How to organise paperwork

If you have yet to find the best way to manage your paperwork, I’m writing this just for you! Paperwork is a fact of life but it doesn’t have to be the cause of so much clutter! The good news is, it is possible to keep it all under control if you dedicate a little time to setting yourself up with a simple system so that you tackle it as it comes into your home.

If you have yet to find the best way to manage your paperwork, I’m writing this just for you!

Paperwork is a fact of life but where does it come from and does it have to cause so much clutter?

Like death and taxes, you can’t get away from it! Anything from owning a gadget, to holding a bank account, store card or mobile phone, being employed, having a family, running a home or car, all generates paperwork! And that’s the important stuff! Then there is the paperwork that just arrives without cause or invitation; the leaflets, marketing materials, menus, catalogues and magazines that come through our doors all the time!

Do you also generate your own paper? I know I do; hand-written notes, printed documents, tickets, itineries to take to events, because you may need them, or simply because you prefer to read a real document sometimes.

In a bid to hold on to paperwork that may be useful, you stash it in a drawer or file it in away but it soon mounts up.

According to US National Association of Professional Organisers:

we don't look back at 80% of the paperwork that comes into our homes

Searching through mountains of paperwork to find that one important document you need is so frustrating!! At best it can cost you time searching, at worst it can cost you the price of a holiday when you can't find your passport!

The good news is, it is possible to keep it all under control!

And it's not that hard to manage if you dedicate a little time to setting yourself up with a simple system so that you tackle it as it comes into your home. Make sure you take 10 mins every day to do the following (don't just stack it up to deal with 'later'!)

  • Open envelopes and sort out the useless paperwork
  • Recycle envelopes, leaflets, menus, instruction manuals (unless you intend to sell items in future) and anything else you can find online
  • Take action:
    • add any key dates and appointments to your diary
    • schedule payments, make phone calls, book appointments
    • login to your online banking and other accounts and indicate that you’d rather receive online bank statements
  • Once actioned, recycle or shred the document (unless you need to take the letter along to the appointment, e.g. hospital appointments)
  • If you don't have time or can't take action straight away - assign one shelf, basket or noticeboard for the paperwork that is Waiting to be Actioned

Then each week tackle your Waiting to be Actioned pile - ensure you go back to this location every week and take the actions needed (perhaps it's a Saturday breakfast-time job)! Once the task is complete, file, shred or recycle the document

Now you've got a system set up to take tackle your paper clutter each week, it's time to sort out your existing paperwork

  • Prepare - Choose a table or floor with space to spread out, grab a recycling bag, shredder and a folder with dividers
  • Gather all paperwork from around your home
  • Sort through it, shredding, recycling or filing
  • File the documents in sections in your folder

Don't forget to use a system that is as simple as possible but feels logical for you - afterall you need to use it!

If it's a huge task, do this for each room, then bring everything together in one and have another pass and it.

I've created an Important Paperwork Checklist that outlines sections and lists all the documents I'd want to keep safe to refer to in future. It offers a guide to how you could organise your filing and the types of documents you might file. I'm sure there will be other important documents that you'll need to refer to or keep as evidence for something and you need to decide whether to keep them. If in doubt, keep it and gain some advice!

What are you waiting for?

So get started and do let me know how you get on! I love to hear how you get on with my tips.

 

By the way, just so you know, I'm an Amazon Associate so I earn from qualifying purchases. 

 

About OrganisedWell

Would you like help getting organised?

Laura Williams, Founder and Professional OrganiserIf you need guidance, ideas and practical support to make more of your home, organise your possessions in a way that supports your best life or to get started with your decluttering project, then give me a call.

We provide tailored advice and practical support to clients looking to make changes, to create calm, ordered space and free up time and money to focus on the important things in life. We specialise in organising rooms, garages, wardrobes, paperwork and much more; see our services or get in touch.

My favourite toy organising ideas

Whilst I love having family time and the holidays have been lots of fun, it can be very a demanding and messy time. I’m desperate to create some order out of the chaos and distraction that has been filling my home and my mind! With the children back at school this is the perfect time to regain control and make space for another focus.

Thank goodness! I’ve done the first drop-off of the year, everyone is settled in and I’ve returned to a quiet house. I can take a breath, gather my thoughts and finally tackle those tasks that have been bugging me for a while now.

Whilst I love having family time and the holidays have been lots of fun, it can be very a demanding and messy time. I’m desperate to create some order out of the chaos and distraction that has been filling my home and my mind!

Toy organising ideas

With the children back at school this is the perfect time to regain control and make space (in our homes and heads) for another focus; a new project, work, other commitments, hobbies, to just feel better prepared or to have time to care for ourselves.

Children seem to have so many toys and spread them all over the house. I think there are probably only a few rooms in our house that don’t have toys or books somewhere (I know I’m going to miss this in a few years!).

I wanted to share my favourite toy organising ideas:

  1. Have a place for everything! Have labelled boxes and bags so that the children can easily see them and depending on their age, put them away!
  2. Keep toys together in categories so that they can be enjoyed with ease – e.g. keep all vehicles in a crate near to a floor with space to play, store pens and craft materials close to a table
  3. Don’t have too many toys out – rotate items, storing them and bringing them out a few months later to keep them fresh
  4. Give away duplicates, toys that are no longer age specific or no longer played with. Too many toys can be overwhelming and won’t be appreciated
  5. Create a mindset that toys are to be enjoyed then moved on. Encourage your children to help you to give away toys that they no longer play with to other children to enjoy. Good times to do this are after long holidays, before Christmas and birthdays. (If you struggle with letting go for sentimental reasons find pictures of your children playing with those items or take photos before giving them away for someone else to love).

When tackling toys, there are so many ideas out there so I’ve curated some great articles on organising toys for you to read with a cuppa. Read the following articles for further toy organising ideas:

https://www.organisedprettyhome.com/organise-kids-toys/

https://www.talentedladiesclub.com/articles/toy-organising-get-ahead-game-christmas/

https://www.apdo.co.uk/2-mastering-the-kids-stuff/

About OrganisedWell

Would you like help getting organised?

Laura Williams, Founder and Professional OrganiserIf you need guidance, ideas and practical support to make more of your home, organise your possessions in a way that supports your best life or to get started with your decluttering project, then give me a call.

We provide tailored advice and practical support to clients looking to make changes, to create calm, ordered space and free up time and money to focus on the important things in life. We specialise in organising rooms, garages, wardrobes, paperwork and much more; see our services or get in touch.

My top tips for packing for your holiday!

Summer is well and truly here and children up and down the country have broken up for the summer holidays. Hurray I hear you shout!

If you’re going abroad this year, you’re probably thinking about packing very soon. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be trying to take way more than you actually need, because you never know what you’ll need!

Here are my top tips to help maximise your packing:

  1. have a small bag that is your power pack and assign this to someone to be responsible for the entire journey – pack passports, boarding passes, hotel booking print-outs, money, inhalers and essential medicines so that they are available whenever needed. This can be stashed in hand luggage if required as long as its secure
  2. make a list outlining the activities for each day that you are away – now plan outfits for each day (including changes and underwear)
  3. Ensure you have enough suitable outfits for each day and the day you travel home! Take tops and bottoms that you can mix and match and take Travel Wash to freshen them up between wears
  4. Use a roll-up compression bag to reduce the size of items that don’t crease – swim wear, underwear, bulky sweatshirts etc
  5. If you need to take shirts and other smart items in a small carry-on or rucksack – use Shirts Bag to ensure it all remains neat in your bag
  6. Get out the shoes you want to take – take shoes that can go with multiple outfits to avoid needing to take lots
  7. Take a quick drying sports towel for the beach as it takes up less space in your luggage and has the added benefit of drying quickly after each use (great for the last day when you need to pack after the pool!)
  8. Remember you can only take 1 litre of liquids in carry on and they must be in a small plastic bag. Take multi-purpose products if you can – all-in-one shampoo and conditioner or shampoo/bodywash are great examples
  9. Decant your face creams into smaller bottles or jars to fit them into your allocation
  10. Buy compressed deodorants and travel toothpaste as these are in smaller containers
  11. Get a multi-port charger so that you just need to take 1 plug and multiple cables to charge a number of devices
  12. Don’t forget a bag for dirty washing

Whilst we are talking about getting organised, don’t forget to:

  • Dig out EHICs and check they are in date if you are going to Europe
  • Find out your passports and make sure that they are all in date and crucially you can find them!
  • Check-in and print your boarding passes as soon as you can – there is nothing worse than coming to print them the day before to find you’ve run out of printer ink
  • email or save your insurance policy and contacts to your phone so that you have them for reference

About OrganisedWell

Would you like help getting organised?

Laura Williams, Founder and Professional OrganiserIf you need guidance, ideas and practical support to make more of your home, organise your possessions in a way that supports your best life or to get started with your decluttering project, then give me a call.

We provide tailored advice and practical support to clients looking to make changes, to create calm, ordered space and free up time and money to focus on the important things in life. We specialise in organising rooms, garages, wardrobes, paperwork and much more; see our services or get in touch.

Mental Health – How to stay happy with being at home

Do you spend a lot of time on your own? Whatever the reason, it’s important to look after your mental health. Here are my top tips to staying sane.

There are lots of reasons why you may spend a lot of time at home; you might be a full-time Mum, a home-keeper, self-employed, retired, long-term sick or any other reason. But whatever it is, it’s important to look after your mental health and stop the walls from closing in on you.  After all, your house should be your home and not your prison.

Being based at home has so many benefits, but it can also have its downsides. It can be lonely, you can feel isolated and if you don’t look after your mental health it can start to get you very down.  The more time you spend on you own, the more it can lead you to not wanting to socialise.  But humans are pack animals, we need human company to keep us happy,  So how do you look after your mental health and keep happy with being at home?

I’m not a mental health expert, but I am someone that has been at home a lot.  During my life, I’ve been unemployed, a full-time mum and now I’m self-employed and run my business from my spare room.  I also have a mum, who is retired and lives on her own.  So, although I’m not an expert, I am someone who understands how important it is to look after your mental health when you spend large periods of time in your home alone.  So, I wanted to share my top tips that help me and my mum, to help you stay happy!

My top tips to look after your mental health

  1. Don’t sit in silence – make sure you have background noise of some sort. I tend to have radio 2 quietly babbling away all day, barely loud enough to hear, but the sound of chatter makes me feel like I’m not on my own
  2. Keep in contact – when you feel like you’ve not spoken to anyone all day, you probably haven’t! Pick up the phone and speak to someone.
  3. Get out of the house – First and foremost your house is your home, keep it that way. If it’s starting to feel like a prison you need a change of scenery. Go for a walk, go to a café, visit a friend for coffee – have a change of scenery!
  4. Go for regular walks – It will clear your head and get oxygen into your lungs. It also gives your brain new stimulus by seeing different things to your four walls. And, you never know, you might bump into someone for an impromptu conversation!
  5. Join a group – There are lots of different local groups for different hobbies; singing, keep-fit, golf, art – there is probably something for anything you can think of.  Do some research, try your local library and Facebook is a great tool if you know how to use it!  If you’re retired, you may want to think about joining the U3A (the University of the Third Age, is for retired and semi-retired people who come together for their educational, social and creative interests).
  6. Set yourself goals – what is it you want to achieve today? Don’t overwhelm yourself, but set yourself an achievable goal and do it. Whether that’s just to go to buy the ingredients for dinner, going for a jog, or clearing the spare room.  It doesn’t matter what, but try to achieve something you want to do today.
  7. Don’t despair – feeling isolated comes to us all at times! You just need to find the right way for you to get through it.

I spend my time working with small business and start-ups, many of them are people working on their own and feeling of isolation has affected them all.

New Year’s Resolutions

Have you made a New Years Resolution for 2018? Many of us do. You’ve come to the end of the year and have the opportunity to start afresh; to change a ‘bad habit’ or start something new.

Have you made a New Years Resolution for 2018? Many of us do. You’ve come to the end of the year and have the opportunity to start afresh; to change a ‘bad habit’ or start something new. You might want to spend more time with family, have a healthier lifestyle or start that hobby you’ve always fancied.

You have this chance to make that big difference. What an amazing opportunity, what high expectations you have!

I’ve been there, I’ve started off with good intentions and it’s gone well for a few days, weeks or even months. Motivation starts high but wains after a while and old habits die hard as the trappings of normal life take over. It’s easier to slip back into old ways – I can always start again the following Monday!

So what is the secret to keeping a New Years resolution?

Essentially we are looking to change a habit. Habits are formed over time, they have been learned and reinforced over a number of months or years. They make us feel comfortable, happy or good about ourselves and this makes it hard to leave them behind.

I believe the secret to changing a habit needs 3 things; preparation, a good set-up and positive reinforcement. Why not try the following when your planning New Years resolution.

  1. Set a goal, make it real and visualise it. Think about what success will look like, what will it feel like, what benefit will it give you and why do you really want this?
  2. Anticipate what might make it difficult and think about how you’ll face that. What support do you need from friends and family and what can you put in place to help yourself overcome those hard moments. How might you avoid temptation?
  3. Be realistic about what you need to make it possible. If you set yourself the goal of going to the gym 7 times a week, can you sustain this? Don’t overdo it, focus on one thing and do it well
  4. Change your mindset – make a conscious effort to be positive, don’t hanker after those old habits but rather focus on what the new habits will give you. Be determined, be prepared for the hard times but focused on the end result. It will be hard but worth it when you achieve it. Be confident and use a little mantra to remind yourself that ‘you can do this’!
  5. Regularly reflect on what you have achieved. Recognise how your new habit has improved your life, how you feel now and what others recognise about you.
  6. Take time out to celebrate your achievements. Give yourself a little pat on the back and do something nice for yourself to keep you going through the hard times.

If you want to declutter your home or get better organised in 2018 and need that helping hand to set yourself up or work through the practical tasks, then contact me. I’m based in Nottingham, work all over the Midlands, and can be part of your support network!

Email me at laura@organisedwell.co.uk or call on 07970 989955.