Bye, Bye, Paper Dragon - Action File Project.

I'm trying to simplify life.  So far, the Lord has given me quite a bit of victory.

I've minimalized significantly in the possessions area, and am trying out a new challenge in this new year by shopping exclusively at Aldi.  Small store.  Small selection.  Minimal temptation.  It is hugely freeing.  I'll probably write a post on that experience later this week.

Anyhoo.  Paper clutter is my arch-nemesis.  Four days ago I sorted through a whole giant Rubbermaid bin of paper - old mail, kids' coloring creations, notes and correspondence from work, sales aids, menus, you name it.  This happens on a bi-monthly basis.  I check the mail, clean out my purse, etc., and toss it all into a holding tank for the poor unfortunate once-were-trees.  Then I spend a whole afternoon (that could have been spent soaking luxuriously in a tub) digging myself out of said tank.  Blech.

So I researched.  And, man.  I found a goldmine of solutions.  Since this is more of a 'pinned it, did it' kind of post, I'm simply going to link you to my inspiration (rather than regurgitate what they already said so well):

Mail Station :: A Bowl Full of Lemons

Mail Station :: The Nest Effect

Effective Inbox Systems for Your Home Office

Lucky me, Ross had a small hanging file caddy on clearance for $6.99 today.  I grabbed some hanging files and removable labels (so the system can be adjusted as life goes on), and I was ready to get organized.  A whole 15 minutes passed and the project was done.  The caddy now lives on a bookshelf in the living room. 

Did you know that there are beautiful file folder labels for sale on Etsy?  Alas, you only get a few for quite a penny, and have to print them yourself, anyway.  So I tried 'fancying' up mine on my own with a tiny little monogram.  If you're filing stuff you might as well enjoy the view.

I sorted two mammoth piles of paper clutter with my new treasure box right in front of me.  In five minutes, everything was tossed or filed away.  The beauty of this system is that it forces me to make an immediate decision about whatever is in my hand.

The key to making this work - in fullness - is to schedule time to actually handle the stuff you file.  I'm scheduling appointments in my Google calendar twice weekly to go through and take care of what is in each section.  Some items will be handled and tossed, others will be handled and placed in a proper permanent filing system.  (Which I'm currently setting up in my home office.)  The caddy is easily carried into that area of the house to make this part of the process easy, and to be in close company with the shredder.

I have a folder for each of the family members in the system I created.  In the kiddos' folders I'm putting their art and school paperwork.  At the end of each week I'll decide which pieces will be placed in their memory box and which will be placed in the distant memory box (a.k.a. trash can).  

I'll update soon with a post on the permanent filing system I'm putting together.  Excited!

More Than A Conqueror.

Use Evernote to Manage Your Move.