The Panache Weekly “Get Organized” Challenge
Please join me weekly for the entire month of January for your “Get Organized” Challenges! I promise if you take the steps I lay out each week, you will be well on your way to an organized home. Each of my weekly challenges is an easy way to quickly make a change in your home/office. If you are joining me on this challenge, please leave me a comment and then show/tell us your progress each week. There will be a GIVEAWAY at the end of this challenge and you DON’T want to miss it! It’s big! 🙂
So without further ado…
GET ORGANIZED CHALLENGE – WEEK ONE
Start with your desk and/or other areas that collect mail and other paperwork (including homework, coloring pages, etc.)
Depending on how much has piled up on your desk or counter top, you can take one day or the rest of the week and weekend to complete this challenge. Clearing the clutter caused by paperwork and mail will make an immediate difference in the way your house looks and feels! I guarantee it!
Here are your challenge steps:
1. First things first – Start TODAY, even before you start with the organization process. Don’t pile any other mail or paperwork onto what is already there. Instead, start the habit of going to the trash can immediately upon checking the mail. Every day, trash and/or shred all of the junk mail you receive and put the important mail into a separate stack. (You will have a particular area for all important papers by the end of this challenge.)
2. Begin sorting – Unfortunately, this will be the worst of it, so go into this part of the challenge with that thought in mind. Gauge the amount of clutter you have to determine if you think you can set aside an evening to complete it or if you would prefer to work in, say, 30-minute increments until the job is complete. Here are the stacks you’ll be sorting into first:
Trash – Go ahead and have a large trash bag and a shredder near you. Trash anything you don’t need anymore! When you have completed the sorting process, immediately throw the bag out. Don’t leave it sitting around to taunt you.
Keep – Grab a large box, basket, or bin. The keep pile should consist of all bills, statements, etc. that need to be kept.
Store – A large box or a bin with a lid will be great for this stack. Most of these items will consist of old W2’s, tax returns, birth certificates, marriage license, divorce decree, etc.)
I don’t recommend go any further into sorting yet, because it tends to get overwhelming if you try to sort it all into each individual section at the beginning.
3. Sort again – Now, you can go deeper into the sorting process! Start with the “Keep” pile. Divide it into the following categories:
Now you can sort your “Store” items. The store items will consist of the following and should be stored in a fire-resistant filing cabinet:
- Automobile information
- Bank account numbers
- Birth certificates
- Credit card numbers
- Important receipts
- Insurance policies
- Loan agreements
- Marriage certificate
- Medical records
- Mortgage agreements
- PIN numbers
- School transcripts
- Service contracts
- Tax returns (last 5 years)
4. Begin the fun part – the actual organization process is the most fun part! You will start to feel the relief when you see your new space beginning to take shape! First, you must purchase or find organizing products to keep all of your paperwork safe and secure. For instance, here is a sample shopping list:
- Paper Clips
- File Folders
- Hanging Folders
- Sheet Protectors (I use sheet protectors when storing important papers, like wills, marriage licenses, and birth certificates)
- Letter holder
- Tiered Paper Sorter (for your “keep” piles)
- Filing Cabinet or Filing Box(s)
- Wicker baskets (for your “to read” pile)
Of course, there may be a few other things you need to pick up, but these should get you started!
5. Complete the challenge!! – Now all you have to do is put everything where it goes, label it, etc. and then KEEP IT UP! Designate a certain time of the week to go through each of your paper trays and complete each task. I always choose Friday to clear my “to pay” and “to do” trays, for instance. My “to read” basket is in my reading area so I get to it when I can. If I see that it is piling up too much, I will take a Saturday or Sunday to empty it. My “to file” tray is emptied at least monthly, but mostly on Fridays, too.
So, this completes your FIRST CHALLENGE! Will you be joining me for your chance to win the BIG prize at the end of January?? To join me, subscribe to my blog, leave a comment to let me know you are beginning the challenge, and then alert me as to when you have completed each weekly challenge. That’s it!! 🙂 Please join me!!
Thank you so much for visiting my blog!