Thursday, November 13, 2008

Week I Day V -- Laying a Foundation -- The Desk B

Let's start with an Organized Home Management Space, Part II

"Writing equipment in the desk are from left to right: envelopes, writing paper, round box containing stamps, address book below that, blank cards, larger envelopes." This is just a teaser from a wonderful article. To find out more about how this very pretty desk was organized, visit Home Living Helper.

More principles about the desk and paper organization:

1) Do you know what causes clutter on our desks (and in other areas of our home). A home management expert described it in terms that struck a chord with me. Clutter is the fruit of indecisiveness and procrastination. On our desks, it's that receipt we aren't sure whether to keep, that invitation we haven't determined how to answer, or that article we don't know where to file. We can overcome this type of clutter by keeping a workable filing system, taking care of items quickly, and by keeping only those things we know to be of importance.

2) Set aside some desk time each week. For example, you might devote an hour on Monday morning to meal planning and scheduling and an hour on Thursday morning to paperwork. Even if your husband handles the household finances and taxes, as mine does, you will still need both a time and a system for desk work.

3) One method of desk management is to keep a file folder for current items. In this "active" file, place items that you will need in the next week to three months in order to keep your household running smoothly. Examples might be invitations, bills, receipts for items that might need to be returned, gift cards, etc. Also, set up a filing system for "inactive" items. These are papers that have already been processed but that must be kept for future reference. Examples might be past bank statements, documents related to future tax deadlines, past tax materials, etc. Your inactive file will take up more space than your current file, so you will need a filing cabinet or cardboard filing boxes, such as Banker's Boxes. You might also want to keep a separate folder or filing drawer for items of sentimental value. Examples might be a family tree, other family historical information, cards commemorating special events, or an inspirational poem. If you have a filing cabinet near your desk, you can keep all of your files there. However, if you don't have much room in your home office, remember that your "inactive" files do not have to be stored at your work desk. If need be, you can put them away in a corner of your attic.

4) Does your family have a bank lock box? This is invaluable for keeping items such as birth and marriage certificates, citizenship papers, adoption papers, deeds, wills, stock certificates, etc.
Speaking of a lock box, is your will in order? More importantly, do you have trustworthy guardians arranged for your children should they need them? It's grim to think of such things. However, it's better to be prepared and never have to rely on your arrangements than to have no arrangements in the event of the unexpected.

5) Eliminate and concentrate. Pick a few subjects that really interest you and label a file folder for each of these. For example, while our children were growing up, I kept a file about child-rearing. I included notes from church classes, articles in magazines, etc. I not only referred to these things for our own children, but I also was able to share the items with other young mothers. If you are like me, you may have a wide variety of interests. However, keeping notes, books, and articles about each and every thing only adds needless clutter to a household. Narrowing down to your top five or so priorities helps you eliminate things that are of minimal importance and keep those things you will really use.

Some subjects to consider for your five priority files might be keeping a home, marriage, child rearing, your favorite hobby, information for a home business, a certain type of cooking, a subject you always wanted to learn about, or a Biblical topic you want to study in depth.

Here are some tips for how to organize your computer.

Look for happy things to record in your Book of Days. If you have a homemaking success, journal about it. If your husband or child says something enjoyable, jot it down. If your child passes a milestone, write it down.

In your Project Home Economics book, write two or three paragraphs about your home keeping dreams for the year 2009, Lord willing.



Sandy said...

Thank you for doing this. I've posted about this week's assignments and I'll put the link below. I'm thinking we need a blog button to help spread the word. That lovely lady you have in the sidebar sitting at her desk might look nice as a button. What do you think? I'm so excited!

Elizabeth said...

A button's a good idea.

Pauline said...

Well, here I am again with my link to this installment of the Home Economics Project.

Again my thanks for the opportunity to participate.

I have also "borrowed" some of your beautiful pictures for the corresponding day. Could you let me know if this is totally inappropriate? And if it is I sincerely apologise and shall remove them immediately.

Blessings in Christ