Posts Tagged 'filing'

Register Today – And Turn Your Piles into Files!

Westminster Workshop – Filing Basics for The Home — Monday, April 12th

From Piles..........

Westminster Friends: There is still time to register for my 1 hour workshop, Filing Basics For The Home being held on Monday, April 12th from 7:00-8:00 pm in Westminster. During this quick, one hour workshop, you will take care of a major source of clutter and stress in your home, as you learn the basics of file management. You will learn about the 3 types of files that comprise a complete filing system (quick access files, basic working files, and archive files), how to set them up, and just as importantly, how to maintain them. Finally, you will learn how to adapt these general principals to your specific household.

To Organized Files!

Come learn how to go from Piles to Organized Files in one night! You’ll be glad you did!

Register online with the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks or call 410-386-2103 during business hours.

Happy (and Organized!) Days!          Cheryl

Paper Management, Part 2

Quick Access Files:  Don’t Live an Organized Life Without Them!

Last time in “Help, My Kitchen is My File Cabinet”, I referred to the universal problem of overwhelming amounts of paperwork, and the resulting piles that usually end up in the kitchen. A large part of the solution to this problem is the creation of Quick Access Files. Quick Access Files are just that……….files that you need to access often and quickly. Don’t let the word file in Quick Access Files throw you. These are files containing different information than we generally keep in our regular filing cabinet. Quick Access Files are files that you will need for a season and/or you need to access often. They are filled with the papers that are otherwise taped to our refrigerator, stuck on the bulletin board or, all too often, piled up next to the phone or on the kitchen table.

Not Your Mother's File Box!

To create Quick Access Files, gather up all the bits of information lying around and plastered to the surfaces in your kitchen. Then separate them into logical categories. Because each of our lives and habits are different, each of our Quick Access Files will be different as well. You may end up with:

  • A file for each school, which will hold current phone lists, school calendars, announcements, and newsletters.
  • A file for every sports team or club
  • Or you may choose to create a file for each child in which you could place all their papers for their individual school, sports, and clubs.
  • A file for volunteer organizations, which will hold current phone lists, announcements, schedules, and newsletters
  • A doctor/dentist file with contact information and appointment cards (which you will drop in the file AFTER you write the appointment on your calendar)
  • A file for prescriptions, which will hold patient information for any current prescriptions that your family members are using
  • A file for take out menus
  • A file for parties and invitations (which you drop in AFTER you write the appointment on the calendar)
  • A file for coupons and gift cards

    Basic File Box by See Jane Work

For many of these categories you will also have a file in your regular file cabinet. For instance, each child will have an Education file in your regular files, in which you will place all their permanent records, report cards and testing information. Each person will have a Medical file, which will hold immunization records, surgery, allergy and all permanent medical records.

The papers, invitations, schedules, announcements, appointment reminders, and take out menus in our Quick Access File are generally used for a season and then discarded or updated. At the end of a school year or sports season, for example, most of the contents of the Quick Access File will be discarded. Any important or permanent information or documents, however, will be added to your regular long term filing system, and your Quick Access Files will be ready for the new season.

With the addition of just a few categories, with corresponding files, you will have a complete system to deal with your mail on a daily basis.

  • To Do
  • To Pay
  • To File (anything that simply needs to be transferred to your long term filing system)

Now that you have created your own Quick Access Files, I suggest that you keep them in your main living area, which is usually the kitchen or family room. This is generally the place that you bring in and drop your mail, you walk in with files and papers from meetings and appointments, and your children bring you papers to sign, fill out and file away.

I have heard people say that they don’t want a file box sitting in their living area. May I kindly suggest, that a small, nice looking file box (think attractive and presentable) looks much nicer than a pile of papers in disarray!

Check out some of the links to file boxes and files in this article, or find your own. Be creative. There are 100’s of options available in every style. Find your own style.

A Cool Vintage File Box

If you have ever worked with me, attended one of my workshops,  or followed my blog for any length of time, this concept is not new to you. If you already have Quick Access Files, the New Year is the perfect time to revamp them.  Simply sort through each file and:

  • First of all; decide if you still need each file

    A Beautiful Alternative to Manila!

  • Toss any obsolete information
  • File anything that should be transferred over to your Permanent Filing System
  • Determine if you need to add any new categories – (do you have any new information hanging on the fridge or piled up on the kitchen table?)

It’s the perfect time for a fresh start!
Happy (and Organized!) days!

Blog a Job! 2009- Part 5 The Transformation Complete!

IMG_5441 craft area reduced

The Transformation Complete!

Let the fun begin! This is the last work session with my client, Becky, and her home office.

During our previous work sessions, we literally worked our way through the room and through many years of paperwork and accumulated clutter. We were working in a room, which lacked identity and purpose, and that made it way too easy to continually add to the clutter and chaos.

We were able to reorganize the past, disposing of everything that was not needed in the present and organize treasures and precious memories for their enjoyment in the future. We set up a current working filing system and archive files for storage. We sorted through many years of craft and sewing supplies, and were able to purge the useless and organize the useful.

As the process continued, we were able to define what tasks Becky wanted to accomplish in her office and therefore, which clearly defined zones would be established in her space. She was left with an area for books, crafts and sewing, her office area with her desk and current files and the closet which would store off-season clothing, gift wrap, craft and office supplies.

Becky is a creative soul. She is both vibrant and gracious, and she is overflowing with personality and style. She had decorated her office, but the style was literally lost in the clutter. Once we cleared out the clutter, we were able to edit some of her decorative items and were left with a stylish office space that is light, bright, and functional.

We were able to use much of what Becky already owned and therefore had to spend very little money on supplies, while creating her new space. Becky purchased the craft supply cart, jars for the ribbons on the shelves and some filing supplies.

It is my hope that by following the progression of this organizing job and the transformation of this space, that you are both encouraged and challenged to imagine the possibilities of your home “In Order” for “Life”!

Check out Blog a Job! Part 1, Blog a Job! Part 2, Blog a Job! Part 3 and Blog a Job! Part 4 for the complete story! Also, check out the Before and After Gallery for pictures of our progress from beginning to end.

Thanks Becky, for opening your home and your life and allowing me to be part of this transformation.

It has truly been a pleasure!


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Blog a Job! 2009 Watch a Professional Organizer in Action! Part 4

Today is paperwork day. Tedious and time consuming. But, it is oh so worth it! Investing the time into creating a simple and effective filing system is one of THE MOST BENEFICIAL organizing jobs you can accomplish. Think about all the paper lying around your house……..the newspapers, magazines, newsletters, school papers, bills, mail, invitations, the stack on your kitchen table (you KNOW you have one!), appointment reminders, and the list goes on! Now imagine your home de-cluttered and organized with no paperwork in sight, yet easily and quickly accessible. It IS possible. And the fist step in achieving this is to create and maintain a simple and effective filing system.

Becky and I spent four full hours setting up a filing system. Our first step was to organize both her and her husband’s past work files and clear them out of their office space. Becky worked in an industry, which requires her to keep business contacts and files for four years. These files will, most likely, never need to be accessed, and therefore, could safely be stored in their attic. Next, we organized her husband’s past files. Much of his paperwork and files have to do with his master’s degree and current teaching position. His files may need to be accessed occasionally, so they were organized and will be stored in the office closet. Out of the families current living space, yet still accessible. By clearing out the past, we created space for the present. Finally, we set up their family’s current filing system.

Check out my previous blogs; “Developing a Simple and Effective Household Filing System” and “Filing Tips, Tricks and Ideas“, for direction and ideas on setting up your own filing system. Or, feel free to shoot me an email at or give me a call at 410.259.1466 to schedule an appointment.

The secret to any good filing system is to keep it simple. Whatever system you use should make it easy to find what you need, be easy to maintain, and make sense to everyone who may need to use it. You should be able to retrieve any paper in less than one minute—if that’s not the case, it may be time to revamp your system. Then be sure to locate your files in a place that is easy to get to. If they aren’t  you won’t get to them!

The Shred Pile has grown as big as Charlotte!

The Shred Pile has grown as big as Charlotte!

Becky and her husband both had homework this week:  Becky was to bring her books to the library for donation, sort, purge and organize her memory bins and shred all her documents that had identifying information on them. Her husband was to sort, purge and organize both his past files and his memory box.

Check out Blog A Job! Part 1, Blog A Job Part 2Blog a Job! Part 3, and Blog a Job! Part 5, to read the complete article and to see the finished office space.  The fun is just beginning. Now that we have cleared out the clutter, re-organized the past, and decided exactly how the office space will function, we can organize the present!

Happy (and organized!) Days!


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NEW Home Learning Parties!

Organizing Just Got Fun!
Now Scheduling Home Learning Parties for Summer 2011
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