February 2016 Newsletter
It’s that time of year again when we wonder what on earth we are doing here on the frozen tundra. With so much time spent indoors, that means more time to keep flexing those organizing muscles! I’ll be staying on the paper topic this month; how to decide what to keep, what to toss, and how to file. With Valentine’s day on the horizon, I will also talk about how to turn your bedroom into a relaxing, restorative, and romantic place.
Organizing Pro Tips
How did it go last month? Did you decide on a new organizing habit? Did you try unroll.me? I would love to hear your trials and successes, even if you don’t want an appointment! Remember, it’s never to late to start a new habit.
With an end to mail piles in sight, let’s talk about what to keep. Do you keep many paper things “in case”? Well, guess what, “in case” pretty much means never! If an event, sale, show, etc. really peaks your interest, I suggest putting it on your calendar and ditching the paper. If you really want to keep those upcoming events, designate a folder, in-box, corner of a bulletin board, or just 1 spot to refer to them. Each time you receive another, take a moment to weed out the old ones.
If you receive paper bills but are ready for a change, set-up an e-bill with the provided web address the next time you pay that bill. Alternatively, write a list of the bills you’d like to transition with the web-address. Tick them off as you have time or allow for extra time to do this while you normally pay bills. The only reasons you’d need to keep paid bills is if you need them for taxes, for insurance, or for legal reasons. Do keep one copy of each bill for necessary contact information and your account number. Often, December bills have more information. The company will be able to reproduce records if need be. This is the same for bank and mortgage statements. Here is a fun visual flow chart on how to decide what paper to keep.
A paper overhaul takes work on the front and back end. Deciding what to keep will help going forward. Now it’s time to purge and how to best store your paper. You’ll need to spend to quality time purging old files if your current system is a paper cemetary. Files should be used, not a place to shove paper. Schedule an hour here and there, play some uplifting music and minimize distractions until you tame the wild beast! Here’s an awesome article on deliberate file creation. As the author, Mary of maryorganizes.com states, make harder decisions up-front about what to let go of, and create simple file categories going forward.
There is such a huge range of filing options, it can be overwhelming. The main types I have seen are the standard filing cabinet with hanging files, the binder system, and the minimalist desk-top or mobile file box. Regardless of type, the more simple the category the better. If you can fit all your car related files in one file or one per car, you can sub-divide with paperclips or bulldog clips.
If you choose the binder system, each category can have a binder. Healthcare, Household, Career, School, etc. Here’s a visual and more in-depth ideas for the binder system. The desktop file box is for minimalists like Marie Kondo of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” How is this possible you ask? Well, this approach really utilizes electronic records. Paper is only kept for upcoming action, for tax or legal reasons, or for nostalgia. I personally love the Container store’s options. Here’s an example of their archival storage line.
Now for the fun and fluffier bedroom tips! Do you sigh upon entry, keep the door shut or avoid parts of your bedroom? Does it multitask as an office or playroom? I’ve read numerous articles that state your room should be singular in purpose should be a calm and restorative place. I guess if experts keep saying that, there must be something to it! Yes, it’s because it all comes back to stress. Piles, unfinished projects, distractions all = stress at some level of conciousness. Once these are eliminated, it’s possible to maintain. Really! With a few new habits like returning any dishes to the kitchen each morning, making the bed each morning, immediately throwing away trash, taking the newspaper to the recycling, etc.
Invoking peace with lighting, decor, paint color, and fabric all assist in creating a calm haven to sleep or spend time in. See this short article for more design details. The biggest things you can do with-out design changes are to make your bed each morning, and to return clothing to your closet or drawer or the hamper. It’s really worth the 3 minutes, promise! Here’s a quick look at 5 things you can do to eliminate bedroom clutter for you over-achievers.
I wish you all peace with paper and sleeping space!
Organizer to the Rescue
How do you know when to call in an expert? Simple. If you are letting things pile up because it’s overwhelming, you don’t have time, or you just hate doing it, then give us a call! I’ll say it again, it’s simply amazing what one 3 hour appointment can do. Aside from transforming a space, it creates momentum, hope, and often a light at the end of the tunnel. Know you are not an organizing failure, just need some help! Call or email with questions or for a free estimate.
Before & Afters
A client’s storage spaces got a bit out of control. The shelving was there, the things were not. I did this in about a 1/2 hour. Boom!
High five to reading this far! Have a lovely February.