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We are in Week 2 of Simple Mom's Project: Simplify. 5 weeks. 5 hot spots. Organized. This week's hot spot is paper clutter. Paper clutter is not a serious issue for me at the moment, but that's because I recycle pretty much everything. Even things I should probably give more of my attention to. Still, I had two big paper clutter messes that I wanted to tackle. Both were tools that when implemented work effortlessly and perfectly. But, both had seen the neglect that comes post-partum and both needed to be whipped back into shape.
These are my two notebooks. My household notebook is on the left and my recipe notebook is on the right. The information in the household notebook has not been updated for a couple of years and various scraps of paper have been shoved into the front all willy nilly. The recipe notebook has quite a backlog of recipes to be entered.
My household notebook is a binder divided into eight sections and then several pages of business cards. Each section has a blank address page I printed from Organized Home, a double sided folder, and a clear sleeve (or two). It is such a great tool to keep all the pertinent information in one place as well as controlling the paper clutter. This is how I divided my notebook:
Bills: Has a clear zipper sleeve where I slip the bills after I have written them on my calendar. This section also has stamps and envelopes, in case I ever need them.
Helpful Numbers: This has our block list (info for all the peeps on my block), a sheet with various community phone numbers, and a sheet with all of the city service phone numbers.
Medical Info: This has an address page with all of the various doctors, dentists, orthodontists, counselors, pharmacies, etc. Plus photocopies of shot records.
School: This section has a general double-sided folder and then one for each child. The folders contain all of the information sheets that come home, supply lists, classroom lists etc.
Take Out: This section has an address page with the numbers of all of our favorite take out places and the clear sleeves are filled with menus and coupons.
Babysitter: This section has an address sheet that lists our sitters and an information page that contains all vital info the sitter might need.
Household Info: This address page lists all of the service people we have used and liked. The plumber, roofer, furnace guy, various contractors, etc. The folder is where I slip ideas from magazines that I think someday I will actually get around to doing to the house.
Kids' Activities: This address page has the phone numbers for piano teacher, YMCA, coaches etc. The double-sided folders hold schedules, receipts, brochures for possible future activities, etc.
I realized while cleaning it out that among other useless papers, there were work invoices and quotes for the house from 2 years ago. The doctor information was very outdated. And there were bills from over a year ago. I updated all of the phone numbers and cleaned out all the no longer relevant paper. Now, it is back to being organized and useful.
Tired of keeping piles of magazines because there were a couple of recipes I wanted, but never actually going back to find them, I started my recipe notebook. It is a binder where I put all of the recipes I tear out of various magazines or print off the internet. I trim them and slip them into clear sleeves.
I would like to tell you that I have them organized in some sort of understandable manner, but the reality is that when I started the notebook I was more worried about fitting the recipes onto a page so their size mattered more than their dish type. Now 50 pages later and it will never be more organized than that because let's face it, I'm never going back and reordering the whole thing. Besides, flipping through to find a recipe, reminds me of the recipes I haven't tried or haven't cooked in awhile.
I went and purchased some new sleeves and trimmed up all of the recipes I had piled up in the back of the binder and fit them into the sleeves. It is so nice not to have to worry about picking up the notebook and having a cascade of paper come tumbling out if I don't get a hold of it just right.
So, did you clear up your paper clutter? If you did be sure to post a link to Simple Mom's page for this week's project and then post your pictures on our Facebook page to get a chance at winning a Starter Kit.
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