Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mail Station? Paper Storage ~ Day 17

I dont have a mail station, but I NEED some kind of system for organizing papers. This has been on my mind since Jen at iheartorganizing decided January was the perfect month to get papers organized, to start the year off right. She has some great tips and aweswome examples, iheart her, check her out!

I have paperless statements for all my bills/statements, so I dont get much mail that needs filing. I do get junk mail/coupons, magazines, invitations etc. Also we bring home lots of paperwork from the midwives about the baby/pregnancy, and Im sure there is going to be even more paperwork when Ellie is born.

This is my mail routine:
~Mother-In-Law gets the mail from the box (we live on the same property, so we have the same address)
~She pulls out our stuff and makes a little pile on her kitchen table.
~Every day or so, when im in the house for something, I go through it.
~I open everything and make a stack of recycle (junk, envelopes etc) and a stack of "deal with it"
~Both stacks go up to our loft.
~I put it someplace, usually either the entryway dresser or the kitchen counter.
~When I am cleaning the area, I put the recycling in the recycling bin and deal with the rest.
~The "deal with" stuff usually stays a pile, until I need something in the pile, then I get it out.
~Very rarely do I "deal with it"

Its NOT a perfect routine.

I used to be very organized, had a folder for everything in my file box, a little coupon holder, a recipe book, a spot for owners manuals and receipts, previous years bills and papers were filed away, sorted in cronological order, stapled together etc. Mail was immediately divided (i had roomates) recycling was recycled, personal stuff was shredded, the rest was filed.

Then I moved out of my apartment, in with my husband at his parents' house. We lived with them for about 8 months during construction. I didnt have a good file system in place during that time. All of our new papers were mixed together in a big bin. When we moved in to our loft, my file boxes were somehow buried in storage. The bin got fuller, and it became harder to find what we were looking for at any given time.

Awhile back, I did some purging and sorting, but, not having a file box, the organization stopped at piles, in 2 bins.

Not having any designated place for new stuff only added to the issue. I kinda had a system. Coupons/receipts/recipes went into a drawer(with other misc catch all stuff), the few statements that come by mail went into either the catch all drawer or the bins, magazines and baby paperwork went into a storage ottoman.

I do NOT like how things are (not) working currently.

I got a couple of Target $1 zone accordian file folders the other day (the 1st purchase for the 21 day organizing challenge). My nice file box is still buried in storage. I couldnt justify buying another fancy one, the one buried matches my other office stuff and is plenty big enough, and mobile, like it want. These $1 ones will suffice for now.

I started to gather all the paperstuff from around the house.

The bin and catch all drawer BEFORE: I sorted everything into piles, purging any obviously not needed stuff (expired coupons, old shopping lists, junk mail, etc).

(There is another bin of paperwork that is all sorted, waiting for the long term file box that is lost in storage, its not included today, because its already sorted.)

Most of the piles: There are piles for: keepsakes, wallet stuff, coupons, magazines, notebooks, receipts, all things baby, recipes, recycle, and file-away stuff.

The drawer is destined for a better life, as is the under bed tote:
Coupons, receipts, and a couple other sorted piles went into dividers in one accordian file.

All the baby stuff went into the other, unsorted, yet.

My collection of piles shrank:Above you see the 2 $1 accordian files, and a stack of blank notebooks. The magazines moved to a storage ottoman, recipes to a recipe book, keepsakes to the keepsake box in my craft room, and I need to start a binder for owner manuals. The blank notepads will find a home in the craft room/office.

I still need to do some work on this, and hopefully get into the storage garage and try to find those file boxes, but it is much better now.

Seriously, my husband just got home and said "you've got mail" and set it down on the counter right as I was typing this.

ETA: So I realized that other bloggers are including the outgoing mail stuff, and although I dont have a "mail station" persay, I do have a system. Remember, I organized my "MAIL" box on Toy storage day. My front door is metal, so when I have outgoing mail, it gets clipped to the door with a magnetic clip. I pay bills online, so other than mass mail (Christmas cards, party invites, thank you notes, etc) Its pretty rare to have outgoing mail.

I'm linking to A Bowl Full of Lemons Day 17 ~ Mail Station

1 comment:

  1. Wow great job!! Also amazing job on your first purchase being made for this challenge - wish I could say the same!!