Tuesday, January 11, 2011

53 January Challenge: Project Paper {step 2}

I promised you yesterday that today I would pop those organized stacks of papers into their new, organized and labeled file folders today.

I am here to share that it didn't go exactly as planned.  But the end results were better than I could of hoped for.  I just had a little "hiccup" you could say...

I had a stack of 12 file folders that I had picked up from Target for a couple of bucks.  These are actually the ones right here:


Love the pattern.  Love the colors.  Love that I had exactly the number of stacks that I needed to fill 12 file folders.  Win win win right?

Well, until I went to use my label maker and had no tape left.  Sigh.  Now what?  I made an oath to get you an organized file post and had no label maker tape.  I wasn't about to hop into my car and drive to the nearest Target or Walmart or Office Supply store, because those are all a minimum of 20 minutes away.  Sigh.

And then I remembered the uber cool file folders, came with some sticker labels.  However, I really don't like my hand writing, a little OCD about it, I feel like my hand written labels look sloppy.  Sigh.

Then I spotted the glorious small print at the bottom of the sticker labels.  It pointed me to their website, where I could download a printable template for the labels!  AH!  WIN!

So, I downloaded the template, typed up the labels and printed them out, crossing my fingers that all went well since there were no extra stickers provided for screw ups.


I was very excited about how they turned out.  So much more fun and colorful than what my label maker could have provided!  In fact, I think I may have been so giddy, that I actually kissed the labels.  Maybe.

All I know is I couldn't wait to stick them to the folder tabs!



As you may have noticed, I am a freak for colors.  Love anything bright and pretty.  Keeps me motivated to keep things tidy!  And if you are wondering, I just used Times New Roman font in different colors.

Next, I popped the file folders in the hanging folders in my file bin, and added in the papers in their appropriate category!



And then, I called it another day!

But we aren't done.  There are still some things I am hoping to focus on this month when it comes to papers.  Like maintaining the system.  Mail.  Coupons.  Receipts.  So much more to look forward too!

Oh, and here is why I adore using a portable file bin {in case you were wondering}.


See how nicely it just tucks away under the new desk?


And if it every gets to be too much or I choose to do my filing/paperwork in my closet office nook, it would easily fit up on a shelf above that desk!


Oh.  And I almost forgot.  I don't keep my income taxes filed in the file bin.  They get special attention in a paper box instead.


Which also sits up on a shelf above the closet desk.  The box surprisingly holds all seven years of saved tax files!  Here is a similar version found at IKEA.  I don't see the brown ones any longer.

So how are you all coming along on the paperwork challenge?  Sounds like many of you were adding it to your list, or already working on it last night!  Whoop whoop for you guys!  I am SO excited!

Anyone else been making lemonade out of lemons when a project doesn't go exactly as you originally thought it would? 



I decided a little challenge would be fun! This month we are getting all those papers in order!  Wanna join?  Take pictures and blog about your awesomeness as you go!  I am hoping to do a giant, "We did it!" celebratory post where we can all link up our paper filing success stories at the end of the month!

Previous steps in this project: Step 1:  Research, Keep, Toss 

53 comments:

  1. I love these! so bright and really takes the bore out of paperwork!! I am hoping to get to mine soon.

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  2. I need to start asap! =) My husband has gotten two snow days in a row and he's like a toddler... always getting into things and preventing me from getting work done. haha!

    I want to get some shredding done today if mr. hyperactive will allow it =)

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

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  3. I love your site- you've already got me going on a ton of projects around the house. My husband and kids are scared that they will be filed and labeled next. I have one specific question- I have a large pile of those super-long home closing/mortgage refinance information documents. I know that I have to keep this information, but do you have any suggestions for ways to organize it better, especially suggestions for nice legal (as opposed to letter) sized storage boxes?
    -amanda

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  4. Love those pretty folders - and the colorful labels! I actually wrote a whole series on Taming the Paper Monster (that's the e-book title, you can get on my website, www.bethanylebedz.com). You can see all the posts by going to my blog & clicking the "paper" category, but here's the overview post: http://bethanylebedz.blogspot.com/2009/11/411-on-papers.html

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  5. How do you (neatly) organize items that are too big for a file (or the necessary little scraps of paper, for that matter)? For example, the book my husband received on the details of his health insurance is only slightly smaller than a phone book and won't fit into a hanging file at all.

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  6. cute!! love those bright colors. your desk is so cute and organized :)

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  7. Great questions!

    I actually have this box in my cart at the moment for the same problem {legal sized mortgage papers}

    http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10027091&N=&Ntt=legal

    If you have a file cabinet, they are often deep enough that you can slide those legal sized documents right under the hanging files {as long as you don't have too many legal sized stacks}, if not, I would recommend getting a pretty box to place on top of the file cabinet.

    As far as the pamphlet and booklets, we use another box exactly like our income tax box, and they both stack on top of one another on the shelf above our closet desk.

    xoxo,
    Jen

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    Replies
    1. Where did find the little white pods hanging in your office area. I've been looking for those for a while. Thanks, Darlene

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  8. I bought some file folders just yesterday at Target so I can start working on this very [organizing] file project this weekend! :)

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  9. Oh my goodness, I feel so dumb!! I have those same green hanging folders you have. I was thinking about getting more BORING clear plastic things you slide a paper in and click it into the holes at the top of the folder. I didn't even think to use those folder you labeled to put IN the file folder. I saw them at Target and thought, who in the world would buy those since they don't even hang. Ok, going back to hide in shame now.

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  10. I'm always happy when a trip to the store can be avoided by a little ingenuity.

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  11. OMG, super cute folders and labels!

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  12. I LOVE this idea for organzing files! It is just the inspiration I have been needing! Where did you get the portable white file bin? I need it!

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  13. Well I took a "before" picture of the file cabinet last night. Does that count as starting to work on the mountain of paperwork?? ;)

    I did get my junk drawers done though! Yay!

    I'm a little (okay a LOT) slower than you on projects!! And I can't use my 2 rowdy young boys as an excuse, because you have 3 and watch others!!

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  14. Thanks for inspiration! I purged a bunch of papers last year and this year I need to organize what I need to keep. That will be much more difficult I think. I did put them in temporary folders to categorize them but I need to organize it further, I think! (and hopefully purge more as a result?!)

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  15. Oh, I would also LOVE it if you do a post someday about organizing photos. What do you do with loose photos? What about old albums? I am debating about taking pics out of some of my old albums to create more space. There's alot of pictures that are not great, yet we kept them anyway? (like blurry out of focus pics!) and what the heck do you do with those photo cards people give out in the holidays? If it's someone I know and love I will keep it but what about from people you don't even know well? like someone you met once? Why do they send you photos of their kids? LOL. Anyway. Would love to hear your thoughts on that.

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  16. The portable white filing bin is from Walmart, it was around $9. Thanks!

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  17. Hi, I'm Josie! I found your blog the other day and I'm SO glad I did! Your file box is gorgeous...very inspiring :) I started decluttering my filing cabinet last night and I'm going to continue for an hour or so a day until it's all done! Then hopefully I'll be able to downsize to a few file boxes. Thanks for the inspiration :)
    P.S. I love your style!

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  18. as if i wasn't jealous enough about all of your neatly organized ideas. that color in your office is AMAZING! that is the color i want to paint my livingroom!! I use the same type of system but yours is cuter with all of those files:) thanks for making something so pretty and for inspiring us!

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  19. My hubby takes care of all the paperwork around here now. I did it for 15 years but a few years ago he took the job back. The PAPERS are nicely organized buit his OFFICE.....that's a whole different story!!!!!!!!! I YI YI! He is retired so I can never get in there to do anything:(:(

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  20. I love those file folders!! I recently went to Office Max, Office Depot, and Target looking for file folders I liked and I couldn't find any!! I actually picked up that clipboard with the green quatrefoil months ago too so I would love to find matching file folders. Maybe I'll have to check another Target.

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  21. Hi Jen! Im not sure how I found your blog but you are a life saver!!!! I've been looking for a way to organize all the documents siting around the house! This is fabulous, thank you!
    Also, I found your blog yesterday and today I already organized and cleaned out my pantry, my fridge and my junk drawer! Next, the kitchen drawers and my craft corner! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Im gonna be linking your blog a lot, lol!

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  22. Love the portable filing box! I've been using a cute tote for a couple of months and I find it so much easier to stay on top of things now that it moves with me!

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  23. I have an accordion file that is busting at the seams. I need something bigger so that box (or 2) is fabulous.

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  24. it looks awesome!! im definitely going to have to wait until the weekend to start my paperwork. thanks for the inspiration and awesome ideas!!

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  25. OOOH!I love this!! thanks for sharing!! I never would have thought to put the folders into the hanging file. Does this make it sturdier? I have hanging folders (guessing the really cheapie kind) but they always collapse or fall off the tracks so it makes organizing really icky.

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  26. I picked up the same folders over the weekend and tackled our files Saturday night. I also picked up the same legal size box at the Container Store...I was tempted to buy everything in that pattern it's so cute. I love your labels! I need to work on making my labels fun.

    Last week after seeing your awesome Pottery Barn memo station, I went ahead and ordered it as well. It came in this evening and it was like Christmas all over again! I'm SO excited to finally have a home for all our mail and random paper work that needs to be filed...I can finally see my kitchen island again. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  27. I found this post through Lynda's blog at My Heart's Desire! I love to organize and be organized but with 4 children and homeschooling my best intentions get off track alot! My husband and I have a file folder system similar to this post, but then we don't always file the papers away so they pile up on our desk! This beautiful post motivates me to stay the course, get organized and stay that way...no matter what :) I'm your newest follower and I Like your FB page too!
    Tracy at A Slice of Smith Life

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  28. You are a girl after my own heart! I love to organize but you take it to a new level! You have a very beautiful & simple decorating style that truly inspires me!!! Thank you for sharing!

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  29. You have inspired me to organize everything..hehe!! Yesterday, everything came out of my desk, which is a armoire type desk and open shelf on top and a built in filing capinet on the bottom. Everything came out and only about a 3rd went back in. So glad I did it!! I didnt spend any money (reused the files in the cabinet and other things around the house!!) Thanks so much!!

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  30. So exciting! I'm a day behind on the challenge, but I'll catch up at some point to have a gorgeou before/after on the last day of the month!

    Thank you so much for your challenge! Things are already looking a little better for me!

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  31. Thank you so much for your tip about the legal sized box. I think that a trip to the Container Store is in my future!
    -amanda

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  32. Okay, so I gotta ask. And this is random, having nothing to do with this post in particular, but still about organizing. Where do you put your children's outgrown clothes or clothes to be grown into? I buy clothes for the next year when I see sales and stash them away in a storage tub. Our garage is RIDICULOUS and is filled with so many storage tubs. The clothes that are outgrown are for the younger sibling. Ahhh...What to do? I saw that you didn't have any in your garage? Do you keep them in your attic? Get rid of them?

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  33. One tip I learned a while back regarding file folders is make sure the tabs are all in the same spot. Saves time rather than having your eye go back and forth across all the tabs.

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  34. Hi Hugh & Hollie!

    For some reason, our boys never utilized their closets for clothing storage. They each have their own dresser, jackets are stored in the kitchen/coat cabinet and shoes are in the shoe closet. As far as why we choose dressers over closets, is I think because it's easier for the kids to help put away their clothes and pick out their clothes. Here is a post that we did on their clothing storage system: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2010/03/march-featured-space-kids-clothing.html

    We really try to limit how much the kids have for clothing inventory, as their drawers can only hold so much. Here is how we choose to handle their hand-me-downs as well: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2009/12/you-asked-iheart-answering-kids-clothes.html

    Hope that helps some!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  35. I get so frustrated when trying to print on labels. Your labels came out so adorable I think I am going to have to try it again!

    Thanks for the inspiration, as always!

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  36. I like your blog,Totally interesting also extraordinary blog.Give more pictures related to this topic.Thanks for sharing this wonderful detail.

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  37. Hi Jen!

    Found my way to you via Centsational Girl!

    This post just makes my fellow organizing lov'n' heart go pitter pat! I just began my own organizing business in your neighbor state of Minnesota and am also a mama to boys. :)

    I look forward to checking in with you here from time-to-time. It looks like you've got some wonderful ideas. Keep up the good work!

    Cheers!
    ~h
    www.wonderwomanwannabe.com
    www.operationorganization-mn.com

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  38. Thanks Jen for your reply. That does help. As of last night, I just moved my 16 month daughter into my 4 year old daughter's room for them to share a room. We have an extra room for my youngest, but I want them to get used to sharing everything we have. My eldest just turned 4 in December. There is a tiny closet, so I'm chewing on what to do with the system, esp with dresses. I'm definitely going to have my 4 year old start putting her clothes away on her own. I taught her how to put them away yesterday, but I do need the clothes "folder". Thank you for sharing about how you do this with your boys. I'm very impressed! My daughter Laney loved it actually.

    So, a few questions:
    -At what age do you start with folding and putting clothes away?
    -Do you have tall dressers or long wide ones?
    -If tall, do you have a step-stool for them to get to the taller drawers?
    -Do any of your boys share a room?
    -Do you have bunk beds or are they all in one massive room? Hee-hee.
    -Do you have friends who have girls who do this?

    Thanks Jen! I love your blog and will be checking it consistenly.

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  39. Jen, (Can I call you Jen?)
    Ohhh and one more thing. Your little closet office is ABSOLUTELY dreamy. Just downright incredible. Where did that fabulous wallpaper come from? Was it expensive? Have you done a post on that transformation? I'm guessing the wall hangings came from Ikea? Where do you live?
    A thousand questions, I know. Just found your blog a few days ago and love it.
    Tootles!

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  40. I love your closet office! Everything is perfect & in it's place. Very inspiring, thanks!

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  41. Stumbled upon your blog and am very inspired!! I'm a little late to the game but think I can complete Steps 1-3 by the weekend. I love your office nook -- would love to try and set something like that up for myself. Thanks for your tips and inspiration, I'm excited to start!!

    mythirtysomethinglife.wordpress.com

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  42. You motivated me to go and organize my files!

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  43. I recently read that keeping the file folder tabs all on the same side of your folders actually helps you find folders/information faster because you can more easily scan the one side verses all 3! Just a tip I found handy.
    I keep all of my "serious stuff" (bills, tax info, etc) on one side, and then "fun stuff" (trip plans, groupons, etc) on the other. It's helped!

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  44. @Liz - Thank you for the tip! Love it and I can see how that would be helpful!!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  45. Someone told me that I should file our important paperwork in a fire-proof filing system, just in case. Do you keep any paperwork in something more secure? I much prefer the pretty look of the colorful files!

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    Replies
    1. I keep all of the REALLY important stuff off site in a safety deposit box. We also have a fireproof safe, I use it for discs with pictures and some other valuables.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  46. Thanks for all the organizing info! I love to check out your blog and see what else I can steal as an idea to organize our little home better! Thank you for all you do.

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  47. Where did you find your charging station? I've been looking for something like that.

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    Replies
    1. It is originally from Pottery Barn: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/bedford-accessories/?pkey=e|bedford|20|best|0|1|24||7&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-Sku_Top_Marketing_Rule|Bedford-_-


      However, you can often times find similar versions at Target or HomeGoods.

      xo,
      Jen

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  48. hey Jen!

    I love your closet office! Its amazing! I was wondering did you make the entire desk with the drawers and shelves on the side as well or is that from somewhere?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Heba!

      They were the Asker cups from IKEA. I believe that they have since been discontinued.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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