For example, every incoming mail gets immediately picked up from the mailbox -and by that I mean, it rarely takes more than a week for a letter to make it inside the house… Once in, each letter goes through a rigorous screening process.
First, it goes in the transit area (i.e. the kitchen table) for a few days. The transit area adds absolutely no value. Nothing happens, it serves no purpose. It just is. After a few days, if it has not disappeared into a toy box somewhere, the “pretty mail” (my daughter calls it that because she usually had time to decorate every square inch of it), it is opened and sorted into one of my various piles:
If trash, it goes straight there. Yeay!! One thing taken care of right away!
If it’s a magazine, it goes into a pile that I put aside to read later at night. Needless to say I never get around it. Eventually, when the pile reaches the ceiling, I just transfer everything in the trash. Then, I start a whole new pile from scratch.
If the letter is urgent, it goes into the “urgent and new” pile. At the end of each week, I go through this pile again and split it into “was urgent but not anymore” or “desperately urgent”. I give the desperately urgent pile to my husband who usually sits on it for a bit longer. I keep the other stuff and file it with the non urgent mail. That pile stays there until, well, until everything in it is so pointless that it can either go in the trash or move to the “file” pile.
The “file” pile will eventually be moved from the kitchen to the office. At some point in time – usually right before tax return due date…
Finally, I have a special pile for bills. A bit like, “Fast Track” if you like… I open bills as soon as they arrive – well, within that same week, for sure! I sort them out by due date and pay them ON THE DAY they are due. You have no idea how much organization it takes to be able to do that! It’s a lot harder than pay as the bills arrive.
I apply my method to everything: kids’ clothes, toys, kids’ desks. You name it!
And truthfully, I did not think that there was any other way when you have three kids and only 24 hours in a day…
Until I stumbled on a website called The Joyful Organizer. As the name spells out, the site is all about organization as a way of life. Bonnie, the business owner, has many interesting tips and suggestions to make life at home a lot less chaotic. Plus, she has the cutest accessories recommendations that make me want to file my papers properly, just so I can get the lovely pink binder!
The one tip that resonates with me is, “Make organizing fun for your kids. Play music, dance, and have fun while you are organizing! If you act like it’s a chore, they will too“. Humm… Sooooo, no more ranting and grumbling about coats left on the floor? No more threat of retaliation for kids not helping around? No more hours of lecture about the cleaning fairy being just a myth? That, for sure, would be a big change around here!!!
If you think my very thorough and rigorous method just isn’t for you (!!), then pay a visit to www.thejoyfulorganizer.com and learn about the fifth dimension called organization and peace of mind!
In the mean time, I hope Bonnie does not pull her hair out when reading my post…
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