Something I absolutely love to do is organize and make life simpler. Every once in awhile I go through our cupboards and closets to rid of the “stuff” we don’t use. By rid I mean either throw away, donate, or give to someone I know who needs it. It really is a refreshing feeling! Also, knowing that Dan and I will be going to the Dominican in almost exactly a month, makes me want to live the simpler life. The last time we came back, I went through culture shock and felt really guilty about all we have. I look at our cupboards and see we have dishes to eat off of. I look at our tv and see all the movies we have sitting next to it. I look in our bedroom and see we have a queen-size bed to sleep on. Not that I plan on getting rid of those items when we return, I just want to make sure that we don’t keep what we don’t use.
So in efforts to get more organized, I made our very own Sterk Household Management Book. I had read about these before, and thought they were a little hokey, but then I started to realize that I’m sick of having papers in various places. For instance, we have a filing cabinet for all of our bills, needed papers, etc. we have another basket by our door to hold random papers that will be needed, bills that need to be paid, and stamps, labels, etc. I thought why not put them all in one place? So, I created this book. I bought clear paper protectors and also some pocketed folders. Then I created a sheet for each company that we get a bill from that lists the company name, telephone number, month, amount due, and when it was paid. Then I have separate page protectors for our bank statements and retirement funds. I also made spreadsheets for birthdays and anniversaries (so they are all on ONE page) and a list of favorite meals so that I can refer back to it when I get stuck in a rut. I also have a list of all the gift cards we have and how much is left on each, instead of having to look through each individual one to see how much is left, and to even just see WHAT we have. Another list contains the projects I want to start or am currently working on. Then in the folders I have all our name labels, stamps, phone directories, and other loose ends.
I tell ya, it was one of the best “organizing” projects I have done in a long time! If you are interested in starting one, let me know and I can just send you the word files that I created, instead of reinventing the wheel – and then you can change them how you want. It’s nice to just go to this ONE book, instead of having to look through each file in the cabinet, look through the basket for our stamps, and I can also see from month to month what we spend on everything because each company sheet consists of 3 years worth of info.
Organizing is something I continue to learn about and find easier ways to simplify life. One key question I keep in mind whether or not I want to keep something is: “if we were to move today, would I want to pack it in a box, take it out again, and try to find a place for it?” That mentality has helped me tremendously! No, we do not plan on moving, but it is a helpful thought process.
If you ever try out the household management book, let me know what you think! It took me about an afternoon to put it all together, but the time spent was WELL worth it!
I am sure I will think of more ways or more ideas that I have to organize, but that is about the extent right now 🙂