Friday, January 17, 2014

Organizing in the New Year (ONY)-Office

Welcome back to 
Organizing in the New Year,
where we'll focus on one area each week,
keeping these intentions in mind:

~Purge if necessary,
because you can't create your dream
if it's cluttered with things you don't use.
Keep in mind, one object in, one object out.
If it doesn't do something for you, 
pass it on to someone else who can use it.  
It's all good.

~Use what you have to create a more streamlined home 
that still has your special touch.
Repurposing functional items adds to their value.
If they make your life easier or help you feel more comfortable, 
they are worth keeping.

~Try moving everyday items to different rooms
and use your creativity to use them in a new way.
The worst that can happen is that 
you find it doesn't quite work in the new application.  
Just start over!

If you are working toward more order in your life,
I hope these posts will help you jump start your vision.
The best advice I can give you is to
just start somewhere

Today, our focus is the home office.
Whether you have a whole room or just a nook,
an office space can keep your house running smoothly.
A place to pay bills, do correspondence, and house needed paperwork 
is fundamental in efficient household management.
As the household manager for our family,
I apply organizing strategies to make my job
easier, less time consuming and more efficient.
Anyone who runs their household can do the same.

~One of the easiest tasks to complete is to purge unnecessary files.
Past bills, receipts for anything under $50, and outdated information can all go.
Save only what's needed for filing taxes, or information you use on a weekly basis.
Sign up for automatic bill paying for utilities and other monthly expenses,
so that you have less paper coming into the house.

~If you have a shredder, use it to destroy anything with confidential information,
especially social security and credit card numbers to prevent identity theft.
This can be done on a monthly basis, if needed.
We tend to do one big shred at the beginning of the year.
If you don't have a shredder, ask a friend or your boss if you could use theirs.

~Any manual that comes with newly purchased items
gets put into the Manual Binder with its receipt.
No need to clutter up office files with these.

~One of the best things I ever started a few years back
was to write the new year's date on the first ten checks.
That way, by the time the eleventh check is written, 
the new year's date is already a habit.

~Last year we started paying cash for almost everything.
We keep track of our expenses in a ledger.
It's really no more than a small, spiral notebook.
Sometimes you can find these at thrift stores or yard sales.
Each month, fixed expenses go on the left-hand page,
and everything else goes on the right-hand side.
We can compare our spending from month-to-month,
or year-to-year.
It also makes us more accountable for our spending,
because we write purchases down and see where the money goes.
Bills we get by mail are kept in the section for that month.
No excuses for not paying on time.
(A post on a new savings plan is coming next week.)

The home office can be a designated room, 
or as simple as a file cabinet and a laptop computer.
The key is to keep it manageable.
It may not make paying bills a good time,
but it will save a good amount of time for more enticing pursuits.

Here's last week's post in this series:
ONY bathrooms

SchneiderPeeps - Simple Lives Thursdays Link Up


  1. More great ideas! I like your tip about moving items to different rooms. it's nice to mix things up every now and then :)

  2. Great ideas! I love your tip of writing the year on the first 10 checks. I always have a problem with that.

  3. Great idea on the ledger! I have to get busy organizing the office when we get moved. I am not looking forward to that! I put my shredded paper in my compost pile.

    1. Thank you. I love that you compost your paper!

  4. Another wonderful post. I love the writing the new year on the checks. Purging the files is definitely the hardest to take time to do but so necessary.

    1. Maybe you could use the discarded paper in a bonfire when it warms up a bit. Any excuse to enjoy hot cocoa!

  5. Great ideas! I like the idea of keeping all your manuals in one binder. I've been slipping the warranties and manuals for kitchen gadgets under the silverware organizers for years.

  6. I love your check date idea! How smart! We've been doing cash for groceries and personal blow money for about 2 years or so now, and it is so much more foolproof & makes staying on budget simple.

    1. I love paying cash for everything. It just makes a body feel good knowing that you're paying as you go. Congrats!

  7. I've been enjoying your organizing series. Thank you for sharing this at the HomeAcre Hop; I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.
    Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead

    1. Our last post in the series is tomorrow. I hope you'll join us. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I need to revisit these posts! Thanks for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday; hope to see you again this week.


Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts!