Tuesday, Mar 6
I consider myself an organized person. “A place for everything and everything in its place” is pretty much how I keep things from getting too out of control around here. But lately I’ve been working on a new project that is not really that pretty. Believe me, I’d rather be painting the basement walls! I am organizing our filing system. Bleh. There really is nothing creative about this process. It’s very mundane, but at the same time it takes concentration. When I’m painting, or hanging pictures, or doing laundry, I think about all sorts of stuff. I pray, I talk on the phone, I have conversations with myself, I think about outfits I could wear on my hot dates with The Hubs. You know, the usual. But this filing project is pretty intense. It’s bringing me back to the four summers I worked for my dad at his doctor’s office. Now that was a glamorous job. Just think Rob Schneider on SNL, “Making copies.”
I can Martha-fy pretty much anything, so I’m doin’ my darnedest to pretty-up this bleh project. I have my trusty labeler:
And my fancy filing system:
We bought this filing system when I was expecting Bright Eyes. I was in nesting mode, and wanted to get control of our files before we had our third child. We were also buying our first home, so I knew that would bring on a lot of important paperwork. It’s a fantastic system, really. This description from the Container Store says it best. The only trouble is, actually filing the paperwork as it comes in to the house is a challenge for me. And believe me, when you have four children, there is plenty of paperwork!
~report cards and school records
It is a lot to keep track of, and there’s really no way around it. I came to the conclusion that I needed to remove all the keepsakes from the file cabinet. That sort of stuff piles up fast and was taking up a lot of precious filing cabinet space. Each Friday, I take a pile of the three school aged children’s artwork out to the porch. I spread a white plastic table cloth on our picnic table, and I photograph each piece of paper separately. Then I upload the photos to my laptop, and save them for digital scrapbooking. I save a few things every now and then, but mostly, don’t tell anyone, I throw them away! Yes, I throw away the artwork. Can you believe it? Each year I make a yearbook for the family, and each child gets a couple of pages, covered with the photographs of their work. They absolutely love this, and of course, so do I. No more hanging files overflowing with construction paper projects!
As for the keepsakes, I just recently found these boxes at Target:
In it are their Baptismal candles, hospital caps and bracelets, various awards, a few memorable pieces of artwork, birthday cards, and maybe a few photos. I labeled them and have them displayed in our basement just because I love the pop of color and I am hoping that the older children enjoy taking them down and looking through them. They’re really not that big, so eventually I think we’ll have to upgrade to something bigger, but we’ll see.
Vital documents are kept in a binder in our fire-proof safe. I used this book as a guide when putting it together:
In the binder are our birth certificates, Social Security cards, Baptismal certificates, marriage certificate, vehicle titles, and Passports. Currently, I’m working on a User Name and Password list to add to the binder. This will include all of our bank account and credit card information. Two copies of the binder are being given to two different family members, hopefully by the end of this week. I know it sounds like a lot, but if you’re an office supply geek like me, it’s pretty fun to put this together.
I guess I have my work cut out for me today. And for us moms, well, these things happen at a pace that fits into our already busy day. So this giant pile of filing should get finished sometime this summer. Hopefully sooner though!