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Monday, March 30, 2009

Retro Housewife Survival Guide - Get Organized

Hello, I am the Retro Housewife and I am a slob. Well, maybe slob is too harsh, but I am unorganized. I know this, have accepted it and am doing something about it. Little by little - baby steps that will become, I hope, great big organized giant steps.

Right now, my organization attempts come in fits and starts - literally. I have a fit and then I and everybody within earshot starts organizing. Or Else.

I was supposed to drive up to the mountains today to inspect our house - our nice Peruvian girls have returned home and I need to send them their security deposit. Well, I am not in the car driving. The months bills are still spread out over the floor of my little office and I have the sneaking suspicion that I have not paid them all because I have noticed some of the utility bills that just arrived have gone from snowy white to an annoying shade of pink - as if somebody were trying to tell me something.

So today's project is to develop a system for handling monthly bills in a timely, organized fashion.
  1. First I retrieved my little 3 drawer Rubbermaid filing cabinet, got rid of the Legos that had been occupying the top drawer and the wooden train set that was in the middle drawer. (I inherited my little 3 drawer Rubbermaid filing cabinet from my kids when they became too old to play with Legos or wooden train sets. And by getting rid of I mean I transferred the contents to a 2nd similar, Rubbermaid filing cabinet then squirted soap over the Legos and train set and ran hot water into the plastic draws to clean them. The Legos are in the kids' bathtub soaking in hot soapy water this very minute. Then I washed out the two drawers I plan on using for my monthly bill organizing scheme.)
  2. Then I got a wet rag and wiped down the skeleton of my new, 100% mine, Rubbermaid filing cabinet. Now it is clean and ready to be the backbone of project bill-pay.
  3. Next I labeled the top drawer "PAY" - I will stick all unpaid bills in this drawer as they arrive - and I labeled it because I have tried this once before but I forgot which drawer/shelf/cubbyhole I had designated as the unpaid bill receptacle, which pretty much doomed me from the start.
  4. The middle drawer I labeled "FILE" so that I can stuff the paid bills in there to be filed later - if need be. This drawer is a compromise - it takes into account my occasional slacker nature - and the fact that I would rather do almost anything than file things. It is easy to just open the drawer and toss in my already paid bills. The most important thing is that they do not hang out with the bills that still need to be paid - because then I get confused, it makes the task look larger and more ominous than it is and it becomes more likely that I forget one or six. It's an honesty drawer.

  5. Hanging File Folders
    The bottom drawer is the largest and contains all my active file folders, suspended in green hanging file folders. Similar to the picture on the left - Office Depot® Brand Recycled File Foldersexcept that mine are boring green and not happy orange. I don't need to label this drawer because its purpose is obvious, even to me!

Follow Up On My Organizing Project: I am failing miserably even though I have such a great system. The problem is my bills depress me, so I ignore them for as long as possible. If I ignore them, how can I sort them and organize them into their proper places? If I had more money to pay our bills, then I would be much better and very organized. I have a theory that rich people are very organized, because it must be such a joy for them to pay their bills on time and not have to ignore them. June 5th, 2009.

The Daily Coupons:
  1. Kmart coupon code: $5 off $50 for Father's Day on Apparel, with coupon code: KMART5OFF50 Exp. 6/22/09

  2. Sears coupon code: $5 off $50 in Tools Sears Coupon Code: SEARS5OFF50 exp. January 30, 2010!

  3. Get Organized coupon: 15% off ALL products to help you get ready for summer in your home, office or lawn at Get Organized. exp. 6/30/2009

  4. Organize.com coupon code: $5 Off $75 Purchase at Organize.com (Coupon code: a5129) no expiration - at least none given!

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