Having been a stay-at-home-mom for exactly 5 months now, and feeling like only weeks ago I finally "got my groove back" - feeling like myself and (mostly) energetic enough to do something with my day in addition to playing mommy...I am starting with a little home organization, since it has sorta' fallen by the way-side during the initial "getting used to mommyhood" stage of my life.
Organization has always been a passion of mine, even though I am usually not especially neat about it. I like things to have a place, I love lists, I want plans, I need order and structure. I'm a "Messy Perfectionist". And I`m taking small steps to get my life, my house, my brain into a more organized mess. I`m still learning all of this stuff, but I figure we can all use a little help sometimes, so as I share tips and tricks that are working for me, I hope you`ll share tips that are working for you.
I`ve decided to start with a spot that caused me a great amount of grief - the `File Pile.`
We used to do the filing by putting everything in its own file in the filing cabinet. And by put everything away, I really mean stack it on top of the cabinet and try to ignore it. That stack was not-so-affectionately known as the File Pile...and the bigger it grew, the more I tried to ignore it. Consistent ignoring of the File Pile leads to your small space looking like this:
One day while visiting my parents (who have satellite TV), I was watching "The Mom Show" and there was a segment with Peter Walsh, author of "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?". He suggested this simple filing system, and my goodness, is it working wonders for the file-pile stress in my life.
You'll Need: 1 accordian file
*optional: 12-13 file folders and labels
I used 13 folders and just used a sharpie to label my folders - sometimes simpler is better, I find.
Here's my stuff - I wrote "Stewart Family Files" on the front of my accordian file, just for clarity.
Then I wrote the month/year on 12 folders, and labeled one folder "Important Family Documents".
Let's start with the monthly system: Each month, place the bills for that month in your file.
That's it. File under month/year. So Insurance, Cell Phone, Internet, everything is in one folder for that month.
After 12 months, you'll be back to your first folder - take JUST THAT MONTH, and sort through it - are there things you need to keep? Did you look at it in the last 12 months? If not - RECYCLE! It's a myth that you have to keep every statement and receipt from every year of your life.
And now: "Important Family Documents" - I added this to Mr. Walsh's suggestions as a way to keep things like our marriage certificate, birth certificates, social insurance numbers (read: Social Security Numbers: Canadian Edition), passports, etc. It also currently holds my college diploma, since I have misplaced the official holder and have yet to buy a frame for it.
The File Pile is a thing of the past - We still have the cabinet, for holding on to things like appliance manuals, car repair receipts, and those files we need to hold on to - tax forms and such, but the Family Files are tucked neatly beside the printer for easy access and peace of mind.
Linked Up with Moms in Need of Mercy: Messy Monday