Paper. Sigh. There it is again. Can't live with it, can't live without it! With all the the fascinating, riveting and scintillating information out there which comes under the 'must-keep' banner, how are you at organising all of the small stuff; the articles of interest, the last-minute tear-outs from your favourite magazine, those recipes you keep meaning to try, and so on?
Here's some tips I've worked out over the years. Simple. Tried and true...
- Make sure that you have a place for each of your collections, and that each place or destination is appropriate for organising the material being collected. Consider the larger picture, the amount of space that you’ll need further down the track. Label everything.
- Choose a storage method that suits the project. For example, file folders, boxes, hanging files or plastic tubs may suit. For paperwork, folders with clear plastic sleeves, dividers and tabs will make organising those recipes much easier. Kikki.K has a range of stylish folders to suit a variety of interests. Make sure you know where the scissors are, and any post-it notes or highlighters you may need. Use dividers to segregate courses, types of food, or his ’n’ hers, but whatever method you use, consistency is the key. Communicate with your partner in crime and make sure they understand the protocol!
- start like you mean to finish. Try to think it through at the outset. Changing horses mid-stream invariably leads to time-wating and confusion.
- Sometimes, running on the fly means dealing with folders feels a little too organised for some, so find a place (such as a hanging file in the cabinet) where you can aim those tear-outs in a jiffy. Don’t forget they’re there, though, or you’ll end up with a collapsing hanging file, and the dawning reality that some small enjoyment in life is passing you by. Make time, on Sunday morning, to go through the stash and weed out the crème de la crème of those divine interiors shots to inspire you. This delicious activity is to be enjoyed as a reflection of the passion you have for the subject, and works as an affirmation of your dreams and inspirations, too.
- Bills and invoices can be filed in a ring binder in month order, by due date. Label each of 12 pages with the names of a month, and file bills in the month when due. Make sure that you keep informed of the contents of each page, and deal with the items promptly!
- Designate a plastic tub for memorabilia. Whist we wouldn’t necessarily recommend a large ‘toss-it-all-in-there’ receptacle for many things in the home, memorabilia seems to find a natural home in large, oversized plastic tubs! It feels good to know that most things will (and do!) fit comfortably in a nice, dry see-through container where, if you have to, you can fossick for your granny’s doilies, if required. Keep a running MS Word document listing the contents of each box (1,2,3…) and enter anything that you add. List, list and label! Mantra of organising types!
The main thing with any form of organising is to be crystal clear about the appropriate method for storing your ‘stuff’, the location of your storage destination, any equipment or materials you may require, or activities you need to do, in order to complete the job. Be consistent, make lists. Try to do something once, so that you never have to think about it twice.
What's your method? How do you deal with storing your favourite reference material? Share your tips in the comments below, or visit us on Facebook and post on our wall!
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