I NEED HELP WITH PAPER ORGANIZATION

by Amy
(California)

HELP!! I literally could be buried in paperwork!! I home school my six children and sometimes I drive to the bus to go to college. I also drive and pickup my husband from work, even though it's not far, it's still a time stealer!

Okay, I tell myself I am going to commit so many minutes a day to working on a box of papers. I really try, but the kids always interrupt me! THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR SO LONG, I see no way out.

In the past, I've tried hiring organizers, but they were so fast, my head was spinning. I get so overwhelmed with all the papers! Plus I am so confused as to what to keep and throw out. I need simple terms, not terms such as active and inactive paperwork! How do I know what is and isn't active or inactive?

Yes, I have also tried having my husband watch the kids so I can get some work done, but there are so many areas that need my attention. My husband doesn't help either, he's like one of the kids and leaves his "trails of stuff" everywhere.

I do have some help from my youngest daughter, as she a lot of our meals, but I do not want her to resent it later.

Another area in need of help is our home school books. We have a small house, so it tends to clutter fast if left unchecked. I was so embarrassed some friends came over and I COULDN'T EVEN LET THEM SIT DOWN as there was too much stuff in the living room! Please help!

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Mar 27, 2011
Comments to Help with Organizing Paper
by: Samantha

Hi Amy, I don't home school my kids, but do their home work w/them and give them extra 'tutor' time that requires work books, paper, writing instruments, various science projects, etc. that need storage. Here's what I do. I have one corner in my kitchen dedicated to an 'educational center'. I store work books in magazine holders by kid labeled w/their names. Crayons, pencils, scissors, rulers, glue, etc. go in a basket to catch it all nice and neat. Extra paper, coloring books, writing books, etc. get captured in desk top file storage.

Don't get overwhelmed, but do rely on yourself to get organized. I wrote another post on this where it usually helps marital harmony for each spouse to take care of their own realm (what they are good at) and leave the other's alone. For instance, maybe you're better at organizing the house while your husband can take care of the outside. Each couple is different. Bottom line, you'll get a lot more accomplished if you do it yourself.

Now having said that, I can't stress enough how having a daily routine will help and delegate specific tasks to your kids too. Everyone needs to know what is expected of them. Set up a routine for your family by thinking about everything that goes on during the day and write it down. A good book that helped me on this is A Mother's Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul by Holly Pierlot. It?s written from a Catholic mother's perspective, and even if you're not Catholic, it will help offer tips to bring order & importantly organization to your day.

Okay, you already have the right idea of setting aside small amounts of time to get this done. Don?t get overwhelmed; break things down by writing them down. I write out a small 'to do' list each week to keep me focused & on task. But, do try & organize when the kids go to bed, or put in a movie for them, or let them play outside, etc. while you work. Work around what's best for keeping the kids busy and safe.

You're just going to have to dig in and get it done and you'll feel wonderful when it's all done. From my experience, the hardest part is getting started and getting disciplined. Dive in and do it following this plan: 1) Clear your head & relax... it's much easier once you get going and can be fun! 2)Declutter, 3)Categorize, 4) Organize what's left over.

I can't stress enough to keep the home school stuff in one area of your home. Get some nice baskets and bins to capture all the stray supplies and make everything look nice and neat. I do have some great tips to organize home school supplies on http://www.lifeorganizeit.com/homeschool-schedules.html

Again, the hardest part of getting organized is getting started and being disciplined. Once you get started, it gets easier and you will become disciplined. Freeing yourself from clutter will also give you more energy because you won't be constantly mentally 'bogged down? from worrying about the 'mess'. Good luck and God Bless.

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