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Monday, April 14, 2014

My Enemy: Paperwork

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Paperwork is my enemy. It is the thing that piles up and takes over. It makes me want to run into a corner and hide. I might be exaggerating a little but seriously it is my largest struggle and when I think about working on it I feel like the energy has been sucked out of me. Granted when it feels fun I can get paperwork done, you know like those impulsive moments when you decide to apply for a car loan the paperwork seems pretty easy but as I get older it feels like it just gets harder to keep up.

Bills, applications, reminders, important documents… if I was overwhelmed in school by the papers they wanted us to keep organized then I am way over my head now. Especially because the consequences are worse now, I am an adult and these mistakes won't go unnoticed.

The hardest part has now become my kids paperwork. EVERYDAY I tell you they bring home a backpack full of paper, announcements, grades, drawings… I can’t keep up with it all. It is exhausting. The hardest part is knowing as a mom I need to display so much of it and for so much time but if every day they bring home 10 pages what am I supposed to value as important enough to try and organize in a scrapbook and what am I supposed to display and then what can go in the trash without hurting feeling? Yet this is only the beginning! Yes these are my questions so here are some answers that have helped me, although I am sure I could benefit from more help!

I found a system to keep it out of my way until I want to see it. I bought these cute Three-Pocket Wall Files to hang on my wall so I would be organized. It can be really good because I don’t lose things as easily and I have somewhere designated for paperwork but if I am not careful it almost makes the problem worse because out of sight out of mind and it just piles and piles… well you get the idea. So I am trying to make it a goal to go through it once a week. I make sure not to put ads in their and those just go strait in the trash.

I finally had a talk with my kids about how I love all the work and art they bring home, color at home, work on at church (see school is not the only problem) and how it is so special but I can’t keep everything or our house would just be full of papers. That has made them more understanding.

So I now have it where they pick their favorite to put on the fridge with Magnets and rotate when they want to. If I see a cute art project that is special like has a hand print I try and place it into their Scrapbook behind their picture page so I can see what age they were when they did it. If I am worried about feelings then I throw things away while they are in bed and make sure it is NOT on the top of the garbage can!

Slowly I am making steps to take down my enemy. Help me, what are some of your secrets to keep the paperwork organize and not get buried?

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