Posted in clutter, Organizing

Paper Clutter the Sequel

Paper clutter the sequel

So I have been talking about how to control the paper monster for some time now. Today I want to share the feedback I have received in the past from some of my clients.thank you card aaron-burden-211846

Dear Pamela:

  • This has really helped me A LOT! I also have a flash drive on my keychain that actually looks like a key! All the bills have their own folder where I save a copy of my confirmation as a .pdf. An easy way to accomplish this is by downloading “PrimoPDF” and it’s FREE! This will allow you to “print” anything into a .pdf form! I also do this with the online bills that I no longer get paper bills for. I’m trying to ween myself off the paper thing!!!

  • 1024px-Usb-thumb-drive
  • I have files set up for each of them. But my biggest issue is, I NEVER file them the way I had intended to! So I saw this “calendar/book” at a dollar store recently that gave me an idea to take a different approach and possibly allow me to actually FILE THEM and save time, paper, and patience!!! It was a book that had a calendar and folder for each month. The folder was for putting the bills in for that month! So I have about 27 items on my spreadsheet that I keep up with every month. So instead of having 27 files to deal with, I could potentially have 1, yes, ONE folder for the WHOLE YEAR!!!! I’m so excited! But frugal as I am, I will probably make my own folder so I can customize it a bit! I’m thinking legal file folders, folded, and bound together, and a printable calendar on sticker paper should do the trick!

  • BInders from Flickr7845750442_03c60af15a_b
  • I have filed in an over the door plastic shoe holder for years. It helps me to see what I actually have instead of hidden in a folder. Once the pocket gets full I usually realize I don’t really need most of the papers I keep and put them through the shredder. I do have a filing cabinet for car titles and important stuff, but the monthly bills etc., it’s easy to just stuff them in the pocket. This saves me from the stacks of papers on the counter, the table, basically any flat surface I happen to be standing by when I open the mail (haha). At first, I labeled the pockets with post-it notes, but then those that I used for a while got a real label with large magic marker writing so I could easily identify each pocket.

  • The idea of color coding for a visual clue as to when things are due. When I sort through papers I have three bins: trash, recycle and shred.

rules-scrabble-tiles

The point of sharing other people’s solutions is to stress that there are lots of options.  You will have to find the one that works for you.

I know this was a lot, but if anyone can use any of it to help them, I’m just happy to share! I know that many of you have been struggling for a long time and the stress of being late on stuff to gets to you!!! So are any of you thinking of adopting some of the ideas above?

Thanks Pamela

bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

 

#newpost #organized #overwhelmed #momlife #priorities #Seizetheday #mail #chaos #clutter #order
Posted in clutter, Organizing

Paper Chase ~ Mail Clutter

letters-in-mailbox-INF29089

Papers they are one of the things that present such a great challenge since paper comes in almost on a daily basis. Mail means flyers, newspapers, magazines, bills, letters, statements and sometimes cards. Then if you have children they bring home papers. Artwork, notes from teachers, schedules, and reports. When you go shopping there is the receipts, owners manuals and coupons.   Then there are the work papers it never ends.

But how to deal with it?? How to organize it?? What to keep what to toss? What a nightmare!!

Let’s start with mail.

huffpost.com-o-JUNK-MAIL-facebook
Pile of unwanted bills and junk mail to recycle

Deal with Mail immediately. Toss junk. Shred sensitive trash, file.

Put a trashcan or recycle receptacle by the door. Throw away junk immediately.

Do not lay down mail. Repeat after me: Do not lay the mail down.  One more time.  DO NOT PUT THAT DOWN.junk-mail-taking-over-living-room-14441424059_860503333a_b

Seriously consider online banking and online bill pay. Eliminate paper coming into the house.

OK so now it is in the house. What?

Touch Paper one time.

Open it, toss the envelope, file it away.

Keep it simple

Set up simple categories.

To pay:

I recommend adding your bills to a spreadsheet and listed ALL your bills. They should be sorted by due date (actually listing them 2-3 days prior to the actual “due date” to allow time in case you got busy, or it was the weekend and you forgot! Thus, nothing would be late!). Then set them up with Bill/Creditor. If you have a few things that are automatic drafts, I recommend highlighting them in a specific color such as blue. Utilities such as electricity, or gas, basically core household bills, highlighted in light yellow. Anything due quarterly or annually should be marked as such under “end date” and highlighted that field only in purple! Anytime something is closed or finished you can move it to the bottom of the page and mark it as such. I suggest you never delete it in case you need the info later! (Such as for taxes) Under “Specials” you can add notes such as “No interest 6 months, ENDS March 2018”; or what every note you need such a contract end dates on your phone service.

To file:

Now that you have added your bill to the spreadsheet you need to file them away. You have to set up a system that works for your household. Remember Keep it Simple.

House, car, insurance, money, health, school, taxes (whatever works for your house)

For example in your money file you c have a sub file for banking, retirement, investments. For your house file, you can have sub file for maintenance, warranties, improvements, tax statements and insurance file. Or you could have your insurance file with sub files for Car A, Car B, House, Health, Life. You are getting the idea.

Now that you have determined what categories you need its time to decide what you are going to put them.

If file folders or pockets don’t work for you try Project cases or document cases.

Papers can’t fall out, no hole punch or pockets, everything stays flat. You can store them upright on a bookcase or shelf, or you can put them in a file drawer. You can further organize them by adding folders inside the cases.

Flat bottom pocket files and binder clips.   Put labels on the binder clips.

Small desktop file box - IMG_4168

Or try magazine holders. Label them and just drop in your paperwork. You just have to find a shelf to hold them.

Do you keep receipts? How about using a receipt receptacle? Like a glass canister, box or drawer?

You could use a plastic drawer unit and dedicate 1 drawer to receipts and the rest could be your files. One for each house, car, insurance, money, health, school, or whatever you need.plastic storage drawers-IMG_4167

I love this company; http://www.irisusainc.com  They have lots of amazing options.

Remember whatever you do remember to keep it simple, deal with it one time, and do not put the paper down. Touch it one time.  You can control your paper clutter and be organized.

Thanks Pamela

Pam's Bee.jpg

#clutter #organized #mail #onetouch #overwhelmed #paper

via Photo Challenge: Order

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Come on! I just cleaned that.

Do you feel like you are caught in a riptide? Swimming upstream?underwater - julian-svoboda-78075

When it comes to organization I find that sometimes only one person is really on board. Normally that person is Mom. Why? Because Mom is expected to know where everything is.

So Mom has to stop and find the missing shoe, or the homework, the favorite tie, did you pick up the dry cleaning? Did you get milk? Mom, we are out of Frosted Sugar Bits!! Mom, I need 35 cupcakes today.

Sound familiar? EEK! It’s no wonder that Mom’s are the ones primarily on board to get organized. It’s call self-preservation.

Sometimes I have mom’s that tell me I have tried this and that and no one else helps me so I fall back into my old ways and chaos ensues.

I get that the others in your house may not feel the same way. They are not seeing the big picture or getting it. Don’t assume they are intentionally sabotaging you or that they just don’t care. They probably just don’t get it.

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

communication-1015376_1280

You have to talk to them.

Communication is key.

Make you kids see that if they help, you will have more time to do fun things. Give them the right incentive. If you put your toys away Mommy will read you a story. (If you don’t Mommy will make your toys disappear!) Don’t be a doormat. Kids can be helpful. They can learn to put their dirty clothes in the hamper if they want them washes and their homework in their backpacks.

kid with toy photo-1467930555454-0cfbfd9beab9

Adults can understand that if you have help staying organized you can save money and time.  Saving money for maybe that dream vacation or new RV toy…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Being positive about housework can go a long way in getting your brood to help you out.

I love chore charts for children. I also suggest for children use a 10/5 system. Clean for 10 minutes and then a 5-minute break. For adults and older children increase that to a 20/10 system. Don’t try to do it all at once.meter josh-newton-21688

Also, remember your home and organizing method does not have to be perfect, you just need to find a happy medium that reduces your stress.

Thanks and have a great day!!

Pamela

bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

#organized #clutter #chaos #momslife #overwhelmed #momshelper #setlimits #fixmylife

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Clean?

 

You do know that there is really no wrong way to clean, don’t you?  If you are cleaning you are making progress.  But there are a few tips to make your cleaning faster.Cleaning starwars stylejames-pond-191811.jpg

Start from the top  –  work your way down.  Don’t worry about the floors until the last.

Start on the largest flat surface and then work your way to the smallest flat surface.   Clear it off and move on the next flat surface.

Dust and sweep before you mop.rubber gloves-sponge28449392440_95c99f6cd9_b.jpg

Did you know that dishwashing gloves can do more than save you from dishpan hands?  They are great to remove pet hair from your furniture, carpet, and clothes.  Just rub your damp rubber gloved hands over the furniture.  This is a great tip for stairs.  Also, this will work on your actual pet. If you can get your pet to sit and allow your to pet them wearing a rubber glove.  (That would not be happening in my house – my furry would freak out. Just saying!)

Fun fact:  Rubber gloves are helpful to open jars.

I love your comments.  Share your best cleaning tip.

Have a great day!

Pamelabee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

Posted in clutter, Organizing, Uncategorized

Simplify your life

via Letting Go — MakeItUltra™

Is it expectations?

Relationships that are not healthy?

How about worry about what other people think?

Maybe it’s stuff?   Do you have so much stuff you can’t find your stuff?  Do you rent a storage unit for your stuff?  Have extra rooms in your house for your stuff?  Are your closets, cabinets, and drawers stuffed to overflowing?

So my question to you is what is the one thing you can let go of to simplify your life?

Have a great day!

Thanks Pamela

Pam's Bee.jpg

#simple #kiss #stuff #simplify

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Tax Time doesn’t have to be Taxing

taxes 6355404323_cf97f9c58e_bSo tomorrow is the deadline for filing your taxes in the US.  But now that you have compiled all the information how to store it?  Do you stuff them back in a box and hope that you can find them if you are ever audited?income-tax-491626_1280

 

The IRS website suggests the following:

After you file your taxes, you will have many records that may help document items on your tax return. You will need these documents should the IRS select your return for examination. Here are five tips from the IRS about keeping good records.

  1. Normally, tax records should be kept for three years.

  2. Some documents — such as records relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions,

    IRA

    and business or rental property — should be kept longer.

  3. In most cases, the IRS does not require you to keep records in any special manner. Generally speaking, however, you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return.

  4. Records you should keep include bills, credit card and other receipts, invoices, mileage logs, canceled, imaged or substitute checks, proofs of payment, and any other records to support deductions or credits you claim on your return.

  5. For more information on what kinds of records to keep, see IRS Publication 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals, which is available on the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

I personally suggest that you use the seven-year rule:  By using this rule anything 2009 or earlier. – You can shred this year.  Since this the tax year for 2016.

Did you know that you can scan your documents and store them on a zip drive?  Well, you can.  Because the IRS actually does accept scanned documents?

They’ve actually accepted electronic documentation since at least 1997 when they issued IRS Revenue Procedure 97-22, which states:

This revenue procedure provides guidance to taxpayers that maintain books and records by using an electronic storage system that either images their hardcopy (paper) books and records, or transfers their computerized books and records, to an electronic storage media, such as an optical disk. Records maintained in an electronic storage system that complies with the requirements of this revenue procedure will constitute records within the meaning of § 6001 of the Internal Revenue Code.

So a great space saver is to use a large scanner with a document feeder and scan all your tax document.  Save them to a ZIP drive by year, write the year on the drive itself and then store the drive in a fireproof box.
Even if you don’t scan your documents make you can put them in a large envelope and clearly mark the year on the outside of the envelope.  Now is a good time to also mark the shred date  (7 years later) on the outside of the envelope as well.
Now that is over so to make you feel better here is a cute dog picture.  I know right?  A dog wearing beads.  Cute!!dog - zivile-arunas-207535.jpg
Have a great day!!
Thanks Pamela
pams-bee-jpg
#clutter, #taxday #organized #dog
Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Decisions ~ Decisions

Organizing is something everyone needs and uses every day to some degree. Some of you have better control over your clutter than other. Some of you feel overwhelmed at the thought of finding your shoes.

That’s OK. I am here to help you find a method that works for you. Not for your mom, or sister or even the neighbor next door. Something that works for you and your family may in fact not work for everyone.chaos-485493_960_720

Have you heard of the Kondo method?

The Kondo principle is dead simple: Touch every single item. Feel it. Think about it. Ask yourself does it bring me joy? If it does, keep it. If not, ditch it.

Try it. Open your closet and start with your winter clothes. Pull ever thing out one at a time. Touch it. Feel it. Does it bring you joy? Does it fit? Did you wear it this season? Does it need mending? Will you mend it?

If you answered no to any of these questions the answer is simple, let it go.

dont make change too complicated 5-9

So, how much did you let go of? Don’t you feel better? I knew you could do it.

Now lets sort what is left.

photo by Clark Street Merchantile -1441986300917-64674bd600d8Think of your closet as a boutique.  Sort by color, sleeve length and then put all your pants, skirts and dresses together. Once you have it all organized you may just discover new outfits and combinations you did to realize you had. Getting dressed should be easier.

Maybe you need your clothes in coordinated outfits. If so do it.   Put your outfits together. Pick out a top and a bottom. Keep it up and choose all your outfits for the week. No early morning thinking required.small baby's room organized

This particular method works great for children who want to pick out their outfits but still need a little help.

Your closet is done now ~ on to the next one. You can do this.  What will you do next?

 

Thanks Pamela

 

#Kondo, Closet #Organized #clutter #momlife #livingwithatoddler

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Lay off the Sauce!

Are you guilty of a little packet hoarding?sauce-packages

Do you have a secret stash of sauce freebies?

How about  half-empty bottles of fake bacon bits from 3 years ago?  Old Spice isn’t just a scent your grandpa would wear.  Spices expire.  spice-shelf

Oh boy!  The fact of the matter is, you are allowing them to use  up valuable fridge and kitchen storage space.  Unless you are one of those people who has more cabinet space than you could ever fill or has a fridge that is so large you never have to search for your olives?  Right I didn’t think so, me neither.

Easy solution:  Go check the expiration dates on those old spices and condiments, and handle accordingly.  Hoard tiny packets no more.  Thyme to let them go.

Veri Ivanova-stopwatch-photo-1431499012454-31a9601150c9

You are welcome!  Have a great day and remember I love your comments.

bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Reasons for Resistance to Change

Misunderstanding that there is a need for change sometimes the reason for the change might not be clear — If you and your family do not understand the need for change you can expect resistance to change. Especially from those who strongly believe the current way of doing things works well…and has done for years! Famous words, “My Mom did it that way.”MoreFamilyTime 5-1 b

Fear: Fear of the unknown — One of the reasons I see frequently for resistance to change is fear of the unknown. Before some people can take steps toward the unknown is when they feel that not changing is a greater problem than the current situation and then they will move towards in a new direction.compas-photo-1470472304068-4398a9daab00

Lack of competence in the change — This is a fear many people will find difficult to admit. But there are times when change is required and may require changing so of your skills, and some people will feel that they won’t be able to make the transition very well. An example might be   you have been a single person or a couple and now you have a baby. You have to change the way you do many things.

A connection to the old way — If you ask people in a family or an organization to do things in a new way, as much as to you the new way makes your life easier and saves you time, you will be setting yourself up against all that emotional connections to the old way – and that’s not trivial. (This might go back to the way your mother did it and you would never want to insult your or their mom.)

Low trust — When people don’t believe that they can change there is likely to be resistance to change.

Temporary or a phase — Some people believe that the reason for change is a temporary or a phase.Danielle MacInnes photo-1455815152231-be9c88eb7468

Not asking the family — If your family is allowed to be part of the change there is less resistance. People like to know what’s going on, especially if their lives may be affected.

Poor communication — Well Duh! It’s self-evident isn’t it? When it comes to change there’s no such thing as too much communication. Everyone needs clear ideas as to what is expected of him or her.

Changes to routines — When we talk about comfort zones we’re really referring to routines. We love them. They make us secure. So there’s bound to be resistance whenever change requires us to do things differently. Make sure you keep talking about what you want and need. Everyone can have a role. (OK, maybe not the pets but everyone else.)dog-with-ball-oh9auo20kbk-andrew-pons

Benefits and rewards — When the benefits and rewards for making the change are not seen as tolerable for the trouble involved. Make sure everyone gets some benefit from your changes. Example, if Mom has help keeping the laundry done then she may have more time to go to the park or read the kids a story.

Realize there may in fact be resistance to change and planning for it from the start will allow you to successfully implement your changes. Be proactive you can do this.  I love your comments.  What has been your resistance to change?

dont make change too complicated 5-9

Thanks Pamelabee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

Posted in clutter, Organizing, Uncategorized

That’s using your noodle

Today we are talking about the versitility of a pool noodle.  Who knew how many ways they can used. They are cheap and can be easily located.  So even if you don’t have a pool you may be able to use a noodle.

pool-noodle_2780523440

  1. Pool Noodle to organize fishing rods.
  2. Card holder – to hold playing cards.
  3. Tot bed rail – bumper – place a pool noodle on the side of the bed under the sheet to keep tots from rolling off the bed.
  4. Boot filler – cut them and place in your boots to keep them upright. See Angie’s Look Book –
  5. Child proof for little fingers. Keep toddlers from slamming doors by placing a part of a noodle on the edge of the door.
  6. Plant stakes for your flowers. Perfect for sunflowers.
  7. Bumpers – to keep you from bumping your car doors into the wall.
  8. No more stubbed toes by using part of a pool noodle to keep your toes safe. Use them on your bed frame to prevent those late night toe kicks.
  9. Use pool noodles over tent support ropes for safety.
  10. Use a pool noodle to keep your puppy from pushing her balls under the couch. (Wish I had this earlier!)
  11. Pool noodle roof pad on your roof rack to cushion and protect.
  12. Did you know you can use noodles to make toys not for just the pool?  (Thank you Pinterest!)
  13. Jumbo Lincoln Logs.
  14. Marble Race Track.
  15. Marshmallow shooters.
  16. Lightsabers – May the force be with you! Just add duct tape!
  17. Noodle Stick horses – Directions and more info click here
  18. Kid car wash – for their cars, scooters and bike great on a hot summer day!
  19. Birthday Lawn Candles – Pool Noodle and a battery tea light.
  20. Trampoline safety cover for the springs.

pool closed photo-1465198901163-2d15b88fecea

How do you use your noodle?

Thanks Pamela

bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

 

 

#tips #hacks #poolnoodle