A Time to ... Tweak

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"A time to tweak" by Lisa Hess (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Pixabay.com (2013), CC0/PD

For me, summer is prime time for tackling neglected tasks around the house. Not surprisingly, organizational tasks top the list.

A few weeks ago, I dug into the paper piles that had popped up in several spots in my house. A funny thing happened as I sorted through them.

I discovered a hole in my organizational system.

Nearly every item in every pile was an actionable item — something I needed to do, read or file. Although some were time sensitive (bills), others were less so (magazines). Nothing was urgent; those things had already been taken care of. Before sorting, I had a vague idea of what was in each pile (i.e., I knew where all the bills were) but I lacked any kind of system — beyond my collection of I need to see it reminder piles, that is.

Although I’d whipped my mail counter into shape — or so I thought — I’d dropped the ball when it came to keeping track of the mail I personally needed to do something with. Instead, I’d developed the habit of sorting the mail daily, getting rid of junk, filing catalogs and handing off most of the bills to my husband, who does the lion’s share of the bill-paying. Meanwhile, my mail ended up — you guessed it — in a pile. These piles took up residence on my dining room table, so they didn’t look homeless but, indeed, they were.

Oops.

As I sorted, it became apparent that nearly every item in every pile fit into one of several categories — and all of the resulting mini piles could be easily contained — and maintained — with the right tool.

Enter my handy dandy accordion file (which, of course, I already had because I collect this sort of thing) and which — even better — had an open top with no flap to conceal its contents. A few minutes with the accordion file and my label maker and voilà!

"A time to tweak" by Lisa Hess (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2019 Lisa Hess. All rights reserved.

A new, workable system was born.

Things with the shortest time frames get filed in front, things with medium time frames get filed in the middle and things I just want to keep readily available get filed in the back. The perfect complement to my mini-tickler file (more on that next week), my accordion file had been transformed into a workable system for all of my miscellaneous paperwork.

And it even had room to grow.

[tweet As we head into fall and back-to-school time, tweaking our filing systems takes on a whole new meaning in light of the deluge of paperwork #STYLEsavvy with #OrgbySTYLE”]

As we head into fall and back-to-school time, tweaking our filing systems takes on a whole new meaning in light of the deluge of paperwork to come.

Are there holes in your organizational system? How can you use your styles to plug them?


Copyright 2019 Lisa Hess

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About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at Catholicmom.com. She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

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