If there is one thing I despise a little bit everyday, it's clutter.
I hate clutter.
Clutter makes the most calm of us go crazy! Loco! Insane! It's hard to feel rested and relaxed when you are surrounded by chaos. I firmly believe this. I have enough chaos in my life, thank you very much! I am by no means an expert on calming the clutter monster, but I have put some ideas into action that I believe have been very beneficial for me to stay sane.
First I want to say that I'm all about systems. I need a pattern to follow or I am not going to remember. so whether it's digital or physical, I need to have a similar routine or else it's not going to work.
Physical Clutter Maintenance
Piles of paper are strewn across my table daily. Bills are piled up on different surfaces. The coloring pages are coming out of my ears. It's difficult to determine what is garbage and what is necessary since at that moment I believe it's all garbage!!!!
It was time to take my table back.
The first thing that I did was insist the kids keep their color books in tact. "Color INSIDE the book, guys! You don't have to tear out every page!" That helped a little bit. Then, I realized the problem wasn't just them. It was me too. So I evaluated what was the highest priority. I determined that all the things that didn't really go together were difficult to take care of.
To combat that problem a little, I picked up some canvas wall organizers. There are 3 pockets. One pocket is for my restaurant and toy store coupons, one pocket is for community information, and one pocket is for my WIC folder. When all that was cleared away, I realized that I had to figure something out for my coupons.
So I bought a plastic tote file folder and I kept the inserts organized by date. For the random loose coupons, I have made a list and keep the list and the coupons together in the top part of the plastic tote.
When those things were under control, I assessed the situation again and realized that I had already had a system for my receipts. Receipts go in a file binder that has 12 sections--one for each month--so if I ever need ANY receipt for ANYTHING I have them all collected in the same spot.
The same goes with filing. Our filing cabinet is in the basement, so whenever I have something that I need filed that comes in the mail, I put it into a temporary file binder that I take one periodically and empty into the filing cabinet.
The biggest thing I have left is our bills. Bills still get strewn all over the house. But the most important part about bills is that I have automatically set up my email to notify me when a bill is due. And since we pay most everything online or automatically this is more of just a notification to get online or find those 2 bills that need to be paid physically. I do occasionally need to collect the miscellaneous paperwork that has walked around the house, but we all have our weaknesses, right?
Digital Clutter Maintenance
I find digital clutter something that is a bit beyond my comprehension. For my work, I need to have a system to collect information and know where to go each time. At first I tried Clipix, but I don't think that online system is working anymore. Then, I tried Pinterest, but unless there is an image that is big enough to pin, that doesn't work either. So I'm back to using my favorites.
But I try to keep my favorites to only work related subjects and use Pinterest for everything else.
I take one day each week to download my pictures and organize them quickly. I can't do it everyday, but maybe I can do it every Saturday night. Also, I try to delete my bad pictures right away off of my memory card.
So that's it. I'm still surrounded, but I have a few systems to keep my head above water. The next to figure out is what I do with all my work papers!
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