Friday, February 28, 2014

Project Organization

This year I've already decided that 2014 is the Year of Organization.  If you have been following Savvy Beauty for a couple of months now, I have been sorting through my makeup and samples every Sunday/Monday and have been putting together a weekly skincare and makeup box in an effort to rotate though my collection and to essentially de-clutter.  But there are several other areas in my house that equally need my attention.  The situation is dire...

I'm a super saver...  I live in what I like to call organized chaos.  We are a busy household of 5, just like any other family.  Sports, Girl Scouts, volunteering, committees, meetings, and work happen 7 days a week.  We do not have a lot of down time.  My biggest issue is time management, i.e. finding the time to do everything and get everything done.  Last year I faltered, badly.  I took on a lot of commitments and I was barely treading water.

This year, I'm determined to get ahead, and stay ahead.  My first step is to tackle the paper that comes into this house.  It is a bit overwhelming, okay not a bit, extremely.  I'm talking about school paperwork, bills, receipts, artwork, pamphlets, magazines, catalogs, shopping lists, endless lists of things to do, things to donate, things to store, things to sell, things to scrapbook, magazine clippings, ideas for blog posts, ideas for organization, ideas for home decoration, and recipes ripped out from magazines and printed from the internet pile up.

Why don't I just go digital?  Yup, I have that to organize too...  Pictures, recipes on Pinterest, ideas on Scrapbook page layouts, ideas for organization, the list goes on and on.  It's out of sight out of mind for me.  If it's not in front of me at the moment, I won't think about it.  So all the recipes on Pinterest, I have tried a few.  I do have a pinboard, Pins Accomplished with 14 or 15 items that I have made.  But I still like my paper.  I like flipping through magazines for inspiration and ideas more.

Nothing is ever lost, just misplaced...  I have a lot of places.  The kitchen island, dining room table, computer room, a full 4-drawer filing cabinet, (and previously) the shelf in the laundry room... Everything is neatly put away in file folders, decorative boxes, and baskets but that is the problem, I need to streamline and to shed some paper weight.  I can't keep everything. It's just overwhelming. We are a military family, relocation can come fast and furious.  Weight allowance on some relocations and tight living spaces can cause some issues as well.  We have been at this duty station for 2.5 years.  Winds of change are blowing and I feel the need to get ready. 
 
I have of course a list of things I want done immediately, as in the month of March and some things I have already accomplished:

1. DONE!  Donate toys and clothes.  I read this article that someone shared on Facebook that really resonated with me.  Ruth from Living Well Spending Less did what I have always wanted to do.  http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2012/09/14/why-i-took-all-my-kids-toys-away-why-they-wont-get-them-back/ I too have asked my children to pick up their rooms only to return to every bin dumped out on the floor.  Stern warnings ensue, threats to take away tv, computer and game time come next, time outs, etc...  They were just as overwhelmed with all their stuff as I am with mine.  It was time to take it all away.  The 4 of us went through every toy bin and determined what they wanted to give to other children.  And we discarded all the broken toys, games with missing pieces, etc.  We kept the essentials that they actually play with...  Board games, cars, legos, Lincoln logs, paints, crafts.  They have plenty to keep themselves occupied with on rainy days but for the most part, they are outside, at school or participating in after school activity or sports. 

1. HALF WAY THERE!  Organize my recipes.  I have approximately 100 cooking magazines and another 100 pages of recipes from cookbooks, magazines and the internet.  This is a bit of exaggeration but it is still way too much.  I have Rachel Ray Magazines from 2006!  Ahhh!!!  I'm a foodie, cooking and baking make me happy.  Since moving to NC, I haven't even looked at them though.  I feel like I have had them for so long, that I am required to do something with them... Get my cooking inspiration back, seriously meal plan, and try several new recipes every week. 

2.  Filing cabinet.  I have a 4 drawer filing cabinet filled with paperwork.  I have to start shredding papers that I no longer have to keep and organize it in a way that makes sense.  Right now it is in alphabetical order but I want to go with "zones." As outlined by Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons.  I think her strategy will make sense for me.  And it's color coded.  What's not to like about that?!

3.  School paperwork and artwork.   I have 2 going on 3 Tupperware 18-22 gallon bins filled with school and artwork.  My children are in Kindergarten and Grade 3.  At this rate, we will have a storage unit filled with school paperwork in a couple of years!  This is after recycling a majority of the papers that come into the house weekly. I swear I do not keep everything!  Some things have come in handy.  For instance, when my daughter was in Kindergarten learning to read, the teacher gave out photocopied books.  I saved these easy reading books for my son and he started flipping through them in Pre-K and already was reading by the time he went into Kindergarten.  Saving this paper, proved to be worthy.  I will save them for 3 year old as well.  My goal, and it's a lofty one, is to separate the paperwork into yearly (?) binders for each child.  It will be tough, but it has to be done! 

4. Organize photos.  Place all pictures from computer on a photograph website and finally press print!  In the digital age, printing photos is something that I have neglected.  Emailing, texting and sharing on Instagram and Facebook has been the status quo.  I'm hesitant to scan/take pictures of artwork then discard because last year our external hard drive crashed and we lost thousands of pictures.  The majority of baby pictures of my middle child are lost.  They are forever gone and it is very sad for me.  So more the reason to print and put in photo albums like the good ol' fashioned way! 

5. eBay.  I took all the kids toys away from them and it seems only fair to take some of mine away too.  I have been sorting through my closet and I have a pile of things that I haven't touched, new with tags and gently used items that need a new home.  It's time to let go of this stuff! Why do I hold on to something, why do I allow it to take space in my life if I do not use it, right? 

Since I am about half way through my recipe organization, I will share the process with you all very soon! 

Wish me luck!