I've been avoiding a couple of big organization projects around the house.
Oh, maybe for about six months.
And one of them got worse and worse. Sure, I had plenty of time during the summer to reorganize the back storage room.
But I didn't wanna.
I finally decided last week that since I have my children do cleaning and organization that they don't wanna do, it was time for me to tackle at least one of these two projects.
Actually, the girls helped me tackle the "easy" one: sorting all of the bills and statements from the last six months. They've been stacked inside the roll-top desk, which makes it easy to forget that they're there.
The girls went online and listened to an "Adventures in Odyssey" audio story while they took the stacks of bills/statements and sorted them by company.
Now you might ask yourself, "Why do these bills and statements get stacked up in a big pile?"
Well, I'm not the "bill payer" in our family, although I'm comfortable paying the bills. But this is something that Elmer enjoys being in charge of, and I happily comply. After he pays the bills, he places the statements into the roll-top desk where we keep our budget book.
Maybe this is where things break down. After he pays the bills and places the statements and receipts in the roll-top desk, he closes the top, and I never see the statements sitting there, so I don't think of filing them right away. Or ever. Until one day, I open up the desk to get some tape or envelopes out, and it's stacked VERY high. Yikes!
Out of sight, out of mind - that's my motto in life. Or at least, that's how my brain works these days.
Well, at least for the next 24 hours, the desk should look like this:
...until it's time to pay bills again. :)
I think we have two options that would help us out every two weeks:
1. Switch to BillPay with our credit union, and avoid most paper bills. I know, I know - you've been probably paying your bills online or with automatic withdrawals for years now. We've held off because of a direct deposit from my hubby's payroll that went bad a long time ago. The bank we used back then was bought out by another bank, and they assured us that the direct deposit from my husband's paycheck would smoothly be deposited into the new account they had arranged for us. Well, when I started receiving phone calls 3 days later that our checks were not clearing the bank, we realized there was a problem. Even though this has nothing to do with electronic billpay, this has made us wary of paying bills online. Some day, we'll succumb. :)
2. After Elmer pays the bills, he hands me the stack of paperwork that needs to be filed, and I file it immediately. That would be an easier option, right? Well, maybe.
Maybe a combination of both would work best.
And now for Project #2: The back storage room.
When we first looked at our house, before purchasing it, our realtor opened up a heavy door which led to a small room containing shelving and the hot water heater. There were no windows, and he laughed and commented, "Well, here's the mother-in-law suite!"
Ha! We'd never place our moms in that little, strange room!
That room is really our only inside storage in the house, besides the kitchen and bathroom cabinets (one bathroom has no storage whatsoever), and the closets in the bedrooms and the schoolroom. We don't have a garage, although there are two small rooms on the outside of our house that are the "outside storage." Yes, it's a little bit different, but it works.
Our "mother-in-law suite" has concrete block walls, like the rest of our home, and it isn't insulated at all (like 1/3 of our home). It houses our hot water heater and our big freezer.
Because our attic is on the smallish side, everything else we would normally store in an attic, garage, or pantry that can handle the heat and cold of the seasons goes in this "back storage room" as we now call it.
Anything stored in there has to be able to handle the occasional mouse which wanders in during the cold of winter, so no food in cardboard boxes. We mainly store canned goods, luggage, vases, "junk" towels, and sleeping bags in that room. But we also store our vacuum, cat litter, and other odds and ends including rolls of paper towels and t.p., plus cleaning products.
Every few months, it becomes cluttered on the floor and is actually unsafe (for me) to walk around in that room. It's needed reorganized for a few months now, and yesterday was the day. I think my main reason for putting it off was because I'm a slow organizer, and I knew I'd need about a 4-5 hour block of time, which is rare in our household.
Anyway, here is the fabulously newly reorganized back room:
I didn't get a shot of the floor. It's pretty ugly - half of it smooth cement, and the other half some very old carpet that needs to be replaced.
On the left, beyond this photo, is the big freezer we bought with our wedding gift money, and to the right is our natural gas water heater.
We don't eat a ton of canned goods, because they have very little nutritional value, but on some of those busy nights, we use these. I try to buy organic whenever I can find a great deal.
Well, for now, the back room is organized. I promise myself that I'm going to keep it clean and neat, but then the stack of luggage falls over, or the stack of clean "junk"/old towels falls over, and then the mess begins, because I've found that when it's harder to access where I'm needing to be, the lazier I tend to get. Pretty soon, it all becomes a mess. Sigh. Would be nice if I was as organized as people think I am!
My next project is to finish reorganizing our master bedroom, which is also more like a storage area than a bedroom. That's going to take more than 4-5 hours, though, because I have several areas to redo. I also need to wash windows again, which I enjoy doing since we use a spray cleaner that really gets our 1952 floor-to-ceiling windows much cleaner. It would be more fun to do if they actually came out looking completely clean, like newer windows would, but I'm not complaining. SprayAway does a pretty decent job, the best job of any windows product or method of cleaning windows that I've ever used.
The hardest thing in tackling a project, at least for me, is just diving in and getting started. Once I start, it takes time, but it isn't hard.
What project area do you find yourself needing to tackle this next month? Do you find that you put off tackling big projects, too?
Hi! I'm Julieanne!