Saturday, January 31, 2009

Organizing Junkie's January Round-Up!!!

I participated (for the first time) this month in Organizing Junkie's Monthly Round-up! This month's task was files-those pesky paper piles!! Yeah, I know a little bit about that!! Using Laura's PROCESS method, I'll explain what happened around here in January(Well, at least in the den!)

P: Planning for Your Project

Obviously, I'm working on with my filing system (: I looked at the areas that are involved in my filing system that I am having issues with. Overall, I have a functional filing system that basically works for me. It just needs some tweaking.

1. PUTTING ALL OF MY FILES IN ONE PLACE: In the past, I have, for some reason, had an "active" file and an "inactive" file. The thinking behind this was, well... I'm not sure. It sounded like a good idea at the time! The lines became a little blurry, and I ended up using both. I decided to put them all together in one place. *Just a note.. I don't use traditional filing cabinets. I like my files to be sorta portable. And, low budget!*

The "ACTIVE" file


2. Past Years' Files: These needed some help. At the end of each year, I sorta just grabbed everything out of my current files and shoved them into a big tub. Sorta in order. Sorta.

3. School Papers/Kids' Drawings, etc.: These were everywhere. My kids like to draw. A lot. We were just stacking them on their desk. I made somewhat of a basket for them, but it wasn't working.

4. Owner's Manuals: At one point, I put these all in a file folder in the regular file box, but they are so bulky for this. They ended up in a pile on a basement shelf. Not good!

**After these areas were considered, I also looked at my budget. I really didn't feel like spending much, if any, money. I worked really hard on shopping my house and getting by!**

R: Remove Items

I gathered all of the papers/files and dumped them onto a table. Wow! What a mess!

O: Organize into Piles

I pulled out all of my 2008 papers from my files, and categorized the papers left into

*current files

*Past Files

*School Papers

*Owner's Manuals

C: Containerize

This is the fun part!! While I would have LOVED to buy new, glorious containers, I stuck with my plan (:

1. ACTIVE FILES: I went to my basement and found this..

I had a nice, big hanging file tub with all of my grad school papers/teaching files. I thought this would work perfectly for my combined active files. Since I'm staying home with my kids while they're small, I don't really need easy access to these until I go back to work someday.
So, I put these files and papers into a couple of cardboard boxes and put them on a high shelf in the basement until I need them someday.

This allowed me to combine my files and get all new labels for them! They're categorized by subject, and then alphabetically within (except for the first section, which I use for convenience)

I stuck some cute scrapbook paper in the front. Just because it's cute!! The categories:

RED: "Active" =hey! I just can't let it go!

ORANGE: Possessions

GREEN: Financial

BLUE: Each family member has a folder

PURPLE: Interests/Hobbies

2. PAST YEARS' FILES: I pulled my old tub up and went through these. I threw SO many papers away. I had every bill paid for the past 7 years!! Although I probably did keep more than I need to, I look at it like this: We have a basement, and I am not lacking for storage space. What's it gonna' hurt saving a few more papers? Better safe than sorry. Now. If I had a storage issue, then I'd be more selective. Anyway, moving on! (:

I used hanging folders and numbered them "YEAR #1" through 7. Behind each year, I place the papers saved from that year. At the end of each year, I take papers to save, stick them in the front of this, toss the Year #7 papers, and move the little year labels up a year. So easy!!!

Then, this lives in my basement until next year!

3. SCHOOL PAPERS: For school papers, I used my old current file box and let the boys choose scrapbook paper for the front of it. I made a file for each boy with "their color". We use these for a lot of things. All their papers get dumped in here. (Except for ONE which they get to display on the fridge. They can switch this out as much as they want). On Saturday, they'll go through this and keep what they want to and toss the rest. I think we're going to get Memorabilia Boxes for each year of school. That's still in the works (;

Within each folder, they have a "Homework Folder". Their homework to complete goes here, and it's portable, so they can move it to the table or wherever. Hutch is in Preschool and still doesn't have much homework, but I figure it's never too early to get him in the habit!

4. OWNER'S MANUALS: I used my old "Inactive" file box for these. First, I went through and questioned which ones I need to actually keep. Do we really need the owner's manual for our Gazillion Bubble Blower? I dont' think so!

Next, I ripped out all of the foreign language sections. This reduced the bulk by about half!! Since I don't refer to these on a regular basis, I didn't think it was worth it to put them in file folders or categorize them. I just stuck them in the box in alphabetical order. Done.

E: Evaluate Plan

S: Solve/Simplify Anything that Isn't Working for You

* I'll do these after I've lived with them for awhile!*

S: Smile, relax and enjoy your hard work!!!

Sounds good!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 1.30.09

Hi! I'm glad you stopped in! This week, Rachel Anne's Small Things actually turned into Big Things in our home. My husband last night just said, "Our house just seems so much nicer lately" Hmm.. I wonder if it has anything to do with Home Sanctuary.. of course it does! (;

Of course, my favorite thing this week was to chart out the basic plan for the week. I LOVE to do stuff like this, and anyone who truly knows me knows this! I'm a list/planning junkie! But in the midst of all of this, the most important Small Thing this week for me was Rachel Anne's plea to ask us to choose a standard for our home that works for us at this present season in our life. This is so true! My house, with three little ones, is not going to be spic and span sparkling clean, and that is okay for me right now. It's working. (This is not to say that it isn't possible-it's just not for me!) On the other hand, my standard is way higher than it was, say, four years ago when I was completing my Master's Degree with a one year old!! Yikes.
Another aspect of this is to set MY standard, not try to measure up to someone else's. We all have these people in our lives who set the bar reeeeally high. And to them, I say, Great! We should appreciate their efforts, and try not to be bitter or jealous toward them. But we also need to, as home keepers (full or part-time) set OUR standard and measure our house against that. That's it. It sounds so easy, huh?!!
I am so glad that we were given the Small Things we were given this week. Very "deep" and kinda puts everything in perspective! Well, I need to get going! Thanks for stopping in!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Plan for January 26- February 5

I had a friend (Jackie!!) over on Saturday, and she poked fun at me because I post my menus on the fridge! It's okay. I've got tough skin! Personally, I love to make paper-things, and I also like to have what we are having this week right in front of me (as well as in my calendar)-SO this is right up my alley!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Crafty Crow GIveaway

I just entered a giveway for really cute clothes made from repurposed vintage fabric. Here is how you could enter, too.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 01.12.09

There is a beautiful cover of snow everywhere!! We spent a weekend cooped up in the house, which is perfectly fine by me! I got a big headstart on organizing my den, and had a lot of family time!

So what will be on our dinner table this week? Thanks to Rachel Anne at Home Sanctuary, I have the whole month planned out! Thanks to The Organizing Junkie, I get to share it with everyone (:

Each night of the week, I chose a different theme. Here are my themes for January/beginning of February. I'll re-evaluate then.
Monday: New Recipe
Tuesday: Ethnic
Wednesday: Soup
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
Friday: Crockpot
Saturday: "Fun"
Sunday: We don't plan Sundays. We usually eat at my parents' house after church

Here is this week's menu:

Monday: Heavenly Potatoes & Ham*recipe here* (My parents got us a ham, so I'm baking it, and cutting it into portions for recipes spread out throughout the month and freezing them ((1-2 per week so we don't get sick of it. I do this because they get us a ham every year, and I have burnt us out by having a 'ham' recipe every night of the week for two weeks!!))
Tuesday: Chimichangas/Beans & Rice
Wednesday: Cheeseburger Soup *recipe here*
Thursday: Pancakes and Sausage (Hutch takes cupcakes to preschool for snacks)
Friday: Chicken with Black Beans and Cream Chees (crockpot) *recipe here*/Rice
Saturday: Ham & Pineapple Homemade Pizza (*Crust recipe here* -made in bread machine) and (*Sauce recipe here*)

Looking forward to a great eating week! Hope you have a wonderful week wherever you are!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thankfully, it's Friday!

Have a seat! Get yourself a cup of whatever it is you enjoy. We probably have it somewhere in the cupboard, because we like it all! (: My husband called from work early this morning to let me know that there is a big snowstorm coming around noon today. I rearranged our schedule, and headed to the grocery story early this morning instead of this afternoon as planned. I'm glad I did, because I'm back home and it's 11:30-the snow has already started falling, earlier than expected. I feel a little smug sitting here back in my slippers, sipping a latte from McCafe (you know, the "gourmet" stuff!!!!!) We're looking forward to a weekend full of nothing. That is, if you don't count popcorn parties and snowmen and hot chocolate and board games and snuggling!! I'll take that kind of "nothing" any day!

Back to scheduling, my husband and I have been focusing on God's plan in our lives lately, and I think that Rachel Anne at Home Sanctuary reminded us Company Girls very vividly of this recently ( I LOVE her story, by the way. That is the perfect example of how everything works together for good- even when you don't understand what the situation you are in right now has to do with the big picture) All too often, we are hashing out our schedule and realize it is just that. It is OUR schedule, and not what God has in His great plan for us! With the new year, we always set goals for ourselves and look into the future, so to say, and map out where we want to be a year, five or ten years from now. While this is great, and it is important to have goals, we must always remember a very important point~The Lord willing. We must strive to always be in His will, and sometimes this means not getting exactly what we want.

Kinda like my day today. I thought I had things all mapped out. Something big happened to change my plans. A snowstorm happened, and "messed up my schedule". What has been your snowstorm? What has God sent in your life that has made you remember that it's His schedule? And that His schedule is always the best one!