Friday, July 29, 2011

My Family Binder

After struggling with organising bills, junk mail and letters, I have decided to start a family binder where we can file all the bills and any other important stuff in one place. Sorting out the bills and junk mail was easy. Filing it was easy too but sticking to it is difficult. So, I figured out a way to make sure I stick to it.

First, I needed to sort out all the papers.....

Then, I got a binder with alphabetical tabs. I filed Astro bills under A, etc...I also inserted plastic holders for smaller bills and stuff. I also filed my insurance receipt, statements, royalty payments...all in this file.

The unpaid bills that needed attention are put into the front of the binder which has a clear pocket in front. Every 15th of the month, I will settle all the bills and file it up. This means I need a puncher at the command centre too.

Ta da...this is the command centre. There is a container for all our keys which we are already using. then, I put the binder and a caddy with some pens, a scissors, marker pens, etc. There is another 3-tiered caddy nearby for knick knacks such as coins, brooches, ear rings gone astray, etc.. I also added a small calendar where I marked all the important dates for everyone to know..exam dates, my courses or conferences, dates that I will be away, upcoming weddings,etc.....

Monday, September 6, 2010

Decluttering the messy table

I have a messy table and sometimes things get lost and I waste a lot of time trying to locate where I put a certain document. As you can see, I have made several attempts in trying to be organised. I even put up a noticeboard..but it was useless to me, very uninspiring. There are a lot of files containing current projects for the books that I am writing but the mess keeps getting bigger.

I took everything out from the table and started purging...there is still a pile left to be sorted. I am the type that like to be surrounded by all my stuff. I cannot work on a stark naked table. In fact, I am always inspired by colour and some sort of orderly mess. But things do get out of hand. So, this is my table after a week of slowly sorting, five to ten minutes daily. I got all my pens and colours into several plastic containers. I make sure all the things I am using daily are within my reach. The plastic desktop drawer is for my RAF files or the inbox. Then I created a file for all the documents I would like to keep for reference in alphabetical order. The other file is from January to December, my tickler file at home.Then, I got rid of the ugly noticeboard and came up with a new one in half an hour. I got the idea after surfing the internet. It is great for photos and anything you want to put up without destroying the paper. This board is fun and inspiring. In fact, I plan to do one for my earrings and other stuff too.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tackling those files and papers

Tackling papers at workplace is one of the biggest challenge of my life as a teacher. Things tend to get out of hand after a week or two. This is because I am not the textbook type of teacher. I use a lot of other stuff and handouts. I print worksheets and sometimes, I do not have time to file them up. So, I do what everyone else does, I stack them up. Last week, I spent the whole week purging all those unnecessary papers. After that, it was time to file the papers. But what about the incoming papers and stuff for the coming months? I decided to create my RAF rack. Read, Action and File rack. So, this is a temporary place for all the stuff that is coming in. Sort of an inbox thing. Things that I need to read will go into the Read section. Things that I need to act on will go into the Action section and things that need to be filed will go into the last column.

Then, this is the file where I put my daily to-do, notes for meetings and everything else..Basically, it is my admin file which I carry if there is a meeting, my catch-all notebook. The last section acts as my tickler file. I decided to use the folder type instead of putting 31 slots on my table with 12 months.

Then, I got an accordion file which opens up to 12 slots for each month. So, all the papers that I don't need to act on will go into this file. Each month, I will pull out all the things I need from that particular month, provided I remember to check on it.

This is the daily tickler file where I put 31 days. Each letter or task will be put into each slot so that I will not forget to act on it. For example, if there is a bill I need to pay by 15th, then, I will put it under 12th or any day before 15th. If there is a form I need to complete, I will put it into the appropriate date. Each morning, I will check on each day and the tasks I need to do.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Simplify, simplify

This is week one of simplifying my life. Part of the process is to look at the clutter of my life. So, this week has been more of getting rid of the physical clutter. I started with my bathroom. Got rid of expired products, things which i bought and never got around to finish, or bought it but forgot about it...(sob, sob). Decluttering can be very traumatic at first because it reminds you of how much a failure you are...but after attacking it with a focus, it can be very liberating. There is such satisfaction to see a work well done....I would love to take the 'before and after' photos but i think i won't do the bathroom.
Then, the second place i attacked over two hours was my son's bedroom. As he is allergic to dust, it is up to me to clear the clutter. I did it when he was away so that I would not be tempted to nag at him. The clearing up process would be so emotionally draining as I would be scolding and asking him to do this and that. He would be sneezing and getting mad at me. So, without him, I put on some music and started thinking of how to rearrange the place. Got rid of a lot of papers and old books. Got some boxes to help him organise his stationery and stuff. It was a nice surprise when he got back from tuition to see his room all cleaned and properly arranged. In fact, he has been sleeping in the guest room to avoid the mess that he has started. So, tonight, he is moving back to his room. Teenagers and the mess they create!