Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Organizing Paper Clutter

It's a family trait--it must be in the gene pool. I organize myself through "piles." I have one pile of paper for this, one pile of paper for that, and it may look like a mess to you, but I know what is in each of those piles and therefore everything is good.

Or not. . .because it looks so messy! And when your "office" space is shared with your kitchen and dining room and walks right into the living room, and when you have kids constantly around it and in it all, and when that is really an excuse I use to make myself feel better about the organized mess I created, well, that is when a new system has to be put into place.

And was my hubby ever happy to see the piles leave!

But really, I didn't make the piles disappear. They are just standing up a little nicer. Let me show you:

Because my kiddos are around, they helped me with it (How can they avoid it when I had to have my piles all over the floor?!?) I used a 10 sheets of white card stock, and then one of bright green and orange. You can pick whatever colours you like--I needed the bright colours to remind me where my "piles" went to. :) And of course a magazine box. I chose a plastic one--because I already had it in the house and it fit in the spot I wanted it to stay.

Then I used my Michael's tag punch (the pink size), and started punching out those bright card stock pages. (Or you can buy those dividers--but I couldn't find any I liked--and you really don't look too terribly hard when you a bunch of kids helping you in the stores--so this was my next option.) If you do it the hard way--not buying pre-made tags or dividers--you want to glue down two of the tags, one on each side of the divider, just to make it nice and sturdy. These tags are very important and will be filed through constantly!

I used two colours and made one coloured tag stick out on the top, and one stick out on the bottom. And I got my kiddos to help me. . .oh the joys of running tape. . .and help!

Then I labelled the things I liked to keep in my piles. Unfortunately, "bills to pay" has to stand out first. . .one of the reasons I figured I better do something with my "piles" system. . .that wasn't always happening on time! After that, file away. . .

Then of course, if you have used bright colours like me, they kind of stand out as being kinda ugly-ish, so I look through this box . . . enough to pay the bills on time anyway!

You can use a system like this for anything really--storing art work from school years (just label each divider by grade and put the artwork behind it all), sorting pictures to put in an album (just label each divider by month of activity), organizing recipes (especially if you are the type to rip out of magazines or have photocopies! Just label each divider by category), whatever it is you need to organize.

So, there is my simple way of organizing a mess. Works for me!

1 comment:

Tara V said...

when you come over on friday...can you organize my kitchen??