Monday, June 28, 2010

Snowed under?

My whole spring clean in autumn push is stretching on through winter and I have finally woken up today feeling as though I have more of a grip on my life. A nice feeling for a Monday morning.

There is a pile of stuff at the front door to be given away, my floors are clean, the washing is out and thanks to my flirtation with flylady I am still washing up a lot and it's amazing how much more I love my kitchen.

I've even tackled the paperwork. When we moved in I gave over a drawer to my paperwork but with no plan of attack look what happened.
I only ever opened the darn thing to throw another piece of paper in. Half an hour of work (and ten months of thinking about it) and I have an empty drawer and a new plan of attack.
Now some of you may chuckle smugly into your hand when you read these simple tips. People like me who are by nature NOT NEAT need help.

1. Deal with the paper you have in your hand immediately. Toss it, file it, or put it in a 'do' zone.  If the doing is quick and easy - do it now.

The old me would have said a 'do pile' but we have a problem with piles in our house. My husband and I fight over them. 'His' and 'Hers' piles build up and before we've dealt with them they merge, then we re-sort them, get rid of them and within days new ones start.

I am keeping my black in and out boxes in the dreaded drawer. It eliminates the pile problem and as long as I file weekly and act on the stuff that's in there all will be well.

2. Filing. We have around ten white plastic ring binder files containing all our paperwork from the last five homes we have lived in. That's two house purchases, three leases, final bills, insurance etc etc etc...  Not to mention all the other stuff to do with careers, cars, banks and health.
The moral of the story is don't move so much and when you do don't move interstate or overseas. BUT anyway, I am chucking out the stuff we don't need anymore, re-labelling the spines on the files with a printed contents list and putting them in a kitchen cupboard where they are easily accessible.

3. Receipts
I now have a clear plastic pocket to keep them all together in the drawer  - you never know if you might need it to return a shirt if it falls apart after the second wash. Clear the pocket out every few months. File receipts for larger items that have a longer guarantee period.

5. School stuff
It's amazing how much paper one schoolboy can generate. Event dates now go straight onto the family calendar and the endless certificates to the inside of his cupboard doors - his glory wall. All that other coloured-in paper/homework/stuff that he just has to keep go in the craft drawer in his room.

And lastly? 
Buy yourself some cool stationery.  Like the Kikki.K bulldog clips above or their fabulous folders. Not that you can't get just as much organisational joy in the bargain stationery stores but hell there has to be joy in all this somewhere!!


  1. We are a house of piles too. Mainly mine - his apparently do not exist!

    Love those bulldog clips! ♥

  2. I love it! I am so proud of you, I know how much work that all can be. I am a very organized person, and my drawers can fill too. i just said this morning to my son, "Mommy needs to clean out her desk..." I love your tips and think that they are easy to implement! We need a wall of fame in our house many papers!
    Keep up the good work!

  3. Great post Ann..I'm SLOWLY getting there..I have the two trays in the drawer thing and it's working quite well. I even bought the same clips ad you did! I have magazine holders for the piles of renovation stuff I still need to refer to every now and then and for things I never get around to finishing reading. I have the girls numerous drawing and painting things sorted in a drawer. All I need to go now is get my house magazines and recipes under control..You only have so much time when you have little you know..Rachaelxx

  4. From one 'not-neat-natured' blogger to another...I really appreciate this post.
    My do-it pile is on the end of our breakfast bar because if I put it any farther afield or out of sight I forget about it and bills don't get paid etc...
    Like you, we have moved cities, states and countries, built houses(I keep all the plans),sold houses (I keep all the real estate listings etc)and have 3 school-age kids, all a recipe for piles of paper. I'm thinking baby steps for me because it's all a bit overwhelming otherwise.

  5. Great job. I love kikki k. I really love Kikki K. one day I will have an organised Kikki K life. Don't tell anyone but sometimes I dream of an organised Kikki K life!

  6. Piles! I hear you! I grew up in house of piles and I live in a house of piles...and they're my piles. My husband grew up in a house of "put things back immediately" (which can be annoying at times - like when J is playing with some toy and we got to get changed or dressed or use the potty and when we come back Daddy has put everything away) so he's pretty good and putting paper away the first time he touches it. I'm working on it.

    I love the cool clips!


Thanks for taking the time to write, Ann x


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