Finally inspired to make remodeling an opportunity.

claire_de_lunaApril 10, 2007

This week is all about moving the clutter of my life from three rooms and closets, into the rest of my house so it looks like it threw up on itself.

I decided to do it in fifteen minute spurts, taking little breaks (like this) in-between. We're getting the floors refinished, and instead of feeling overwhelmed, I've decided now is the time to finally get the worst of these rooms (my office) reorganized. While I'm flinging (like with like) things into boxes, the possibilities of putting back far less stuff into the same places is invigorating! I'm sending out the bookcase to be refinished, so when I finally fill it back up, only the books/magazines/office programs I use will be at hand. My goal is No Surface Clutter.

I decided to trash the things I don't want as I put them back into place instead of getting distracted while the rooms are being emptied. (Some things are an easy do-it-now fling, others I'll make choices on then.) I'm measuring drawers for a few organizing devices while I can see what's coming out of them, and setting up a much simpler filing system as I sift through what's truly important. I'm dumping books, papers, unused address labels, stationery, magazines and anything else I haven't used in too long. I have empty drawers!

I was dreading this job, but am finally seeing it as the impetus I needed to get the lead out on freeing up more time and possiblities for my life. You know I started out in this room being very organized, but as time goes along and things accumulate, it kept getting harder to stay with the orginal systems.

I can handle this (I keep repeating to myself) and am trying not to let the filing bog me down. I know I don't have to refine this today! The reason I'm trying to deal with this now is so I don't lose the important stuff amidst the boxes, but can put my hands on it right away. I have been in the process for the last week of setting up a colored hanging file system (red for action like mail/subscriptions, green for financial, yellow for health, etc. and regular dark green folders for long term filing.) All this is going into a rolling crate that I can store under my desk so it's handy and accessible. I'm writing on labels for the moment to speed the process along. My motto this week is ''Get It Done''.

Does anyone have any more good tips for me as far as paperwork or anything else for that matter?

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tre3

As you work thru this remember to take care of yourself. Are you in charge of dinner? If so, make decisions early in the day and have all things on hand. That way, when you are exhausted, it will be so much easier. Have good snacks, a nice lunch or a special indulgence on hand. Drink lots...of water or beverage of choice:). Play music or have the TV on.
Having gone thru refinishing of floors not once, not twice but on three different times...plastic and tape. Use blue painters tape to seal ALL cabinets. Plastic off doorways. Stuff floor vents with towels and don't forget to mask cold air returns. Buy a couple of new furnace filters. If you have ceiling fans..don't forget the dust up there.
Your floors will be gorgeous, your house will be clean, and your files organized!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 5:41PM
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claire_de_luna

Thanks tre3! That's a very good tip for feeding yourself. I feel like I'm on a roll...many boxes filled, removed and my filing system is shaping up. I have until the weekend to clear everything out so it's coming together nicely. I just pitched some stuff I've had since 1985! Buh-bye clutter bugs.

Great reminder for stuffing and blocking off the vents. I can't wait until this is over and done with!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 6:21PM
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talley_sue_nyc

"You know I started out in this room being very organized, but as time goes along and things accumulate, it kept getting harder to stay with the orginal systems."

boy, is this true!

For one thing, no system, however perfect, is maintenance free. For another, the stuff you decide you don't need anymore doesn't get up and leave by itself! it just stays in there, out of sight and out of mind, both at the same time.

And of course, your needs change, so a system itself may end up outmoded.

Congrats on starting the effort, and good luck!

I needed to file the quarterly statement from the kids' savings accounts, and went through all those file and got about 4 inches of papers out--all the quarterly statements from years past that I got to lazy to pitch when the new ones came. I need to start enforcing the "one in, one out" rule: when the new quarterly statement comes, I toss the oldest one.

And in order to do that, I'm going to take the start-up paperwork (which I want to keep always) and fold it in half (printing side out, so I can tell what it is) and put it in the front of the file. Then, that paperwork will be *shorter,* and I can simply put the new paper in the back, and grab the first *tall* paper from the front to toss.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 10:37AM
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tre3

TalleySue what a good tip for folding the sheet in half! Thanks

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 11:32AM
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claire_de_luna

Yes it is! In fact Talley Sue, I called my DH at work to tell him about it, along with your one in/one out rule. He thought they were great tips too. (I'm trying to involve him as much as I can in the new filing system so we can both use it without frustration.) So far so good! I made a red action folder called PENDING and put all the stuff I'm working on or expecting to happen in the next few weeks, and have already used it twice today. Now I need to set up a longer term file to put under the every day files so I can stack them. They roll nicely under my desk and out of the way and I'm surprised at how well it's working out.

My bookcase went off to the refinisher today, hallelujah! I'm piling books I no longer need by the back door to make their way out, so it's happening...

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 6:33PM
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