new years resolutions

I don't believe in them. There, I said it. People always abuse the 1st of the year and act like they're going to make a change, and then after a month or so, it falls flat. If you really want to make significant changes in your life, start immediately. You don't have to make a grand statement to the world or post your resolution on Facebook. You don't even have to tell anyone. Just do it.

One subject that always comes up during resolution season is getting organized. But I'm not sure people really know what this means when they say it because most people (to me) are not organized. If your kitchen counter has more than 2 piles of papers on it, you're not organized. If your pile of junk mail hasn't been touched in a month, you're not organized. If you pay your bills late, you're not organized. If you're late to appointments or forget about them all together, you're not organized.
Over the weekend I was feeling out of sorts. Whenever I feel like this, it means I need to start purging. Not what I ate, but my stuff. We got married a little over 2 weeks ago. Gift receipts, appliance manuals, wedding cards... they were piling up and irritating the heck out of me. Not to mention all the things you have to think about when two people join their lives together. Combining car insurance, bank accounts, bills... it gets overwhelming. So naturally, I did what I do best. I googled a few things and started planning to get organized. I didn't tell my friends and family, Hey guess what! My new years resolution is to get organized! and then wait until January 1st rolled around. I just did it.

I found the idea for a command central binder on Simplify 101 which I cleverly titled The Big Binder of Important Stuff.

Then I gathered the materials: large 3 ring binder, divider tabs, business card holders & plastic sheet protectors. Yep, that's all you need!

Then... I faced my pile of stuff (which was actually more daunting than these photos portray, since I didn't capture the enormous accordion file that was my previous, and poorly working, organization system).

I made a pile for shredding, had a trashcan next to me, and I separated the stuff I wanted to keep into piles on the kitchen table.
  • Receipts (big ticket items)
  • Cars (insurance, our titles, maintenance records)
  • Health (insurance info, articles about nutrition)
  • Life (birth & marriage certificates, SS cards)
  • Finances (bank statements, taxes, loans)
  • Lacrosse (stuff pertaining to my side job as a ref)
  • Apartment (our lease, security deposit receipts)
  • Coupons (I'm not a BIG coupon person, but I use them occasionally)
  • Emergency (contacts, doctor & hospital info)
  • Upcoming (events, renewals)
If your categories only make sense to you, don't sweat it. This is for your personal use. If things can go into two different categories, make an executive decision. Remember, if everything important is in one binder, you don't have to look far to find what you need. Simplify 101 also pointed out that this binder will change as your life changes. As you have kids, change jobs, buy a house... add new tabs, revise where things go & allow your system to progress with you.

One great section for Moms to have is information for babysitters, including emergency numbers for doctors/poison control, take-out menus, rules of the house, specific instructions for bedtime, any medicines your children are taking, etc.

Isn't organization the most fun ever!? It gives me a natural high. Yep, I'm really weird.

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