Newly organized files in my home office
It's been really quiet today and I've been able to finally sit down pay my December bills in only a few minutes. I sorted through the bills in my inbox, worked on the papers scattered on my desk, and then filed everything away. Normally I wouldn't be so efficient, but last November, I asked a professional organizer to come over and help me wade through the chaos of my home office.
The "Before" shots: what a mess..I didn't know where or how to start! I know it doesn't look so bad, but you should've seen the inside of the drawers before the hanging files came in...
On the recommendation of my friend Nicole, I called Kat Ong, a local professional organizer. I had a attended her half-day workshop called "Organizing your Papers" a couple of years back and thought the content of the workshop was useful and enlightening--except that I was already overwhelmed with my mess, that I never practiced what she preached. I didn't realize she was now available for personal consultations and home service!
I lost no time contacting her and after one meeting at home (she has to see the space she's going to help de-clutter so she can assess what needs to be done), a few emails back and forth, our organizing schedule was set.
Before: Files in the 3-ring binders had to be purged and sorted in an easier-to-maintain system. My file drawers below contained a hodgepodge of assorted papers--too bad I don't have a "before" photo.
Taaa-daaah! After a couple or so days of purging, sorting and filing, everything is now in it's proper place!
Everything from those 3-ring binders are now in these file drawers in 5 categories: Household, Financial, Business, Personal and Family. Easy to file and pull out whenever needed.
My Sydney-based sister who's back for the holidays recently asked me if I received her new credit card in the mail (I handle all her bank statements and I'm supposed to file and keep track of them). If she only knew that just a month before, all those statements remained in their sealed envelopes in a pile dumped inside a drawer!
I also have an under-desk wagon where I keep supplies that I use often: envelopes in all sizes, calling cards, gift certificates that need to be used, USB cable and earphones for laptop...
With the help of Kat, we went over mounds of unopened envelopes, purged eight-year-old documents, and categorized all the rest of my papers. I was able to file everything in easily accessible hanging files. Aside from favoring the hanging file system, Kat also prefers to use binder clips over fasteners and paper clips. She seems to get a kick out of Muji lucite containers, but she can also use box tops as drawer dividers. I love the usefulness of binder clips and of course I have come to admire my Muji lucite DVD boxes which I use as In and Out boxes.
Very useful binderclips. Even the tiniest one holds a lot.
The recently-opened Muji in Rockwell, photo from here
To the question of my balikbayan sister I was able to say honestly, "I have your new card filed here with the rest of your statements. Come on over!" And when she came over a few minutes later, I opened my file drawer, pulled out a folder with her name on it and handed her the card. Normally I would answer her question the same way, but I would've had to scramble to look for it after I put down the phone.
I really impressed myself! Sister on the other hand, thinks I'm organized so she wasn't surprised. :)
I designed these file cabinets so that my files are within easy reach. That never happened until now!
Space That Works