Mar 14, 2012

Paper, Paper, Paper!

One of the reasons I haven't been posting is that I've been on the attack.  There's a quiet monster in my house.  It lives in every room and grows bigger each year.  It's name is Paper.

Oh, I've done sort of okay for the last couple of decades in dealing with it.  Things have mostly had a place to be, especially financial paperwork.  The rest, however, has been a thorn in my side, a challenge to my desire for order, in short, a beast.

The final straw that brought on this frenzy of attack was when my SIL wanted a copy of my FIL's death certificate.  I couldn't find it!  In looking for it I found four other things that I had been looking for.  The death certificate, however, is still MIA.  Something snapped inside me and I declared with raised fist, "Enough!"

I began to research to see what filing systems would free me from this beast and came across something very exciting--because it worked!  I did not buy the system but gleaned the process and setup from their free videos and information.  For those who don't have the several hours it took for me to gather supplies and set it all up, the system can be purchased.  It's called Freedom Filer.  See their demonstration video below:

After setting all of this up (hours and hours after research), I began to file.  It was AMAZING!  I could find things!  We just finished refinancing our house last week and everything was at my fingertips!  The long-term filing items (like death certificates) finally had a home.  (One day, FIL's certificate will turn up, I just know it.)  All my tax stuff wasn't in one huge file as in the past 2 decades, but instead pre-filed according to the Schedule C categories.  I'm (almost) looking forward to taxes next year!

There was still an issue, though: the things that needed something done with them before I filed them.  What I didn't know was that I needed "Action" files.  THIS ARTICLE entitled "Filing 101" laid out the foundation for what to do with the papers when they first show up.  On a wall pocket next to my desk I now have the following files.  When a piece of paper comes into the house, it has A PLACE TO GO that will not act as a black hole.  It actually prompts action!
  • Business receipts
  • Personal receipts
  • Receipts for items I might need to return
  • Tax information
  • To Pay
  • To File
  • Errands
  • Coupons
  • To Contact
  • Waiting for Response
  • 3 files of husband's worksheets for his jobs (Estimate, Project Schedule, Tally Sheet)
The Action Files idea came from THIS VIDEO and from spending about an hour and a half at the site's extensive free article section that I found invaluable.  Click HERE for those.

On the Freedom Filer website they have an area with many other videos for encouragement. (Click HERE.)  They also have a "Flow Chart" guide for the paper that I found especially useful.  (Click on the link below the picture to print this free chart.)  There are other free printable forms HERE for use in the filing system.

Click here for printable link.

That took care of Business and Personal financial paperwork, Long-term items to keep, Tax information, and Customer Files.  I already have a beautiful system for my housekeeping that is kept in a binder (will post on that soon).  There were two more areas of the beast to conquer:  Homeschooling and my son's constant production of paper.  I'll write about those two areas in my next post.

A huge load has been lifted off of my shoulders.  I think it was the heavy armor that I wore when battling this beastly entity.  What a joy (yes, I said joy!) it is when paper comes into to the house now.  I KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH EACH AND EVERY PIECE!  I kind of get all excited as I dash off to my Action File area or straight to the filing cabinet.  Can I count that as exercise?

Because of their many wonderful articles and videos, I was able to take advantage of their generosity of information to put this together in my home without cost.  Now that I've already done that, I see the excellence of the system and wanted to feature them so that others may look into it.  I do have to say that the price for the basic system would be very worth it.  I spent hours setting everything up.  Purchasing the system would SAVE tremendous time and effort on that step.

After much thought and encouragement from a friend, I've decided to become an affiliate for Freedom Filer.  All that means is that I get a small percentage of a sale if you choose to buy their product based on my review.  If this looks like something that would work well for you, please consider using the link below to purchase.

 It may pull things together for you just like it did for me!


Eef said...

Wow I have the same beast as yours in my home. It's a constant battle, sometimes I master it, but it always comes back after a while, it's a sneaky beast...
I have sort of the same system to file the papers but, you know, some times the "to file" map grows very fastly.
I think it's all about creating time to file correctly. Good luck, hope your beast is gone for ever.

Have a verry nice day!


Eef said...

Just a quick pop in to thank you. Yesterday reading your article I found the courage to tackle the beast one more time ... ervey thing is neat and tidy now in our house.

Thanks again!


Roxanne said...

Eef--I've heard the Beast has brothers. Apparently they're all over the world LOL!

Awesome news on tackling yours! What an amazing feeling, isn't it? I'm glad I could inspire!

FarmMom said...

You ALWAYS have the most timely posts! Things that have been on my mind to solve or tackle or just buzzing around back there (in my head) and you post about it just then!

Thanks teacher ;) !

P.S. Miss you guys always!

Roxanne said...


Did you tackle your paper monster? How did it go? Is Biscuit invaluable in this area (as I suspect she would be)?

We've been thinking about you all winter. Where's that promised email (hint, hint)?

Sis has LOTS of room for visitors now. Do you know any that need to come and celebrate Cinco de Mayo?


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