Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Other Goals from 2011 - Part Two

In addition to our 2011 savings goals and our other 2011 personal financial goals, I had a couple of other big projects on my list for 2011.

First, one of my big goals was to clean our my closet.  This goal is basically completed.  During the summer, I took everything out of my closet and spent a weekend trying everything on (except for clothes that were current - meaning I had worn them in the past few months).  It was an exhausting project, but I estimate that I got rid of 50% of my clothes/shoes/purses.  I got rid of clothes from high school and college, I got rid of clothes that no longer fit, that were not in style, that were poor quality, etc.  I even got rid of clothes that still had tags on them, meaning I never wore that particular piece.  

When I was done, I had two huge trash bags of clothes for Goodwill and another huge bag of purses and shoes that went to Goodwill.  I also had a huge trash bag of business attire which I still have as I'm trying to find a place to donate business clothes.  However, if I don't locate a proper charitable organization for my business clothes, I will drop this bag off at Goodwill as well.  In order to complete this goal I need to drop off this last bag.  

Mr. Sam also took all the racking out of my closet, painted and we put new, and better designed, racking back in.  I organized the remaining clothes into color, type, style (business or casual), and put it neatly back into my closet.  I still have too many shoes, but overall the closet project has held up well. 

Second, my other big goal was to get our office organized.  This goal is 75% completed.  I pulled a ton of paperwork out of three file drawers (I still have one left to do) and went through all of it.  I shredded hundreds of documents that were old and no longer needed.  I also implemented a new system for our filing.  Mr. Sam and I each have different color folders for our personal filing, we also have different color folders for each property and a different color folder for the dog too.  I also purchased a new two drawer file cabinet, as our filing was completely overstuffed in the original space, to keep all filing related to our real estate.  

I still have one file drawer to go through and I can't pretend I'm doing a good job at keeping up with day to day filing.  I'm trying to figure out a system that works for me, as I'm a fan of systems, to keep up with the filing.  I need to do 5 minutes a day or I need to do an hour a week or two hours a month or something.  At present, I have six months of filing waiting to be filed.

How do you keep your papers organized and how do you keep up with the inflow?


Frugal Coconut said...

Paper shuffling is not my forte. I mostly go paperless but of course there are some things that are still only available in hard copy format (e.g. HOA notices via snail mail, medical records). It feels overwhelming when those start to pile up but eventually I will have an ambitious/productive day and file most of it away. I wouldn't want to handle a higher volume though because the little bit that I already deal with makes me anxious enough as it is.

Anonymous said...

I try and go paperless where practical too. But where there is paper 80% gets filed the day it arrives. We have a desk with a file drawer in the corner of the dining with the computer we use to pay the bills. Each day after getting the mail, I look for statements and any bills that need to be scheduled via online billpay. Then put the paper in the appropriate folder in the file drawer. Folders include Bank statements, credit card, car insurance, utilities, each rental, tax related items, etc. All this takes maybe 2 minutes a day, assuming there is paper that day to file. We clear the files out at the start of each year.

For the other 20%, brokerage statements, legal docs, Tax returns, other non-regular items, etc, I bought a locking 4 drawer HON file cabinet off Craigslist. Its in a spare bedroom (office) upstairs. Its high quality (not like the 2 drawer cabinets from target, etc) with lots of filing space. You can always find businesses unloading like new used ones at a good price. These paper items tend to pile up and maybe every other month I take the time to separate and file.

Anonymous said...

Wall Street Journal article on tips for files. Click on the "view interactive". http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303627104576410234039258092.html?mod=WSJ_PersonalFinance_RightMostPopular#project%3DDOC110702%26articleTabs%3Darticle