Friday, January 11, 2013

Organizing Paper, Bills and Stuff!

Where to begin? It's a new year, how about a new organizing system? I don't know about you but during the entire holiday season, I really wasn't doing a very good job of keeping my papers organized. So for the past few days, I have been finding the papers that I had been stuffing into those "little places" everywhere! It drives me crazy when I do that! We sort of have an office in one of our extra bedrooms. I'm not really an "official office" type person. My room is first a music room and second a place to keep my bills and paperwork. I'm a messy musician. If you are a musician or if you live with one, I know you get this! Sheet music, equipment, cords, amps, mixers, wires everywhere! So, I began with all of that first. For my sheet music, I have tried notebooks, binders, portfolios, expanding files, boxes, etc., I've tried it all and I finally found a system that has worked for 5 days! Yes, this is a record! After many days of nagging asking politely, my husband finally carried an old vintage dresser upstairs and placed it in the closet of the music room/office. I cleaned out the drawers and put my microphones, cables, music books, and other musical equipment in there.
I needed my sheet music to be easily accessible so I decided to store my new pretty filing boxes on top of the dresser. (I bought 3 snap together filing boxes and decided my 3 large plastic totes were going away). Then the sorting process began - ugh! This lasted 3 hours! I had some pretty recycled file folders and labeled the tops A-Z. I organized each piece of sheet music alphabetically and it all fits into one box. I love it! All duplicates and songs I don't play anymore were recycled. This the part where you might need a fresh pot of coffee and take a break.
After my 8 hour break, I returned to my project and began sorting old and new bills, junk mail, and current files. I started with my second pretty file box and labeled the tops with specific titles such as Car Insurance, Utilities, Tax Info, Mortgage, etc. Again, it all fit in one box!
The third, larger file box is filled with 7 years of tax records, family history information, and research info on decorating, DIY projects, vintage items, craft ideas, etc.
Luckily, my husband had installed shelves in the closet so I used a large binder and plastic sleeves to store my product manuals. My banking information is stored in binders on the shelf. I also sorted my Cd's, kept only my favorites and stored them in a small fabric bin, some tape and office supplies in another bin, and a phone book and some envelopes on the same shelf. I also had to keep some extra framed artwork under the shelves, these are items I trade off with other art in our house according to the seasons. So even though it's not my first choice of storage, it makes the prints easily accessible.
By the time my organizing project was complete, I had thrown away 2 huge garbage bags of stuff, donated 1 bag, and 1 bag went to off to recycling land. My room is beautiful, calm and no more scattered papers stuffed anywhere! Remember not all projects are quick to complete, take breaks or you'll get frustrated and not finish. This project took 3 days to complete from start to finish but it was worth it!
Don't forget to share some of your organizing tips with us, we love to hear from you!
~ Simply Tammi

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