“I GET MAIL;THEREFORE I AM.” ~ Scott Adams
I generally consider myself and organized, clean and tidy but it takes time for me to get things in order. In general a day will find me with a load or laundry in the washer by 6AM, followed by lunches being packed, coffee being placed into travel mugs, grocery bags being tossed into the car(just in case), checking to make sure everyone has their papers, breakfast dishes getting tossed in the sink, grabbing my purse, keys and heading out the door to meet my clients and anything that the blogs are requiring! Spring cleaning is not about cleaning the house, but cleaning up your house and getting organized. What happens to most of us, is that Spring time is the last HoorAH before the kids come home for the summer from school, and we have to get it together NOW before everyone is home for months in a row or things will spiral out of control like a snowball gaining momentum! I know that I will begin working out in the yard in my free time and spring hockey is pounding on the door and that means more time away from the house and less time to get things done!
I could not get all I get done in a day, if I did not first and foremost have organization. For instance, when I come in each night I use my Purse Butler to hang my keys and my purse, this way in the morning, I can just grab and run and I am not the disorganized professor trying to run out the door. I make certain that the boys drop their lunch boxes off at night right back onto the hooks I have hanging in the pantry so that they are ready to be filled and sent out with ease the next morning! As clothing comes out of the washer, I kind make certain that I have a 1/2 hour chore nearby so that I go over and tend to the ‘hanging’ of what needs hung to dry and then place the remainder in the dryer. In a perfect week(let’s face it who has those) I do a load of laundry a day to keep up, but that does not always happen!
While those are things I do on an everyday basis there are things that STACK up and I need to deal with more frequently than I do, like the mail pile, the kids paper piles, outgrown clothing and more. I decidedly break these tasks out, to on each day and I find it is not only less time consuming but more approachable.
MAIL MAKES PILES
MAIL -sifting, sorting and cleaning out! I have found this to help clean up larger stacks, but I have trained myself to now deal with each mail stack, at night when the kids go off to bed in order to assure myself that the pile-up is not going to recur. This is a suggested method to clear that initial pile off your center island, desk, catch all, wherever it stacks up and hopefully give you the momentum to NEVER go back to that mess!
Before I start I grab a Brown Bag or a Box(that we have), a mail opener, and a file folder! I slit all the envelopes open, then I begin.
1) I read through all the mail
2) I make a TOSS pile the first time through and I place anything that truly is unnecessary in the brown bag or box! (this has a specific reason, keep this to paper only!)
3) I make a keep pile that is placed in the file folder.
4) I then go back through the pile. I look to see if anything in the KEEP pile can be sent to me via email rather than mail. If it can I sign up, because I like keeping it Green and paper-free!
4a) I place any needed to be seen papers on the Bulletin Board.
5) I look through all the coupons(ours come in the mail) – I clip them right then and offer the remainder to an envelope which my daughter offers to her school for Coups for Troups.
6) In this mess of papers I find all the box tops I have been saving for a month at a time or more, and I clean them up, and put them in an envelope! Our school has been able to purchase new playground equipment recently because of BOX TOPS and this is just one of the many things BOX TOPS has provided! It is super simple to join, just choose a school to support and your designated school will receive all of your online Box Tops earnings.
To get started enter your school’s ZIP code. If you prefer you can simply cut and send into your school! I actually do both in order to maximize whatever my school can earn!
7) I finally whittle the mail down to need to keep, and need to file and I am done! I clear that counter off quickly and in the process if any RED FLAGS hit me(things that should have been done, like a bill, or an appointment card that was mailed in, I deal with it right then and there). Again, I mark my calendar, put important papers that I missed the first time on the family bulletin board and then it is organized moving forward!
8) This cleans the mail pile up, readies me for the next month, and offers me some relief. I set my mind to the fact that I need to alter how I am going about this process and rather than letting the mail accumulate, I need to deal with it, each night going forward and this helps me get ready for the upcoming summer months! I want my counters Clean and clear of any debris! I make sure that I do the same method night after night and eventually you will find yourself in a new good habit, and well-organized from the mess of mail that comes in!
This is frugal cleaning because you will find things you did not know you had, and become organized and efficient! Avoid late fees by seeing all your bills and tending to them, and get a bit more Earth Friendly and green by sorting paper into a paper file that can be tossed to a Paper Recycler Bin Nearby. After all, it is not just about saving money, time is money, so make the most of your time by spending as little as possible maintaining what you already have a system for!