For me to suggest organizing tips, imagine Donald Trump speaking on humility or Britney Spears offering parenting advice. The thought is outrageously funny.
Almost two years ago, I attended Youniquely Woman, promoted as an adult finishing school. Led by Precept Ministries Executive VP, Kay Arthur, Homemakers by Choice founder, Donna Otto, and author and speaker, Emilie Barnes, it was an amazing week of these women investing in the lives of the participants. Very hands on, they mentored us in everything from becoming a woman of excellence to sexing up your husband (I'm not kidding). Practical advice was offered and there's little doubt the conference made a lasting impression on those able to attend.
Two of the tips that made it home with me, one suggested by Emilie, the other by Donna, are still around two years later.
Organizing Paper Clutter
If you're like me, you can almost drown in the tsunami of papers that find their way into your home. I'm not talking about junk mail you just toss–bills, school papers, letters that require response–legitimate papers you need to keep.
Donna offered a simple solution that actually works
when you use it! As soon as papers cross the threshold of your house, DO something with them right.then. Toss them, act on them or file them in a convenient place immediately. As pictured here, I have a little file system that "lives" in our laundry room–strategically placed in a spot near our back door.
The files I made were for kids' school papers, medical/dental receipts for insurance filing, restaurant coupons and menus, a file for things I needed to respond to later, a "to read" file, one for our church and Bible Fellowship (we're one of our class's lead couples), and one for papers that needed to be filed in our permanent filing cabinet (upstairs, not conveniently located).
The key is convenience; the pay-off, theoretically, is no more ceiling-high stacks of papers sitting around all over the place.
Emilie, the sweetest, most organized person on the planet, shared a tip for keeping your pocketbook under control. Because I affectionately refer to my pocketbook as The Abyss and it takes me forever to find anything, when I follow her advice, it makes a difference. I don't always follow it.
She suggested keeping all purse items in mini bags inside your purse, rather than simply having a dumping ground inside. Here's a before and after of my purse last night:
I group like items together for each pouch; pictured above, there's one for make-up; receipts; mints, gum and candy; and "personal items". This way, when you change pocketbooks, rather than having a mess on your hands, you can just transfer the little bags. Oh…and you can find what you're looking for MUCH easier :).
Visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for more "Works for Me Wednesday tips. Lysa of Proverbs 31 Ministries also hosted a recent carnival for organizing suggestions; if you have any yourself, please share in comments! If you devote an entire post to it, be sure to visit the "Swap and Hop" and link your suggestions.
Wow, that conference sounds like a great one! Those are good tips; thanks for sharing!
I do separate little bags in my purse, but my paperwork is a disaster!!!
Love it.. I’m going to bookmark your blog..
Hello fellow disorganized sister! I like the file idea and I particularly like your brightly colored files. It probably would work for me if I kept it up 🙂
I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!!! These were some GREAT hints!!! I could always be a little more organized!!!
I know just what you are talking about the…the mounds and mounds of mail and paper work!
I’m also bad about printing stuff off the computer and then doing nothing with it…such as a recipe…I’ve got to stop doing that!!!
The purse thing is great! I have the same problem…I can NEVER find anything…cell phone nor my keys! lol I cram receipts every where…I need to get control!
What is the swap and hop little box on this post?!?!?
You won’t believe I wrote this one down. Yes I believe I am organized but the folders by the back door make so much sense. I will definitely be putting this into action. I constantly have a stack of papers on my desk waiting to be filed. It’s hard when there is school, work, husband, budgeting, and family…I can’t imagine kids to that mix. Great tips. Love the purse thing too.
I loved this post, too. The conference you went to sounds like a blast. I’m copying and pasting everything right now. I won’t ring and run : ) I’ll be back to visit. : )
Girl, this is great!! I was looking around my house (and searching around the inside of my disorganized brain) trying to see if I was doing something orderly that I could share…COULDN’T COME UP WITH ANYTHING!! What does that tell ya?!! Anyway, I love the purse idea. Now I need to go find all of those unused little pouches, bags, and “pursettes” that I’ve stored in various places in my bedroom and put them to real use. Maybe I will have at least an organized purse. The house and files…well that’s another story another day.
LOL!! I have a box full of papers I need to sort through, not to mention another box of papers I know I need to keep!! And I could have only 3-4 items in my purse (wallet, cell phone, a couple of lipsticks, chapsticks) and still my keys manage to bury themselves in that far bottom corner!!
I am so with you on the organization thing. For me to suggest ways of being organized would cause my family to laugh hysterically!
Love it! I bet that conference was fun! Both of them are great women of God.
I love both of these ideas! Thank you!
I just started calling my purse “The Abyss” yesterday too! It’s a long overdue nickname, but a very appropriate one. I absolutely can’t wait to try out the idea of having little bags for everything. I think it will save me lots of time and headaches. Thanks so much for sharing!
I do have filing systems but I find that I’m not good at dealing with all my paper work immediately which means I still end up having to spend hours sorting. That’s a good ides for sorting your purse~ I do this when I am on holiday but not at other times~ I’m so inconsistent~ must do better!
Uber awesome post!!! I looove this! I came by way of Lysa’s awesome site, and I gotta say I have added you to my daily travels! Nice to meet ya!
Love your Purse Organizational Tip! I plan on running out this weekend to pick up a few inexpensive mini pouches and start down the road of total purse organization!
God Bless you!
Guess who won prize #147?
Yep it’s you! Please be patient while the prize donor is contacted. They will be in touch with you soon. Congratulations!!!!!!!
Both of these ideas sound great. My only problem comes with the little bags inside the purse. If they aren’t see through I will forget what it where and spend thirty minutes trying to find what I did with it. 🙂
I have bought those organizational bags before and got so frustrated in trying to remember which area I originally thought looked perfect for my chapstick that I quickly went back to an abyss. 🙂
Sounds great and both like something I can use. The problem is the backlog of papers I already have!
I just use recycle bin and hope that someone will pay my bills.
That sounds like a marvelous conference! I am soooo NOT organized. But I love to read books about it…=)
Those are both great ideas and the purse one I have used before…I tried something similar to Donna’s idea. Unfortunately, I am not a filer, I am a piler. It didn’t stick.
What – no sexing up our husband tips?!
Love the idea of using mini purses within your handbag. I’m off to go and do that right now.
I’ve been using the purse system for YEARS and love it! But as for the papers, I don’t file anymore! I wrote about it in a 3 part series entitled “Don’t File Paper At Home Anymore” Liberating!
If anyone is interested in reading it, I’m link number 39 on the Proverb’s 31 post Swap and Hop organizing post. I’m also giving away a book tomorrow night, “The Kite Runner” on my post entitled “clean sweep(stakes)”
Love your GREAT blog!
Love these ideas! And heaven knows I could use some organization around here.
Heather, so we’re sistahs, eh? Colorful folders make ALL the difference…I’m not kidding!
Jeannie, I hope you got my email @ the Swap & Hop…but these little tips were helpful to me. They work best when I actually do them, imagine that! 😉
OOooo, Senselight, tell me if it’s still working six months from now!
Becky, You’ve already kept your promise…THANKS! 🙂
Peculiar, what about the bag you carry around? What all is in that??
Claudia, yeah…I know that of which you speak :/. When I organize my purse, it helps…but I have trouble keeping it like that….
Bethanne, I’m sure they did when/if they read this, but they haven’t mentioned it. Can’t say I mind, either :).
BeckyP, why THANK YOU! I’ll be by for a visit soon…just let me get through Spring Break :/ :).
Pamela, WAHOOO!!! 😀
Lisa, yeah, they’ve got to be vinyl OR you have to have different ones you REMEMBER what’s inside. Tricky but doable.
Phyllis, pesky details….! 😉
TLG, I was wondering if anyone was gonna ask ;).
Julie…..OOPS! I’M LATE!
Kelly, I bet you could’ve shared a tip or two…I just know you could!
I love your ideas partly because I do them too 🙂 with one difference – I use mesh bags that I can see through and a plastic see-through bag for make-up (it is much prettier than it sounds actually) 🙂
Oh I love the little baggies idea! Funny how I have one little bag for particlar items but never thought to expand it to other lost pieces floating around my Abyss. I’ll have to hunt down a few things and put this system in order. Thanks!
GREAT ideas, both of them. Now, I need to go to a conference like that. Thanks for sharing!
Just started doing this–though my “mini-bags” are much duller in color than your bright, happy, spring-colored ones! It really does make it super-easy to change purses on a whim…and it also makes it super-easy to find what I really need quickly.
Marcia, your ideas are an improvement on mine–thanks!
Mesh, hope it works for you :).
Kelly, the conference was ROCKIN’!!! They have a book out by the same name now :).
Ann, ahhh, good for you. I got these on clearance at Bi-Lo of all places!
These are both great ideas. I love the purse organization tip. Thanks!
Just remember: RAFT! Read, Act, File or Toss! You are so right that the mountain of paper is still there even after the ‘junk’ is tossed. Getting to it right away is the best thing to do. (Although, I admit I don’t ‘act’ on my bills until I have to, LOL!)
my filing system needs a filing system!!
mostly i just need more space for my files….
great purse idea too btw!!
Great tip!!! I love Emilie Barnes.
Great tips and thanks for links to other carnivals.
Those ideas were revolutionary to me at the time, Becky. Some, I keep up
better with others now (in other words, don’t you DARE open my purse!! lol).
Thanks for stopping by PENSIEVE!
So,I pretend to have an organized filing system. I have an inbox for bills, a wire chicken to hold receipts (yes, I said chicken), and a “to file later” bin. Well, my chicken is about to burst and my “to file later” pile is looking like the leaning tower of Pisa right now just waiting for a brush by my busy toddler …. I LOVE your idea! I have a very pretty empty wire rack I can use plus a bunch of manila file folders. I even saw some really pretty folders on clearance (80% off!) at Michael’s today!