While I was taking down my second Tree, I happened upon a great little storage idea I wanted to share. For years, we purchased apples at Costco and they come in these lovely plastic containers that are PERFECTION for storing round Christmas ornaments. Load them up, stack them and put them in a storage bin–best of all they are FREE (with the apples of course).
Aside from general recovering from the holidays, I have undertaken the task of reorganizing all our financial files. I have seen this on several blogs recently, so I am not the only one. I admit, the more children I had busier I got, the less diligent I have been about keeping up with this type of thing. I do religiously keep our expenses in an excel spreadsheet so I can track what bills need to be paid, and what is left to “live on” once that is done.
I used to use a large Accordian folder to hold all our paperwork from our bills and other related things, but it had seen better days so I decided to make better use of the desk drawer in my kitchen. I picked up some cute blue and brown (my kitchen colors) folders at Staples and a large box of file folders–paid for by my ink recycling rewards (I use a lot of ink!)–Then I printed all the monthly bills and other misc. headings on a full sheet (8.5×11) of labels to use on the folders.
For the pretty folders (I wish I had bought more of them!) I made one for each family member, and ones for coming events like wedding invites/information etc., home decor ideas for all those things I am always ripping out of magazines, and another for landscaping as my yard is in need of a major overhaul and its coming!
For the files in the back, I used plain file folders with a header for each monthly bill and anything else I could think of–like health insurance, retirement, receipts and the like. My system, which is about as easy as I can make it, is to stick whatever paperwork I get all year in the relevant folder. Then in January, I take out all the folders and plunk them in a bankers box with the year marked on it. After our taxes are done, then I stick it in the basement and leave it there. Since I saved the labels on my computer, I figure next year I can just print off new labels and make new folders for the bills. It saves time having to cleaning out the files, and of course, I throw out whatever I no longer need to keep. I admit that today I dragged out the box from 2002, lucky for me I have A LOT of storage in my dark and scary basement, but it also needs some cleaning out.
Wow! Exciting Stuff, huh? We’d love to hear how you manage your paper, so let us know.
I am still working on the top of the desk–which is clutter central, no matter how hard I try, so I will post on that soon.
Happy 2011 everyone!