Wednesday, February 15, 2012

how to control incoming paperwork armed with only 10 pocket folders

Mom, where’s my release slip for the field trip? 

“It’s on the scary counter!” I holler back.

THE SCARY COUNTER is a geographical location in my kitchen where the slightest breeze could send a tower of papers toppling.  Receipts.  Bills.  A pickle jar I need to take to a friend for her craft project.  Half-finished thank-you notes for Christmas gifts (yes, it’s February).  Jayme’s immunization papers for college.  A CD with pictures on it.  Recipes I need to type and put in my cookbook binder. 

I always joke that there’s probably something in that stack of mess that I’m going to go to prison for if I don’t take care of it soon.

A proverb sings at me.  A place for everything –and everything in its place.”

Here’s a tip that has helped me immensely.  I put a magazine rack on “the scary counter” in my kitchen and have filled it with pocket folders labeled like this:

·        To file (when this gets full I take it downstairs and file it all.)
·        Tax stuff (for receipts, quarterly payment envelopes, etc.) 
·        Hang onto it (for things like directions to a baby shower, tickets to an event –stuff you’ll need soon but don’t need sitting on the counter) 
·        Christmas (lists, ideas, etc.) 
·        To do –URGENT. 
·        To do –not so urgent (for tasks on which you can procrastinate without going to jail)
·        Recipes
·        Scrapbook
·        Project (one for every project you have going –for example, right now I have one labeled “graduation” as we prepare for my daughter’s high school graduation in May)
·        $ (budget, bills, envelopes, stamps, etc. –I am able to grab this and have everything I need to sit down and pay bills)

Divide your paper mountain into these folders, and then you can declare, as one who has sailed the wide ocean, “Land!  I see Land!”

While you organize, keep in mind 1 Peter 1:6,8.  If the quality of self control is yours and is increasing, it will “keep you from being useless or unfruitful”.  If you were to get your scary counter under control, how do you think that might affect your productivity in everything else?

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