Saturday, 9 August 2014

Organizing - Paper, Paper, Everywhere!

Hi honeys,
I'm sorry I've been missing this week, life sort of took over, as it does.  Hubby & I are both on hols from work this week in the hope of getting some de-cluttering done in our home.   It's proving to be quite a task.
filing cabinet organizing paperwork

Having spent countless hours on Pinterest reading countless blog posts & magazine articles which all make it sound so easy to grab a rubbish bag and whoosh! job done, well it turns out that it really isn't that easy.  De-cluttering two lifetimes of accumulated stuff is hard work! So far our biggest job this week has been working our way through paperwork, lots of paperwork. I mean seriously honeys, it really does feel like mountains of it.

We have bank statements going back well over twenty years & seem to have kept invoices & receipts for almost everything. We are lucky enough to own a very old but much loved four drawer filing cabinet, which will be a blessing when we finally complete the task of creating order among this paper avalanche.

I previously posted on how we set up a mail sorting system (with printables) and a home hub at the bottom of our stairs in order to control and sort the ridiculous amount of paper that comes through our front door. Really, we've done everything to avoid junk mail, even registered with the mail preference service which aims to prevent junk mail being delivered (details & link here.) 

We are actually currently working our way through this filing cabinet which is full of folders. Each folder, rather than being organized by subject ... such as bills, letters etc, isn't organized at all really. It's more a snapshot of whatever has been going on at that point in time when the folder has been filled and "filed."  Individual plastic snap fasten folders have bills, letters, cards, photos, flyers for things we've seen or attended... and receipts... so many receipts :)

As you can imagine it's taking us literally hours to begin to work our way through these folders, there are after all four drawers full of them, and it's been a bit of a roller coaster emotionally too.  We've found letters & cards from friends and family members now sadly lost to us and to find messages from them waiting to be re-discovered is both wonderful & painful all at once.  These lovely cards, notes & photos will all find their way into proper albums & be kept safe, as the treasures they are, and deserve to be.

So, we've planned out how our filing cabinet should be organized when we manage to work our way through all of the folders currently living there....

organized filing cabinet
As you can see from the above plan, we aim for each drawer in the filing cabinet to have a specific & designated use.

Drawer One: This will hold our little treasures. Worthless to anyone else but beyond priceless to us. All of those cards, notes & photos we've been finding going through folders will eventually be sorted into albums and will be safely kept here.  As you can see from the photo we already have a dalek magnet on patrol to keep them safe :)

Drawer Two: We intend to use suspension files to properly file everything from paid bills through to insurance documents etc. Imagine, being able to put our hands on something at a minutes notice!

Drawer Three: Again this will have suspension files. In this drawer they will be used to organize & store our stationery supplies, such as paper, card, laminate sheets for the laminator, cards, different sizes of envelopes etc.

Drawer Four: This will be the home of our dormant files, stored in large box files. This includes past years income tax details, mortgage statements, wage slips for us both. Anything from previous years that needs to be retained & possibly referred back to.

So, we have a plan. No doubt it will take us a while to work through all of those folders, and even longer sitting by the shredder, seriously honeys our blue recycling bin will look as if it belongs to a confetti factory!  We will get there though and when we do it'll be another step towards our much longed for "so organized it practically squeaks!" home :)

How do you deal with paperwork honeys? I'd love to hear how you stay on top of it. Have you blogged on your own filing system? If so please leave a link in the comments section below I'd love to read your blog. I hope you're having a fabulous weekend, I'm off to have my hair done today I think, a wee treat for having de-cluttered so much this week :)  Till next time dear ones, huggles xx

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