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I have paper everywhere in my house. Like, everywhere. Most of it is stuff that I’ve been intending to look at more closely, or that I’ve been intending to file because it’s “important” or something, but when I look at the piles, I often get overwhelmed by the clutter and end up doing nothing at all. Oops. Organize Your Files Week, the third week in April, is here to nip my problem in the bud. (Well, it’s really like a full grown flower at this point, but we’ll just go with “bud” because that’s the phrase.) I also suspect that having the third week in April also takes into account that Tax Day is right in the middle of the month, and we might just need a little push after going through all of our respective finances for an entire year.
But, my situation is seriously becoming a fire hazard, so I’ve got to buckle down and just deal with it. First goal: get all the unnecessary stuff off my desk (and everywhere) so that I have space for the paperwork I’ll be going through. For that, I’ve found three things: the magazine rack, the desk organizer, and the bulletin board.
I subscribe to more magazines than I can really read in a month, and I have family members who insist on reading through every catalog we receive in the mail, too! I don’t want to throw out something I’m paying for and—presumably—eventually going to read, and they don’t want to potentially miss out on a great deal if they recycle the catalogs before looking through them. Luckily, someone invented the Illuzine Magazine Rack. We can attach one of these to the wall and add a weave basket underneath for more magazines and rotate them up (and into the recycling) once we’ve read them.
On to the desk organizer: great for leaving near the door for when I get home! Having all my pocket junk (you know what I’m talking about: coins, gum, wallet, lint) in one place is as convenient for me coming home as it is when I leave the next morning. Plus, it leaves more space free for, y’know, important stuff because it contains everything so well while still enabling me to see it.
Finally, I need something I can put up in front of me to keep important-but-not-important-right-now stuff off the flat areas. The cork board idea is a good one, but they need to be replaced with new cork because I stick so many pins into them! This Perforated Metal Bulletin Board is great because it doesn’t need replacing (it is, after all, made of metal) and it’s actually magnetic, too, so I can pin things to the board and use magnets to keep some of my papers pinhole-free.
Second goal: keeping my receipts organized so that I don’t have the same trouble next year with my taxes that I did this year. Nobody wants to do taxes, including me, so making the process as painless as possible is something I’m willing to go out on a limb for, y’know? But, the way I use money, I might need one of these Money Receiptable Organizers every couple of months, instead of just one for the whole year! Also comes in a Crap Receiptable version, for saving important-but-little papers, like sticky notes with that guy’s number on them or the five movie ticket stubs from the one time I went to see the same movie five days in a row. (Hahaha.)
Of course, I’ve got more than two organization goals this week, but a lot of the rest of it involves actually sitting down with my piles of paper and shifting through it all to separate the “I have to do something about this” stuff from the “I can toss this” stuff. And then, I have to actually file all the “I have to do something about this” stuff… that is, of course, after I do something about it! What is your number one file-organizing life hack? I’m going to need all the help I can get this week!