Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Homemaking Tips- "Organizing- Tame the Paper Beast"

Our God is the God of order.
So, we, in creating our homes, should employ order in all we do. That may seem like a monumental task.  Perhaps one that you may have given up on!  Well, let us break it down in small steps...

 I am posting a series "Homemaking Tips-Organization".  This week's tip is Tame the Paper Beast.

This means that we will be going through ALL paper piles that have accumulated in your home!  Does this seem like a monumental task?  Select one area (such as your bill file or magazine rack) and do that one area.  Every day pick another one until the Paper Beast has been reduced to a docile, manageable pet.

I have found that the best way to keep the Paper Beast at bay is to open my mail beside the garbage can! That way I immediately pitch any unwanted catalogues and solicitations.  I DO enjoy buying from catalogues. But the marketing companies try to take advantage and put me on their mailing lists.  In one day I have received 12 catalogues!  Do you realize the space that takes up (including garbage space)?  So when I am standing by my garbage I pitch the ones that I do not want or do not want to be tempted by.  The others are saved for later perusal.

File your bills immediately instead of laying them on the kitchen counter.  I keep a decorative wooden box on the side table in my kitchen (near the garbage) where I also work to pay the bills.  This wooden box (with a lid so that I cannot see the papers; I like to "hide" stuff like that.) contains folders in which sorted mail can immediately be filed.  Each folder is titled something such as "Bills for Home", "Caleb's school info", "Hannah's dance info", "Important Papers", also files for our other businesses.  After the bills are paid the receipts are put into another filing system in a filing cabinet.  This has been a great way to keep these papers organized; as long as I do it! 

Magazines are another wonderful commodity of information, encouragement and entertainment but can metamorphose into a lively Paper Beast overflowing baskets, racks, or wherever you place your magazines. Monthly or seasonally I sort through my magazines keeping only the ones that especially of value to me.  A note here: I have kept magazines in the past because there was ONE recipe or web-site that I wanted to use as a resource later.  The mishap is that I would forget that that resource was in that particular magazine and it would never get accessed.  So now when I read through a magazine I clip recipes and write any web-sites or companies that I want to research in a notebook.

I imagine that you may have some Paper Beasts of your own made up of bills, junk mail, catalogues, and magazines.  Besides these you may also find that your sentimental articles such as your children's drawings, cards, notes, your daughter's dance recital program, the Funeral Service Memorial of  a loved one can also be WANTED paper articles in which you are at a loss of where to place them.  An idea is to purchase those pretty decorative paper/cardboard boxes at your local craft store and use them solely for these sentimental treasures.  Another idea is to have a "Scrapbook" folder in your wooden box in which everything gets placed until your are able to place them in an album or scrapbook journal.

Be brave!  Taming the Paper Beast takes consistent effort.  But the pay back is amazing.  You will be able to think more clearly and FEEL more at ease knowing that piles of unsorted papers are not beckoning your attention!

What areas of your home do you work to tame the Paper Beast?