Friday, December 14, 2012

Dreaded Paperwork!

I am slightly obsessed with organization, despite Daddykins'  annoyance when I 'misplace' something while organizing.  I have used products from stores in the past; however, I have begun to make my own, more tailored binders/materials recently.  I much prefer it, even if it is a bit more costly.   Most of my ideas center around simplicity and safety; making sure I have everything I need at my finger tips or where I can quickly get to it.  Plus, I am just constantly battling clutter, as I have an internal battle between my pack-rat self and my organizational self.

My first real organizational task was to organize my bills, appointments and general life... while leaving room for change and making the whole thing portable.  I began with the following:

  • A 3 ring binder, 3 inches - I used a trapper keeper... took me back to 5th grade!
  • Divider tabs - I used ones that had 8 per pack and the folder in front (so I could itemize things without having to file right away) 

    • Labeled:
      • Basic Info 
        • where I keep my running to do lists, stamps, cards etc.  
      • Money 
        • Bank Ledgers for accuracy 
          • eventually I will have the list color coded by entry (bills, food, gas etc) but for now, I use Daddykins for that!
          • I update this daily so I know exactly what we have and where it is going 
      • Menu/Grocery 
        • Menu planning for the week (I am quite bad at this, I go to the store daily it seems) 
        • Also keep coupons in here 
      • House 
        • As we hope to be buying a house sooner, rather than later, I file useful information here... as the process goes along this section will grow but for now, this works
      • Wedding! 
        • We started small, with little tid bits here and there, but once we officially got into planning, I started a new binder just for the wedding (I will post that later!)
      • Mail/Bills 
        • The few paper bills we do get are filed in here so I do not misplace them or forget to pay them!  Once they are paid, they go in the "to be filed" pencil bags
      • Medical 
        • Thankfully we have very little medical stuff at the moment, but when needed, this divider does help keep things under control!
      • The Dogs 
        • I have a special binder for each of the girls (I will share at a later date) but when I am on the run, this tab is a life saver in time and hunting for paperwork!
  • Plastic Sheets for regular paper 
  • Plastic Sheets used for coupon collecting and sports items
    • Used in:
      • Basic Info 
        • holds: stamps, bank info, spare blank cards 

      • Menu/Grocery
        • I use very few coupons (not much I want to consume is listed in the Sunday paper) but when I do find ones I want, I place them here 

  •  3 Plastic pencil bags (that will fit in a binder)
    • Each is labeled:
      • Receipts (that need to be recorded) 
      • Envelopes (so that if I ever need to mail something while I am at an appointment, at work etc, I have it) 
      • To File 
  • 1 good pencil bag (I prefer cloth)
    • Multiple colored pens, post it notes, tabs, paper clips etc.  
  • A binder calender, coordinated with our house calender and our online calendar  so we are ALL sure of what is going on when!  
I have been using this system for about 6 months now, and I find I am much more efficient and have everything I need right at my finger tips if there is a moment of 'down-time.'  All-in-all, I found the cost to be less than $40, and the system was created for me, so it has work well and I have kept it up.  

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