07 October 2011

Operation Desk Recovery

So I'm going to be honest here. This is my desk in the kitchen. Do you have one of these? Does it look like this? OF COURSE NOT. Nobody's desk looks like this! Maybe on hoarders, in which case there would be a distinct possibility of a dead cat underneath all that paperwork. I could be on a hoarders special, Hoarders: Corders Edition. How many cords are there in this picture? (10! but who's counting!). This is the magical place where I sit and blog about my perfect life. And wonder if there is a dead cat in there.

Desk Cleaning: Before

Well I can guar-an-tee there is no dead cat in there, because TAH-DAH!

Desk Cleaning: After


What you're lookin' at right there, THAT is a four-hour project. Once I put my mind to a project I don't typically doodle daddle. But this one? Uff dah.

In case it is useful to anyone, I thought I would share the details!

Electronic Files

I decided to go electronic for a number of previously paper files. We have a 3-in-1 printer so scanning is lickety split. Or I just snap a photo with my phone--clickety split!

  • Scanned then tossed all tax paperwork. I do our taxes electronically anyway so I didn't have too much paper.
  • Scanned then tossed most insurance and investment paperwork
  • I plan to scan and toss paid bill stubs. I have been just throwing these but that probably isn't the best system!
  • Scanned and tossed a bunch of sketches, business cards, kids' activity info, and saved inspiration into Evernote
Paper Files

Pretty much the only thing I ended up keeping in paper files were instruction manuals and a few more lengthy documents about the house or insurance. I went through and saved only the manuals we might actually need. I had manuals for everything--like the Exersaucer for goodness sake! Hello, a baby can operate that. I organized them into plastic accordion files and put them in the file drawer. (Which I have to lock, by the way, since apparently digging around in a file drawer is way more exciting than playing in an adjacent room stuffed with toys! But that's a whole other issue.)

For the moment, I also saved all my medical files in an accordion folder. I was just feeling lazy about those. But I plan on scanning them in too.

I also found firesafe-worthy documents just hanging out on my desk--so I got those tucked away properly.


This is the heart of the problem--mail, school papers, my precious Entertainment Weeklies, dead cats... you know what I'm talking about. I labeled our 6 sorters in the cupboard: 
  1. Unpaid Bills
  2. To Be Filed (paper or scan)
  3. RSVPs & Calendar (invitations or reminders)
  4. Stamps (these are here because we keep them away from the kids and then can never find them the two times a year that we need one)
  5. Menus (and menu-related coupons, like pizza coupons)
  6. For Scrapbooking (this is for little things)
I put two letter-size trays on the shelf above, labeled Bella and Emily, for the school projects they bring home that I want to either save or decide about later.

I put a magazine file on the desk for my "To Read" file. That is where Entertainment Weekly and my 40 catalogs per week go. 

Desk Cleaning: New Sorters

I also added a little IKEA tray on the counter as the place where I put my phone and my camera. Two things I am always running around the house unable to find. "Whhheeeerrrrreee'ss my CAMmmmmmerrrraaaaa???"

So. I officially declare Operation Desk Recovery a success! Now back to my perfect life! ;)

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