Lesson #2: To Organize
This post took me a lot more time than I though, as I was really willing to write something usefull as well as simplified, so then everyone could easily follow. And don’t give up! 😉
So, the first lesson of these Saving Strategies focused ‘Decluttering’ as THE very first task to be accomplished if you are determined to simplify your life and skip wasting more money than you need.
Lesson number two will focus on the key details of your organization: the ‘Inbox’, the ‘Family & Household Handbook’ and the ‘Declutter Basket’ as well as other essential tools to organize your home.
The Household Inbox:
If you want to start to simplify your household management, you would definitely have to set up some sort of a household inbox.
This isn’t more than one box that serves as the primary holding spot for all kind of correspondence, papers, bills… Basically, all kind of papers waiting to be sorted out and organized into a filling system as well as papers waiting for some kind of action (bills to pay, letters to answer…)
I crafted my own using an empty cereal box. Yes, a cereal box! 🙂 Very easy, cheap and environmental friendly! 🙂
You should designate a convenient spot in your house, where you can actually find it easy to use whenever you arrive with new ‘papers’ to put somewhere. Personally, I find it easier to keep it by the entrance or in your home office, if you have one.
The Household Filling System:
Next step is to start organizing everything you throw into your Household Inbox. You should establish at least one day per week to do this task as it would be much more time-effective.
You should at least have the following categories which can be distributed into one or more file folders:
1. Personal Information (originals or copies from all important documents: passport, ID Card, health insurance card, social security card, immunization book,…)
2. Financial Records (Account statements, credit card, loans…)
3. Housing Records (all house-related records and statements, appliances warranties and manuals…)
4. Medical Records (insurance information, immunization books, eye exams, dental records…)
5. Employment records (contract, income statements, benefits…)
6. Income Tax (receipts gathered from current year)
7. Others (any other ‘homeless’ important papers to keep)
The Family & Household Handbook:
Please note that some of the information I’m going to recommend you to keep in this handbook is also referred in the Household Filling System. Why? Remember that the Household Filling System is the permanent record for all information. On the other hand, the Family & Household is something precious you keep with you all the times, or most of the times.
1. Personal Information: this would include copies from all the personal info you should have on hand all the time. In my opinion, this should include at least: copies from the ID Cards, Social Security and Health Insurance, copies of banking cards in wallets and bank emergency phone number, Emergency Info (primary contacts, doctors, allergies and blood types)…
2. Family Calendar: this should be The Family Agenda for all important meetings or things to remeber. Consider to have: family and friends birthday calendar, monthly calendar, weekly calendar with meal planning and todo-lists…
3. Home Management: this should include info from your house insurance, car insurance, paying bills, home inventory with serial numbers… This section should also include the cleaning checklists and stain removal guide.
4. Meals and Menus: this should include grocery list, grocery price book, grocery store aisle directory, home grocery inventory, weekly meal plan, recipes…
5. Contacts: This would include important e-mails, phone numbers and addresses from family, friends, doctors, bank, house insurance, car insurance, vet…
6. Others: I personally use this section to write ideas, from blog posting, to recipes, or even kids activities. There’ll be always something to write down!
One of the most important organization items you should use is a set of very usefull printables:
– ‘Monthly Calendar’ to hang in some place visible for everyone;
– ‘Do Not Forget List’ to hang in the back of your front door. This way you wont forget anything before leaving home;
– ‘Cleaning Checklists’ from Keep-It-Simple Method
So, the next lesson will focus on the How-To’s for each of the organization items. From the DIY of the Household Inbox to the printable checklists.
Hope you enjoy! 🙂