A couple of weeks ago, I reached the point where the paper clutter had taken the form of a large, flashing neon sign, the likes of which you'd see in Las Vegas, screaming things at me, like, "WHAT A MESS! DEAL WITH US! YOU'RE SO DISORGANIZED!" While I really hate to take a solid break from homeschool mid-year, I had to do it. I couldn't focus on anything except the disaster of paperwork floating around our house. The last straw for me was the day my husband needed the current insurance card for his truck. Usually, this should've taken about one minute to walk down to the family room, open the drawer, go to the appropriate file, and pull out the extra card. Instead, we spent probably a couple of hours hunting through various piles of papers, only to find every piece of information from our insurance company, EXCEPT the one with the current card. Since he had a job to do on a military base, he couldn't go to work without it.
So he called our insurance agent, and of course, they're quite happy to provide him with a duplicate. The problem is that he had to head out from our house in the opposite direction of said military base. Then he could get his card, turn around, and head off to the actual job. What a waste of time. Especially since he's paid for his time. Or not. On top of that which we already spent looking through all that paperwork. UGH!
A big part of the problem is that our large 4-drawer, legal file cabinet was full. Oh, it had been cleaned out and organized a few years back. But somehow, things just crept in there that really had no other home, and before I knew it, there was no place to put the new papers that arrived in our house. Everyone keeps their heating pad, extension cord, and old packages of gum in the file cabinet, right?
So I prayed about it, not wanting to jump off into some project that would preempt homeschool for a few days if it wasn't the direction God wanted me to go. About a week later, I discovered that this was a very good decision.
I got myself all ready to go with the recycle bin, the shredder, and a trash can nearby. Fortunately, the file cabinet is next to the stairs, so they provided me with a place to sort some piles (in addition to the top of the cabinet). I think I emptied the recycle can twice into our big tote. I also shredded two very large stacks of stuff. What a joy to be free from all that excess!
Then I went back through the files that we wanted to keep and organized and labeled them. Now as I went through the piles of paper in the house, I'd have a place to put those items that were important. So that's exactly what I did. Sat down at my desk with the recycle, shredder, and trash and worked me way through pile after pile.
I'm happy to report that the task is nearly complete. I have a couple more stacks, which have already been sorted, and merely need to be filed. Oh, and the reason I discovered that it was a very good thing to have done this when I did? We started working on our income tax return last week and when I needed information from the files, I was able to walk downstairs, open the drawer, and pull out precisely what I needed.
Sort of like what should've happened when my sweet husband needed his insurance card. And how it will work in the future.
Now, back to homeschool. And tax returns.