Posts Tagged ‘paperwork’

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(Organization) Manual Box

After purchasing a new electronic, assembling a new piece of baby equipment, or installing a new appliance, you are usually left with an instruction manual. After it sits on the counter for a couple of months, it is tempting to throw it away, but it is risky. When you need an instruction manual, there isn’t an easy replacement.

As a part of your box system, designate a box for the sole purpose of storing instruction manuals. It removes the manuals from “clutter” status where they are likely to get lost, damaged, or thrown away and provides you with a predictable place to look if you should need it.


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(Organization) File Cabinet

If you fell into a file cabinet, it is quite possible that you would be lost forever. Well maybe not you, but certainly that tax form sitting on your desk or the pile of last month’s bills that are waiting to find a new home in a labeled manila folder.

There are some basic filing cabinet rules of organization that most of us more-or-less follow. Okay, maybe one rule. Put the old bills, tax forms, receipts, pay stubs, etc. into labeled folders. If you are a really ambitious individual, you might even have the folders grouped by type (i.e. bills, medical, etc.). Simple, right? But if filing cabinet organization is so simple, then why are most of us afraid to open ours or have the need to do the “squish-slide, squish-slide” routine to get the drawer closed?

This organizational concept idea for file cabinets takes a little bit of work initially, but maintenance only requires one slight adjustment in your filing routine. And the result? No more lost paperwork or “squish-slide” routine.

1. Remove one folder from the drawer.filing

2. Divide the bills or statements into years.

3. Order each year’s papers from the earliest month to the latest.

4. Bind each year with a paperclip and a sticky note that states the year.

5. Put all years except the current and the previous year into a new labeled folder and then into a portable filing box that can be stored in the attic or closet.

6. Place the last year’s bound group of papers back in the original folder (at the back), leaving the papers from this year unbound and situated in the front of the folder. Leave the first statement/bill of the year in front and work your way backwards.

7. At the end of the year, remove the bound group of documents from last year to the portable filing box (or shred and discard if appropriate), put a paperclip and dated sticky note on the newly completed year and start again.

The one change in your filing routine is simply to always place the most recent paperwork at the back of the current year’s papers. This will keep your documents in order from the beginning, thus dramatically reducing your organizational time later.

*Tip – Note that I said to only remove one folder at a time during the initial organization. Allow yourself to make this transition slowly enough that you don’t get overwhelmed (i.e. one folder a day), but also quickly enough that the lack of completion doesn’t overwhelm your attempt to change your routine.

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(Deep Cleaning) Kitchen Counter Pile

There is a pile in everyone’s kitchen. You know, the one where mail is thrown, receipts from $1 purchases accumulate, and notes from img_3940school, last month’s magazines, kids’ artwork, and “I’ll get to that right after…” items are put. Most of us have more than one of these piles throughout our house, but there is invariably one on the kitchen counter.

Take some time this week to sort through and clear away that pile. Remind yourself of the counter space that lies underneath. I promise it is there!


(Organization) Receipt Folder

Put a folder in your filing cabinet to hold important receipts. There is nothing worse than having an item break while under warranty, but to then be unable to locate the receipt. This gives you an immediate place to put receipts after a purchase and a stress free way of locating them if needed.

*Tip – Sort through and clean out the folder once or twice a year to keep it organized and dependable. The less clutter there is, the less likely it is that something important will get lost.