I’m not sure if everyone has a seemingly endless amount of papers coming into their homes each week, or it’s just me. But between the teaching and the grad school and the being obsessive about taking notes… I cannot stop the paper monsoon that seems to (constantly) take over my office!
Here is just a little glimpse at this problem. Oh, did I forget to mention that I refuse to get rid of all of my old scrapbook paper because "I might need it one day"? It’s true.
By the way, this is the pile AFTER I threw 2/3 of it in the recycling! These are the things that I actually needed or wanted to keep.
Luckily, during my last Target binge, I bought these adorable little file folders. I only bought them because they were pretty (because, you know, that’s a valid reason to buy things) and I literally had NO purpose for them.
I started out by laying out my papers and dividing them into 3 major categorized piles:
Lesson Planning, Organized Charm, and U of M
Then, I subcategorized the big piles into 4 smaller piles. For example, I subcategorized the "Lesson Planning" pile into: Blank Forms, Lesson Plans, Outlines, and Strategies.
Doing it this way worked out perfectly because I ended up with 12 folders and 12 stacks of papers. Everything immediately had a home and my office was looking much better! Woo!
Finally, I labeled the folders. Of course, I started out with finding a way to color code them! I just chose to draw little color-coded hearts to symbolize the big category.
Green for Lesson Planning (because it goes along with the work color in my calendar)
Orange for Organized Charm (because it goes along with the deadline color in my calendar)
Pink for University of Memphis (because it goes along with the schoolwork color in my calendar)
I used a Sharpie pen to label the folders. Of course, printing these out is ideal (but I’m a poor graduate student and printer ink and paper cost money).
So here is how the final product looks!
And the chances that every paper I bring into this house falls into one of the 12 categories in this bin are astronomical. In fact, I would go as far as to say that every paper I was bringing into my office falls under one of these 12 categories. Which is just fantastic!
I also created a little place for my most frequently used writing utensils directly next to the filing system for making notes, highlighting upcoming or past events, etc.
I set this bin right beside my office door. When I come in from class or work, I stop here and categorize my papers right away. No more stacks of random, loose papers all over the place!
And if (when) the folders get too full, I can just transfer the papers to a 3-ring binder!
And now I don’t even cry every time I walk into my office :)
How do you deal with the all of the loose papers that sneak into your home?