Posts Tagged 'new year'

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!
Cheryl

Happy New Year!

Get “In Order for Life” in 2010

A New Year……….A New Organized You and A New Organized Life! Are you ready to take your life in a new direction? Sound Exciting? Sound like something that you have been thinking about? If so, you are not alone. “Getting Organized” is consistently one of the top 5 New Year’s Resolutions of Americans.
Why is that? Why do so many Americans feel “out of order” and unorganized? I believe the answer is two-fold. First, most of us live at such a fast pace that we are simply overwhelmed. We plan too much, try to accomplish too much, shop too much, and generally run ourselves ragged. Secondly, many of us simply haven’t learned basic organization skills. Or, we have gotten out of the habit of practicing those skills that we may have learned and practiced in the past. Life is constantly changing, and so must our organizational habits, if we are going to keep ourselves, and our lives, in order.

January is “Get Organized Month”, and NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) members are qualified, equipped, and eager to assist you in your goals of organizing your time, homes, offices…….your lives!
Let’s make 2010 our “Get Organized Year”! Come along with me in 2010 as we look at very simple habits and strategies to get “In Order for Life”, so that you can spend your time, energy, and space on the things and people that matter most…….life!

If you journeyed with me these past few years, you will notice many of the same themes, topics and suggestions. You will even notice many of the same articles with updates and additions. Getting Organized is a life long learning process that will simplify your time, and ultimately your life. It is a skill and a way of life that needs to be learned and relearned, practiced and tweaked. So, come along!

Happy (and Organized) Day!

Cheryl


Twitter Updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Follow inorderforlife on Twitter

Visit In Order for Life's Facebook Fan Page!

Click here to check it out!

NEW Home Learning Parties!

Organizing Just Got Fun!
Now Scheduling Home Learning Parties for Summer 2011
Gather your friends, choose a topic, learn, simplify AND earn free and half priced products from the Clever Container Company! To schedule your party, call Cheryl at 410-259-1466 or email cheryl@inorderforlife.com

My Favorite Things

Click here for my collection of favorites links for organizing products and other useful sites.

Reuse, Renew, and Recycle

Click here for useful tips and information to assist you in being environmentally friendly!

Proud Member of:

National Association of Professional Organizers