have added to "The Pile" in order to do them later and then promptly forget. Letting "The Pile" build-up is an act of avoidance and repression, so it is inevitable that approaching this task will set a person on edge.

Well, last night after the kids were in bed I went through my usual routine of tidying up and did my ironing. I then got the office ready for use to paint the nursery cupboard doors today. After that, I considered sorting out the cupboard under the stairs but realised it would be too noisy and have the potential to wake the kids. Gasp!

I looked on here at my list of little jobs from the last post but offed them on the basis that several of the "ingredients" were in the kid's rooms or aforementioned cupboard under the stairs.

So, with reluctance, I got out "The Pile" and made a start.

First of all, I go through each item and assign it to a smaller pile in my immediate area. It's always easiest to do this on the floor. 

1. Cards I am going to recycle by using their embellishments for new cards.
2. Unused greetings cards to be stored for future use.
3. Documents to file.
4. Items requiring action asap.
5. Event invitations and dates to add to my diary.
6. Things that need shredding.
7. Paper for the recycling box.
8. Receipts to file.
9. Items for kid's memory boxes.
10. Things I want to scrapbook.
11. For putting into my purse.

Now, the trick is that you need to make sure you deal with all of these mini piles right away. So...

1. The cards I will be using I took into my craft room and placed on the desk ready for when I have a moment to butcher them. Okay, so this isn't really dealing with it entirely, but I consider this crafting time and something that I need to do during my "me" time and not while I'm supposed to be "working".

2. My unused greetings cards slotted into the pocket of my birthday card organiser. It's a little book with a pocket for each month and a calendar page where I can note down each important date. Very handy!

3. These documents to file were put into my filing tray in the office. Admittedly, this is another 'pile' I will be dealing with at some point.

4. Items requiring action generally go back into the wooden box that houses "The Pile" and I am rather ashamed to say that often they are still there the next time I tackle the job. I do need to come up with a better system for these things. It's not like work where I have a desk to keep these papers on so that they constantly jog my memory. I'll think of something!

5. Easy one. I just went through the invites and added their dates to my diary if they weren't already there. If it's one I needed to keep I staple it to the relevant diary page.

6. Things that need shredding to go into the shedder container for now. I plug it in periodically and shred when I can bear to. As a former office junior in my youth, this job still makes me groan. Maybe it's one to get my other half to do instead?

7. Paper that needs recycling just goes straight outside into the recycling bin. End of.

8. I have a very rubbish filing system for receipts that is in bad need of the organising touch. It's basically just a round box that all receipts get stuffed into and for some reason, I keep it in my bedside cabinet. Don't ask why because I've no idea. It should be in the office if I were employing any kind of logic to its location.

9. There are certain things I like to keep hold of to put into the memory boxes I have for the kids. Their hospital bands, special birthday cards, photos, etc. These are separate from those things I scrap about.

10. And that leads me neatly onto the pile of things I would like to scrapbook about. This pile is simply put into a box in the craft room/office and when I have a moment to scrap I root through said box for inspiration.

11. There are some things in the pile that need to go into my purse - vouchers, coupons, stamps etc. Another easy job.

Now I realise that some of these things weren't dealt with completely and maybe this is something I need to address. Perhaps this is my failing? Is this part of the reason for my disorganised home? A protracted avoidance of following through? Hmmm... "Clutter Agitation...?"

Obviously, the mini piles within your main pile of paperwork might be slightly different from mine. However, you will probably find, as I did, that the largest piles were those things to recycle and shred. Funny huh? Now if we could just learn to throw out that junk mail or shred that card statement as soon as it was finished with then we wouldn't have such a daunting task to complete. By "we" I mean "I" of course.

Who's betting I have to come back to this particular job a few more times before the year is out? :o)

While I was looking at home organising stuff on t'internet I happened upon what looks to be an awesome blog, This chick went through her own home overhaul process and is now writing about all manner of mega useful home organisation and decluttering tips.

All this year she's doing 52 Weeks Of Organising and inviting readers to share their organising tales too. I think I might just link up and join in!

One reason I want to get organised...? There are so many! Mainly, it's to prove to myself that I can be organised at home. It's the difference between the person that I want to be and the person that I'm annoyed I am right now. If I don't strive to be this new, streamlining version of myself it would be all too easy to allow chaos to take over and I hate the chaos.

Last week I was busy with our son's room - restructuring and painting his cupboard. I also ordered my shiny new three-section laundry hamper and fell in love. I am amazingly happy with my new laundry system and can't believe I had to do it the awkward way all this time! The cupboard is yet to be finished, but I am very happy with how it is progressing so far. We have been painting the shelves and doors today, so hopefully, by the end of the weekend, I will be able to cobble it all together.

It's actually pretty amazing how much psychoanalysis I am doing of my personality as a result of this project. Just by writing down what I am doing and blogging about it I am discovering the traits that have meant a messy disorganised home for me so far. Traits such as my flitting and my lack of following through. When I think about it these are traits which colour my whole life, so it's been really interesting finding out about them and seeing how they affect even small, everyday things. I guess my real a-ha moment will be when I learn how to work with these flaws to help run a tidier home.


  1. Way to conquer the "pile"! Happy Organizing.

  2. I gave up on paperwork this week and threw it all into a box!

  3. Glad to see someone else just getting started! I love to see how little by little peoples places are looking more and more neat! You did a great job so far!

  4. Hello. I found your blog through I'm an Organizing Junkie. I wanted to suggest for your Action Items that you set up a "Tickle File." There are a number of ways to do this. You could have folders numbered 1-31 for each day of the month, and if something needs to be dealt with on the 14th, you put it in #14's folder. The trick is to remember to check the folder every day! Or you could try folders set up 1-7, 8-14, etc. and check it weekly. I don't know how this would work for you, but thought I'd suggest it. Happy Organizing!

  5. Oh, the dreaded paperwork file! I swear, I hate paperwork! It's so hard to stay on top of it.

  6. Marilyn, thank you for your great suggestion! I think i might just have to come up with something better that what i have, because my box is overflowing again. Tsk! So thanks for the inspiration!

    Handy Man, Crafty Woman, i just went to your blog and followed so i can have a read later when i'm in my PJ's and nursing a cuppa. It looks great!

  7. I love how your 11 piles are almost exactly the ones I have spread out on the floor right now. The main difference is that I hadn't considered number 4.Items requiring action asap. I'm going to keep a folder ready with cheques to cash, bills to pay and other urgent jobs. And hopefully I'll get around to doing it all! Well done on the great suggestions and beautifully designed page! xx H


Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I love hearing from anyone who comes by to read my blog, and i try to respond to every comment. You all help me feel motivated to continue with this project. Loves! x

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