Friday, January 8, 2010

Help, I'm drowning!

Ok, I can't believe I am going to be this honest, but it is the new year and one of my resolutions, so here goes: I am not an organized person. Whew! there you have it, boy that feels good to get it off my chest. I think I use to be, no, I know I was but as I get older and a little crazier I just can't seem to get it! I am desperately going to try to get organized this year and the bain of my existence has always been paper. I hate paper, I loathe paper, I detest paper....but teachers love paper and so does my 5 year old. Why is it every time I think the pile of paper has decreased or is somewhat manageable, the next minute its like the Leaning Tower of Pisa! And please don't get me started on mail, ugh! Our mailman hates me because I don't get the mail but once a week if he is lucky. We live in a newer development where the mailboxes are all housed together and mine is around the corner. When you live in the Midwest and the weather is -25 you have no desire to get your gear on and trek around the corner just for some more junk mail.

I will admit, I haven't even taken Christmas down because the paper must be my #1 focus!

Claire is 5 and in kindergarten and she brings papers home everyday. If I throw her papers out she goes and digs them right out of the garbage and cries, because she says, "That one is important to me, or "I made that for you"! I started keeping a folder for each kid on the counter and tucked their school work into them everynight, but now they are too full and exploding out the sides. I need help! Which papers do I really need to keep? Did my mother keep my papers as a kid? If she didn't, has it affected my adulthood? Hmmm, is that why I am a little crazy? Well, maybe it...oh, I digress. Maybe my craziness will have to wait for another post. Back to the subject at hand. Why is it so hard for me to throw it all away?

So this is what the kitchen table looks like presently. Piles of school papers, things to be shredded (my shredder burned out), little pieces of ripped in half paper with an important name and number on it... and so on and so on and so on. Help! How do I get started. I won't even show you the craft cupboard. In fact, I am afraid if I do then things might jump out on me. Ok, it really isn't that bad. Or is it? But back to my table. We couldn't even eat dinner at the table last night because I couldn't figure out what to do with all this. Now, my husband said, "Oh hell, just throw it all away. I just don't think men get it. They definitely are not as sentimental as we women are. I mean, could any of you really throw these away?

I need a fool proof plan on organizing my paper life and I want it NOW! Ok, that was a little harsh. Since honesty is currently my new policy I also need help with the family calendar. We have a stainless steel fridge so I can't hang anything on the front. I only have 1 side I can hang stuff on so I have made that my little "mom center" since I don't have a desk in the kitchen. The organizer on the table usually fits right at the side of the fridge under the microwave. Please pay as little attention as possible to the fingerprints on the fridge... the maid is on vacation.

But this is where I do have the family calendar. It is in the narrow hallway that leads into the garage. Doesn't that seem crazy to be that far away from my "mom center"? Now, one of my questions to all of you is... after you jot all your info down on your family calendar, do you then re-jot it down on a calendar you keep in your purse? Oh, so many questions, but wait there are more!

I can't say anything is working that well. My son is 10 now and I have asked him to write down assignments or hang notes for me under the calendar but does he, no, he is a boy. I then get blamed if something is forgotten. He will tell his teacher, "Oh my mom forgot", but the truth is, "no honey, you didn't tell me"! My kids come home through this door but they leave in the morning through the front door.. so sometimes library books or notes are forgotten. Not sure if any of it makes sense, ugh! And this is why I am drowning!

So my challenge to you wonderful ladies of the blog world, is to help a fellow blogger who is drowning in all her paperwork. I want to see your organized areas, your family calendars, your tips, your tricks, so that I may start my new year on the right paperless path! I have seen your wonderful blogs so I know you are the right women for the job, now, who is up for the challenge?


Susan S. said...

Hi there....just popped in from the Crowned Casa. What a cute blog you have. LOVE the cute lady in the "header".

Happy New Year to you from Houston, TX!

Tracey said...

You're so right Megan, paper is one of the hardest things to keep on top of...I think for me, it's taking care of it as soon as I get it...mail immediately gets sorted into bill folder or recycling, school papers same thing, they either go into recycling, saved in the art portfolio, or get taken care of (signed and sent back, etc)...otherwise, for me, if I stick it in a pile and think I'll get to it later, it just piles up!!!

Good Luck :)

Have a great weekend!

:) T

Home's Where My Heart Is said...

I wish you could see the side of my fridge. You and I have the same set up. I have the main family calendar on the upper section of the fridge and below it is a magnetic bin for papers and pens, etc...It has gotten out of hand cluttered. And can I say this has been a sore spot for me, too? Just last night I tracked down some file folders that I am going to place inside this clear bin. Maybe that will bring some order. This will be a future post, stay tuned.
Anyway, paper. Can't stand the stuff either. I read an organizing tip once that said you are only supposed to handle your paper once. Well, I think that's impossible. So what I do with the mail is grab it and sort it as I am walking inside. Junk mail, my stuff, bills go to hubby. I toss the junk mail and anything I don't want in the garage trash can before entering house. No junk to deal with.
Kids come home with paper every day. I go through my 6 year olds papers and trash what we don't need; sign & put stuff back in his bag right then and there, and mark the calendar, if needed. My 11 year old tends to just toss stuff on the kitchen table for me. I weed that stuff out, too.
I have had moments where there is a huge pile of clutter and I just move ALL of it to a shopping bag or basket so I can think about it another time. Well, that's no fun to mess with anytime. My best advice is to take time of the front end to decide what happens to the papers.
As far as the kids special papers go...I hear ya. I finally got an under the bed Rubbermaid container for this special stuff. It goes right to the bin for keepsake. If they leave it out, I toss it. Brutal and cold-blooded? Maybe...but I get sick of clutter to the point where I decide if it wasn't important enough to get put away, then it's garbage. They learn real quickly. Also, if your kids are like mine they leave their toys and D.S. game things all over. I make a pile for them. They either immediately put their stuff away or it gets taken away.
Calendar. Another thorn in my flesh. I have a planner in my purse and one on the side of the fridge. I keep everything on both calendars. My husband isn't a super busy guy, but when he has things come up he puts them on the calendar so I can take his agenda into consideration when planning. Another thing he and I do from time to time is what I call "calendar". Sit down with the calendar and discuss either that week or month. This allows us to be on the same page and takes out the guess work of what we’re doing.
As far as where to start goes, you just need to get in there and do it. What I’ve done in the past is make 2 piles. One for throwing away and the other for keeping. Then when you end up with your “keep” pile you need to determine why you’re keeping it/how long, etc…More often than not you will decide you don’t want to keep it.

I hope this helps. Even if it helps you know that you’re not the only one struggling in this area.

carissa... brown eyed fox said...

here... HERE! the paper! it won't stop growing!!!!!!

i can not stand to file so i have a mound... quickly becoming a mountain of "to be filed"... on the 'ol to do list.

and can i say... so glad to know i'm not the only one who only gets their mail once a week. ours is at the end of the street too... it IS cold out there. :)

Nancy said...

My kitchen table is a disaster zone right now. My sewing machine, craft stuff... ay caramba! I need to get on top of this. It is making me feel a little on the crazy side. More crazy than I already am! :)
Thanks for coming to my blog. Love yours.. those pictures of the girls from behind... oh my goodness... hilarious!

Darlene said...

I an not-so-organized either but if you ask me where something is - I'll know.

I keep an 8 1/2 x 11 dayplanner for all our stuff which makes me the responsible party for every single activity, just like all Moms.

I don't keep a purse calendar. If I have something to right down while I'm out, it's back to old-fashioned paper and pencil. Then I transfer it to my dayplanner when I get home.

The favorite pieces of art that my daughters make usually go up on our walls, cabinets, their bedroom door etc. for a while (usually a long while). I take pictures of my favorites and they go on my hard drive as memories. I throw most of it away. Just never in front of my kids.

When the mail comes in, I always open it immediately, throw out the trash, recycle junk magazines and put the bills in my "to be paid" pile.

I keep some memories in plastic garbage bags and/or bins in the garage of the special stuff for each year. It's soooo hard to determine what to keep sometimes.

I've come to terms and believe that me throwing away their stuff will not require them psychological help in the future. :)

Happy organizing!

Darlene said...

Hi again - I wanted to let you know that I tagged you with an award on my blog today. I hope you have fun with it!!

Snowman Hill said...

Hey I just bipped by, what a darling blog! I'll check back often- stop over sometime- Krista

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