August Spring Cleaning 365 Calendar

If you’re new here, welcome! You’ve jumped on board at the exact right time.

If you’re a regular, this is the perfect month to keep following along because we are going to focus on paper overload!

Paper clutter is one of those areas that can make your home – and your brain – feel overwhelmed. When you can’t find what you need, bills get paid late, invoices never go out, and you don’t take care of important matters.

Unorganized paper clutter can cost you time and money!!

So let’s take care of that this month.It will be fun!

Take a look at our new calendar for the month and schedule 5-15 minutes each day on your calendar to work on the daily task!

Conquer Paper Clutter by following along with our Spring Cleaning 365 August daily challenges!

Print the Spring Cleaning 365 Calendar August 2014 and PIN the calendar for later. 

I’m looking forward to going on this month long journey with you!

Hop on over to the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group or Facebook to let me know what you think. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Shred

If you’ve been working to clean up your paperwork and files this month, there’s a good  chance you have a big pile of paper to shred. That’s why today’s task is to do just that.

Set your timer for 15 minutes.

Shred.

And then shred some more :)

Then, of course, let me know in the comments when you’re finished!

As a reminder, this is what we’ve covered so far in this paper clutter journey:

  1. Decide.
  2. Get the right supplies.
  3. Collect all of your paper.
  4. Process current mail and documents.
  5. Create a system for incoming mail and paper.
  6. Eliminate junk mail completely.
  7. Clean up your current filing system.
  8. Start filing.
  9. Keep filing.
  10. File again.
  11. Research how to reduce paper from household bills.
  12. Automate household bills.
  13. Magazines. Do you need ‘em?
  14. Organize Instruction Manuals.
  15. Eliminate receipt overload.
  16. Toss outdated paper files.
  17. Schedule ongoing paper processing meeting with yourself.

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #8.
  • Shred, shred, shred.

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Read full story · Comments { 4 }

Preparation will help you succeed!

I took a break from reviewing books last Sunday in order to give you (and me!) some time to finish the books we’re currently reading. Several of you thanked me for the break so I thought I’d do it once more. :)

If you haven’t jumped on the reading train yet (or need something new to read), here’s a recap of the books I’ve recommended so far:

If you’re a reader, I can’t recommend these books enough! Try reading in iBooks or the Kindle to stay clutter-free.
You can read eBooks on most devices using the FREE Kindle Reading App!

Now on to our daily task…

Write down every single thing that you need to accomplish this week. Then schedule those things (but make sure they’re the RIGHT things) on your calendar. That way you’ll know WHEN you will accomplish those things on your to-do list.

It will be 5-15 minutes well spent!

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Affiliate links included.

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Need a big work day?

We covered quite a bit this week so I thought you might like a catch up day.

Here’s what we tackled:

  1. Research how to reduce paper from household bills.
  2. Automate household bills.
  3. Magazines. Do you need ‘em?
  4. Organize Instruction Manuals.
  5. Eliminate receipt overload.
  6. Toss outdated paper files.

If you skipped one (or more) of the daily tasks, set a time and get to work. You’ll be glad you did!

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Need Time To Process Paper? Set Up an Ongoing Meeting with Yourself

After almost a month of working to clear those paper piles away, I know you never want to go back to dealing with that mess again. That is why it’s critical to set up a system to store – and process – incoming paper.

I mentioned this a few days ago but I think it’s so important that I wanted us to focus on this for an entire day.

Need time to process paper? Set up and ongoing meeting with yourself.

Most of us probably don’t have a cookie cutter schedule each week. But there’s probably some consistency.

Think though what a typical week looks like for you and pick a day to process all of you paper.

Then schedule it on the calendar.

If it’s Friday morning at 10:00am, then put “Friday Files” on your calendar. If Tuesday nights work best, put something like Take care of those paper piles Tuesday” on your calendar. Be creative. You’ll be more likely to stick to it :)

I would absolutely love to know the time of day or day of week you choose. So, let me know in the comments!

As a reminder, this is what we’ve covered so far in this paper clutter journey:

  1. Decide.
  2. Get the right supplies.
  3. Collect all of your paper.
  4. Process current mail and documents.
  5. Create a system for incoming mail and paper.
  6. Eliminate junk mail completely.
  7. Clean up your current filing system.
  8. Start filing.
  9. Keep filing.
  10. File again.
  11. Research how to reduce paper from household bills.
  12. Automate household bills.
  13. Magazines. Do you need ‘em?
  14. Organize Instruction Manuals.
  15. Eliminate receipt overload.
  16. Toss outdated paper files.

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Read full story · Comments { 10 }

Toss Outdated Paper Files

How many times have you actually needed to retrieve a file? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Annually?

Are there any files in your current system that you’ve never-ever needed?

You may need every single document filed away in those drawers. But, there’s a high probability that you have a few files that could be tossed. I know I sure do!

Today’s task is to look though as many files as possible and trash/shred anything you no longer need. Anything that is outdated like old insurance policies, child care info that’s no longer valid, etc. Anything that we have a more current version of. You get the idea!

Do you think you can handle it? Let me know in the comments when you’re finished!

As a reminder, this is what we’ve covered so far in this paper clutter journey:

  1. Decide.
  2. Get the right supplies.
  3. Collect all of your paper.
  4. Process current mail and documents.
  5. Create a system for incoming mail and paper.
  6. Eliminate junk mail completely.
  7. Clean up your current filing system.
  8. Start filing.
  9. Keep filing.
  10. File again.
  11. Research how to reduce paper from household bills.
  12. Automate household bills.
  13. Magazines. Do you need ‘em?
  14. Organize Instruction Manuals.
  15. Eliminate receipt overload.

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #8.
  • Toss outdated paper files.

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Read full story · Comments { 4 }

Receipt Overload

Today we’re going to take a look at our receipt collection. Some of you may not keep a single receipt and that works for you.

Others of you, like me, keep way too many receipts. Some for business, some for tax purposes, some for big personal purchases…you can get in receipt overload in a hurry!

If the former describes you, then feel free to work on other areas of your paper clutter.

If you fall into the latter category, I want to challenge you to do one of two things:

1. Set up a receipt system.

Tracking receipts can be a ton of work if you don’t have a plan. So, today figure out a plan if you don’t already have one in place. Here are a few options to consider:

Scan your receipts.

I’ve previously mentioned my excitement for the Scan Snap. It’s the easiest scanner I’ve ever used. And I’ve tried quite a few! Plus they have an app for you phone. Adore that!

But if you have another scanner that’s already set up and you use, then go for it! Learn how to use it inside and out. That way you can scan those receipts as soon as they come in and get them out of the way.

Use a service like Shoeboxed.com to eliminate all the work. 

When you’re overloaded with receipts – actually, when you’re overloaded with any kind of paper – you may find it favorable to have someone scan it for you. That way it’s out of your house and you don’t have to worry about it again. Just store the electronic files online and you can find it when you need it. If you use a service like Shoeboxed.com, the best part is your first Month is free!

Set up a specific file system for hard copy receipts.

Not every receipt can – nor should – be filed electronically. So, you can put receipts in file folder haphazardly or even tape them to a piece of paper so you can make notes and file neatly.

Set up a filter for electronic receipts sent to your email.

I haven’t tried this in other email systems, but you can set up a filter in Gmail quite easily:

  1. Click the drop down menu on the top right side in your Gmail client (it looks like a wheel).
  2. Go to “settings”.
  3. Go to “filters” at the bottom of the page.
  4. Click “create new filter”.
  5. Put “receipt” (or something like that) in the “subject” field.
  6. Click “create filter with this search”
  7. Check the “apply the label” and then put the label you want to use in the field.

Another (much quicker) way to do this is to create your label when a new “receipt” email comes into your inbox.

  1. Put a check mark next to the email you want to filter.
  2. Click the “more” tab in the menu bar.
  3. Click “filter messages like these”.
  4. Continue with step 5 above.

With both of these options, you can “also apply filter to  matching conversations” to find all the emails matching the criteria already in your inbox.

2. Clear your receipts using your system.

If you already have a receipt tracking system in place, your task for the day is to process any receipt that isn’t in your system. Well, you know, if it’s a manageable amount. :)

Then of course, tell me all about it. I can’t wait to hear from you! 

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #8.
  • Tackle your receipt overload.

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Affiliate links included.

Read full story · Comments { 10 }

Organize Instruction Manuals

Are your ready for today? I need to you to take a deep breath and get ready. We’re going to tackle instruction manuals.

I hear you cheering though the screen!!! :) 

Just kidding.

Okay, we’re going to break this down into baby steps. Set your timer for 15 minutes, work fast, and get through as many steps as possible. Don’t worry if you can’t finish. We’ll have a make up day pretty soon!

Organize Instruction Manuals

  1. Collect all of your manuals. (You may have done this on day one.)
  2. Pull out your manual file if you have one.
  3. Look though each manual to make sure you still have the item it belongs to. If not, trash it!!
  4. Look though ManualsOnline.com to see if your manual is available there. If so, consider bookmarking the manual you need and trashing the hardcopy.
  5. File away all remaining manuals. You can put them in a binder, a file folder, or a box. Any location will do, as long as they are all together, you know where to find them should you need one, and all other manuals that come into the house will be immediately moved to that location.

That’s it! Let me know in the comment section when you finish!! Keep rockin’ it! You are amazing!

By the way, here’s where we’ve been so far in this paper clutter journey:

  1. Decide.
  2. Get the right supplies.
  3. Collect all of your paper.
  4. Process current mail and documents.
  5. Create a system for incoming mail and paper.
  6. Eliminate junk mail completely.
  7. Clean up your current filing system.
  8. Start filing.
  9. Keep filing.
  10. File again.
  11. Research how to reduce paper from household bills.
  12. Automate household bills.
  13. Magazines. Do you need ‘em?

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #8.
  • Organize Instruction Manuals.

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Read full story · Comments { 5 }

Magazines. Do you need ‘em?

declutter magazines 

Magazines. Do you need ‘em?

So, we’re going though this paper clutter series. You’re making progress. Your piles are diminishing. Your junk mail is being demolished. Your regular bills are beginning to be automated. You’re getting excited!

Now it’s time to look at one of those areas that can pile up in a hurry. Magazines.

I don’t know about you, but magazines are one of those luxuries that I always think I’ll make time to ready, but rarely do. I’ll hold on to them f-o-r-e-v-e-r in hopes that I’ll finally get around to reading them. And then finally, I’ll give up and let them go.

I want to challenge you (and me) to get realistic about those magazines sitting around the house. Start with the oldest issue you have and decide if it’s worth the clutter to keep it around any longer. If you’re willing to let it go, here are a few ways to get rid of your magazine(s):

  • Trash it. Yes I know…that’s the obvious one :)
  • Recycle it.
  • Give it to a Doctor/Dentist office.
  • Give it to a friend.
  • Let your kids make a collage out of the pictures.
  • Ask your friends if their kids can use it for a project.

Just start with one. Then keep going!

Then let me know in the comment section when you’re finished. If you don’t have a single magazine in the house? Well, you get the day off!

By the way, here’s where we’ve been so far in this paper clutter journey:

  1. Decide.
  2. Get the right supplies.
  3. Collect all of your paper.
  4. Process current mail and documents.
  5. Create a system for incoming mail and paper.
  6. Eliminate junk mail completely.
  7. Clean up your current filing system.
  8. Start filing.
  9. Keep filing.
  10. File again.
  11. Research how to reduce paper from household bills.
  12. Automate household bills.

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #8.
  • Get rid of one (or more!) magazine(s).

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Read full story · Comments { 14 }

Get organized for the week!

I usually review a book on Sunday’s but I’m going to take a break today. Why? Because you probably have a few books you need to finish right? I know I do!

If you haven’t caught the reading bug yet (or just need a need a little motivation, here’s a recap of the books I’ve recommended so far:

If you’re a reader, I can’t recommend these books enough! Try reading in iBooks or the Kindle to stay clutter-free.
You can read eBooks on most devices using the FREE Kindle Reading App!

Now on to our daily task…

Write down every single thing that you need to accomplish this week. Then schedule those things (but make sure they’re the RIGHT things) on your calendar. That way you’ll know WHEN you will accomplish those things on your to-do list.

It will be 5-15 minutes well spent!

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Affiliate links included.

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Playing Catch Up

Sometimes the hardest part is getting started. If you haven’t been following along this week, then today is YOUR day to jump on board. It’s your day to start the process.

Don’t feel overwhelmed.

If you only have 2 minutes to spend working, then use those 2 minutes to tackle your paper pile.

Trash one piece of junk mail. Pay one bill. File one piece of paper from your stack.

It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something.

If you have more time (or motivation) then keep going.You’ll be back on track in no time and ready for our challenge next week!!

Here’s what we’ve covered so far in our conquer paper clutter series:

  1. Decide.
  2. Get the RIGHT supplies.
  3. Collect all of your paper.
  4. Process current mail and documents.
  5. Create a system for incoming mail and paper.
  6. Eliminate junk mail completely.
  7. Clean up your current filing system.
  8. Start filing.
  9. Keep filing.
  10. File again.

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #8.
  • Catch up!! You can do it!!

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Read full story · Comments { 0 }