Monday, May 9, 2011

Cathartic Filing

Back to Project Simplify.

The following weeks had a lot of filing going on. It is not my favorite thing to do. But it really feels good to have it done. This is where I have changed the most in developing good habits and getting rid of bad ones. I still have to prompt myself to take care of paperwork as it comes (mail, receipts, etc.) but I can definitely feel the difference in my house. So here is how week 6 through 17 unfolded at my apartment.

Week 6 - Start cleaning out filing cabinet, drawers # 1 & 4 (also we were very sick in our house)
Week 7 - Still sick, catch up on normal housework, catch up on previous organizing tasks.
Week 8 - Work on Easter skirts & Conference Bingo (didn't finish either until later weeks - that's just how the week went)
Week 9 - Filing drawers #2 & 3
Do you see how crammed drawer #3 was?
Week 10 - Top of filing cabinet - it was a mess.
The top of the filing cabinet before
Week 11 - Another catch up week. This cleaning out the filing cabinet business took some serious time.
Week 12 - Filing drawers # 5 & 6
Week 13 - Update/clean out 72 hour kits. I rotate the food items and try to add a couple of items every 6 months. This time I decided to rotate half the food every six months. Hopefully then it won't be such a big event.  I am so close to having all the items to make our bags complete. The girls and I need bigger bags though - our tiny backpacks are busting at the zippers.
Also this week's organizing task was to clean out the car. I did it. I swear. Just doesn't look like it anymore.
Week 14 - Finish Black Chairs. Still not done, but close. Hoping to finish them tomorrow. I did work on them a lot this week.
Week 15 - Computer bookmarks. I opened everyone of my internet bookmarks, deleted ones that were no longer working, assessed if I still needed some, and deleted and organized a bunch. This was especially helpful in the recipe section of my bookmarks.
Week 16 - Had family pictures. Hosted Helen's first friend birthday party. She turned 4. More on that later.
Week 17 - Back to filing. This time it was what I called my "To File Pile". It was a box (the top one in this picture).

It was a bad solution to my overwhelmed state of filing. I didn't want to add more to the filing cabinets because I knew I would be going through them sometime to clean them out. I didn't want to have to sift through papers twice, so I just piled them in the box when I wanted to keep them. Uh, I still had to go through them twice as I cleaned out this box to file the things I really wanted to keep into my clean filing cabinets. No more "To File Pile" box!  Yahoo!!

Here is part of the mess I got rid of during these weeks:
Part of my recycling pile.
There were more sacks like these,
but I got so excited to get them out of my house
that I forgot to take pictures.

Some random stuff I had been stashing to send to Deseret Industries,
but ended up taking to our church's Put n' Take.

The hanging file folders that I emptied.

1. Bill to be paid (I've always done this on Fridays, but now it is much easier to keep track of.
I go through my coupons at the same time.
2. To File pile - mainly EOB's I'm waiting for to match bills with.
3. Stamps, envelopes, address book.
4.Label maker & currently a DVD on our moving company.
5. The binder I file all the insurace EOB's until the end of the year.

Filing cabinet drawer #3 (pictured above crammed full) with new space).
I weighed each of the paper grocery bags that I sent to the recycle bin.  Here's the breakdown.
Filing drawer #1 - 0.94 lbs (This drawer is mainly empty file folders and computer paper)
Filing drawer #2 - 12.8 lbs
Filing drawer #3 - 16.8 lbs
Filing drawer #4 - 9.75 lbs (Half of this drawer is my piano books so not much to empty)
Filing drawer #5 - 5.6 lbs
Filing drawer #6 -7 lbs (Half of this drawer was Jake's stash of computer stuff)
Top of Filing Cabinet, Top of dresser, and pre-school art projects and worksheets we cleared out - 10 lbs

That's 62.9 lbs of paper folks!

Moreover though, think of the space and relief I have gained.

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