Organizing Your Chaos Blog
Organizing Your Chaos Blog
the Paper Solution
If you didn't know it by now, I love to organize paper! My first job that I had in high school was in a business office. My job was something that most people didn't like...filing paper into filing cabinets. Yes, it wasn't exciting, but I didn't mind it at all. I liked putting the papers in date or alphabetical order. I didn't know then how much I like having a sense of order to my life. The simple act of organized paper can eliminate unnecessary stress and frustration.
Now, thirty years later, I am helping overwhelmed women gain peace and calm in their lives by organizing bins, boxes, and bags of paper that overwhelm not only our spaces, but our minds as well.
I've had the opportunity to work with Lisa Kelly Woodruff for over six years. Lisa owns Organize 365 and has created easy to follow solutions to organizing your home and your paper. Her new book the Paper Solution is being launched today!! You guys, THIS is the most comprehensive book on getting your paper organized! If you want to tackle your paper, this handbook is for you. :)
Did you know that there are two basic kinds of paper? Actionable and Reference. Lisa explains what to do with the two kinds of paper that you have. With easy step by step solutions, you can get out from under the paper mountain that threatens to bury you.
I've learned that as we get our paper organized, we begin to gain peace and calmness in our minds as well as our homes. The cost of living in an unorganized home can be high. It can cause family and emotional stress. I'm here to tell you that this can be changed! If you ready to get your paper organized, the Paper Solution is the place to begin!
As a Professional Organizer, I know that it's possible to find what you need in 3 minutes or less. It may take time, but it can be done. One step at a time.
Let's Do It Together!
Too Busy Is Not An Excuse
How many times have we said “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have time” as a reason or excuse for not taking care of household projects? How many times have we told ourselves “I’ll do ____ when I have time”? We are moving into a period of time that will allow you and me to dive into household projects. We will have time because the world as we know it is slowing down. This doesn’t mean that everything will come to a screeching halt. However, with the restrictions that are being imposed, we will be at home much more than we have been.
Eating out in restaurants, for example, has been eliminated in many states. (I do, however, encourage you to continue to order from your favorite restaurant via carry-out.) Not spending time with family and friends at sporting, music, theater, and social events frees up time that you would be away from home. You now are given the opportunity to use this time to focus on the various home projects that you have put on the back burner due to being “too busy”. Here are some ideas of what you can focus on while you are home.
Declutter, discard, and then organize. As you tackle this area, you will not only see visible results, you will feel the stress that the disorganization created fade away. I promise you will have a spring in your step!
Prioritize the above areas, and work your way around your home while you have the time! This may be the only time that you are encouraged to stay home! Kind of like a big “time out.” Embrace this opportunity to deep dive into your home spaces.
Imagine how you will feel when the restrictions are lifted and your home is organized. The relief of getting those projects done is priceless.
What area will you focus on first? Let’s encourage each other. :)
Let’s Do It Together!
Actionable paper refers to paper that has an action attached to it. This could be making an appointment, responding to an invitation, paying bills, planning a vacation, reimbursements, ordering information, prescription refills, coupons, etc.
The actionable paper that we have is what can bog us down. These are are the things that we have "to do", take action on. The things that need to be done, and we don't want to stop long enough to do them. It's all of the things that we and our family need.
Once you have all of your actionable paper separated from the rest of your paper, what do you do with it all? It probably is a big to-do list. So, now you need a system. A way to organize all of the things you need to do each week. A way to plan out what's next.
1. Weekly planning time. I have a time each week when I look through all the paper and then plan my next week. Did you know that for every minute you plan, you save 5 minutes? This means if it takes you 30 minutes to plan your week, you save yourself 2.5 hours of wasted time during your week! So, weekly planning is essential for me. I plan when I will run errands, make phone calls, meals, and shopping. This eliminates the "fly by the seat of my pants and hopes I don't forget something" problem.
Every week I look at what has come into my house and then plan what needs to be done. Paper from kids schools, mail, bills, work, volunteer, social clubs, etc. Anything that has come into the house get looked at. THEN, I toss everything I don't need or want. This eliminates unnecessary papers from hanging around.
2. Take action on the things that are necessary to take care of this week. Just this week. The pile of actionable papers includes a whole lot of things that need to be done, but not all of it needs to be done this week.
This is a GAME CHANGER for me. It allows me to only focus on the things that are "dated". The things that have a due date. This frees up my head space to take care of things in smaller increments and allows things to get done! You won't get overwhelmed by all of the things, and you are able to take care of just what is necessary for this week and I have much more productive this way. Give it a try!
I have been using the Sunday Basket system for a long time, and I found that for me it works the best.
I'll be back tomorrow to talk about where to put your actionable paper!
Grab a friend and gather up your paper. Now, it's time to take some action!
Let's Do It Together!
Part 2 in a 5 part series
What's your next step?
I've been thinking about exercising, drinking more water, and eating better food. For several months. Yep, just thinking about it. Then, telling myself that it's too cold to go outside and exercise. Now, that excuse is out the window, the weather is getting nicer! I don't have the weather to use as an excuse anymore. Bummer! But, I have been drinking more water (and dang, doing to the bathroom a lot!). And, continuing to think about making healthier meals. This is going to take a bit longer for me to decide how I want (okay, how I will!) to do this.
I don't love to cook, or grocery shop. But, I do like good food! I admit I'd rather be organizing your garage for you, or your pantry, or your kitchen. Those things get me so excited! The food cooking thing, not so much.
I am determined to make some big changes this summer! I joined a Facebook health challenge this week called: Live Well 7 Day challenge, so I'm getting motivated to make changes. I even walked our two dogs this morning with my friend Pam. This reminded me that I need accountability. (And, we're going tomorrow also!) I'm too lazy in this area to do it on my own, and it was definitely more fun and motivating to go on a walk with my friend.
What things do you struggle with getting done? What things don't you do because you don't like to? Is it the food thing like me? Or, is it budgeting, organizing, cleaning, scheduling family activities? What makes you want to run and hide and forget it needs to get done?
I want to encourage you to take the first step. And, to answer the questions at the beginning, I've felt like I can't get it ALL together. And, I don't have to! I just need to take one step in a direction to change the one things that I want to change.
What's one thing that you want to change, learn, try? I'm curious!
Reply to this email and let me know...I think we all have at least one thing we want to do. It's spring, and a time for new beginnings. What is yours?
I coach busy, tired, and overwhelmed women who struggle with "winning at work and losing at home". We work together to transform your life from chaotic to calm. De-cluttering your home, paper piles, and over-flowing schedule will you the confidence, time an energy to do what God created for you to do.
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