IDEAS TO SIMPLIFY PAPER ORGANIZATION:
USE YOUR COMPUTER: Scan and save what you can online and on your computer. Make sure you back it up. This works well for photos, receipts, lesson plans, ideas, family history, recipes, articles, even schoolwork. Pay as many bills online as you can. Don’t subscribe to catalogues—just go to the website.
PHOTOS: I keep digital copies on my hard drive, back up my hard drive, and keep a digital disk for each kid and one “real” copy of each photo. (Because I’m a freak. But it doesn’t take up much space.)
MAIL: Treat your mail with hostility. Do not let it touch the counter, like it’s carrying some sort of disease. Throw away junk mail right away (or set aside to shred later), open bills, file the statement, file the bill with envelope, throw everything else away. Put invitations/announcements in one place. Make this a habit. Shouldn’t take more than 1 ½ minutes. Don’t subscribe to catalogues—just go to the company website.
Schoolwork/Sentimental Cards: Have a predetermined space for each child, each school year. I keep one binder for each child, each school year. I don’t want them to have more than that saved each year, so I’m careful about what I keep. If it’s a large item, take a picture of it, then throw it away. If you’re having a hard time deciding if you should keep it or throw it away, think, “My son will move this project at least 9 times.” Is it worth it?
DOCUMENTS: There are documents you need to keep and get to quickly and save for a long time. Keep them in the same place. They are the information you need when you buy a house, start school, apply for a loan, etc. Birth Certificates, Insurance Policies, Titles, Tax Return Receipts, etc. Keep them in a fireproof container. Keep copies at a different location.
DON’T FORGET TO:
Clean out/replace your heating/air conditioning filters regularly.
Why? Clear filters are inexpensive and save you in utility costs.
Clean out your clothing dryer regularly and REALLY clean out the coil and pipes leading to the outside vent every six months—check every pipe.
Why? This can prevent home fires and increase the productivity and life of your dryer.
Run vinegar through your dishwasher and washing machine every 3 months.
Why? Hard water stains will clog the filters and it will increase the life and productivity of your machines and get rid of the hard water stains.
Keep the area around your water heater, heater, air conditioner (inside and outside) clean and free of clutter.
Why? This can prevent fires and accident (especially during an emergency).
If your house is clean
And everything has a place
And is in that place,
Then all you have to do is MAINTAIN,
Which is different than cleaning. . .