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Thread: Overwhelmed by paper

  1. #1
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    Default Overwhelmed by paper

    This is a constant struggle in my house! I have bins and bins of paper...I dont know what to do with it! it comes in and seems to go right to a pile! school papers..some school work, lots of notices and such...I try to throw it away as it comes in, but at times it gets 3 feet high bills (i do all my bills online, so I rarely even open them)...stuff!

    How do you control it? HELP!

  2. #2
    Yeah, I'm getting to it.. Zippity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overwhelmed by paper

    The best idea that ever came my way regarding paper was from Brook Noel's Change Your Life Challenge. She has the idea of a "catch all notebook." You'll see several people around here using one--called the CAN. This notebook was huge for me in terms of paper management, because I have a way to "catch" what I need off a piece of paper--then I can ditch the paper. I've modified her original idea heavily to fit the way I use it, but it really pointed me in the right direction.

    In many ways, that's an excellent book--like all books you take some and you leave some, but for me it wasy really good for the paper management strategies.

    I'm always up to revisit that book, if we have a few people interested. I know Emily D. wanted to take a look at it also.

    I'm a dumper and a stacker, so I try to work with that tendency. Before you decide on a system, look around at your paper--what do you DO with it?

    My paper gets "filed" in open, colored, single pocket accordion files. I have one "file" for paid bills, one for tax-related items I will need to handle again later, one for items that I need to keep and file in the big cabinet (warranties, report cards, etc.) It's no more work to stuff something in one of those files than it is to dump it on the counter. It's key for me that they're open--because it has to be that easy or I won't do it. When one fills up, I date it and stuff the whole folder in the big filing cabinet in the den.

    Receipts (we track and deduct our sales tax) are put in 9 x 12 envelopes. I write the amount of the sales tax on the front of the envelope and stuff the receipt in. I use a new envelope each month. The nice part of this is that I can also go back and find a receipt if I need it.

    Individual projects--like one I'm working on now for PTSA--they get their own open accordion folder.

    Kids' School Work--I'm ruthless. Most of the time I look at it and then recycle it. I'll post anything that's really good on the refrigerator for a week or so. I only keep the really *good* stuff. For DS11 this year, I kept an essay, two poems, and a couple pieces of artwork. He has a file box it all goes in.
    I have also tried magazine holders where they can put the papers they bring home. It keeps them corralled until I have time to go through them. They can keep anything they really want to up in their room or hang it on their bulletin boards.

    This system will change drastically this year as I'm now homeschooling DS11. I'm working on a binder/portfolio system for him, and he does a lot of art and comics, so he needs an art portfolio as well.

    Homework Files--both kids have a plastic, 3-level paper organizer--the kind that will sit on a table OR hang on a wall. They keep writing and drawing paper there, as well as homework in progress.

    I bought one of those little booklets for business cards--it seems to work quite well. Those were all over the place around here.

    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

    "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."

    - Vincent Van Gogh


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Overwhelmed by paper

    Thanks zip! I have that book! I have the entire system but never got around to doing it...I will dig it out and we can all work on it together...I bought it online about a year ago...I even have a folder in my email specifically for that...

    With so many kids in the house now, it gets overwhelming...H is famous for ignoring his mail...i will set it on the table..counter, anywhere...he just pushes it aside...if he hasn't looked thru it in a week, I toss it..I figure if he doesn't deal with it, then its not important...

    It different being married a second time and being older..i have my stuff and he has his stuff...I deal with mine, he doesn't deal with his..very frustrating...

    I am going to try to locate my CYLC stuff today! :www_MyEmoticons_com__blush:

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