You are on page 1of 24

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

We cant solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
~ Albert Einstein

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Hi I am Cathy Anderson. Im the creator of JOYS, a colorful inspiring method for organizing life and I am glad youre here. In 2001 and 2002, a demanding job, overwhelming personal and public events, and the new responsibilities of married life pushed me over the edge. Theres a much longer saga here, and I value your time, so I will spare you the ugly details. Simply, I was physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted. So I quit my job to take a breath for the first time in years. I wanted to start enjoying life and start a family. I figured the best way to do that was to start taking personal responsibility for my happiness, and start taking better care of myself, my money and my stuff. JOYS was the result of my desire to start something new in my life. And when I say new, I dont mean start a business. I mean, start a life. I knew that simplifying, getting organized and taking care of responsibilities would help me to find balance and peace of mind. I had a hunch that it would also make me much happier. And it has. With everything I do, I am hoping to inspire you to make peace with your papers, so that you can have more time to enjoy all the best stuff life has to offer. I try to make things short and sweet, because time is precious and too much information will fog your brain. And with that, lets JOYS...

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

This document is just an outline.


Produced By Cathy Anderson for Just Organize Your Stuff Copyright Just Organize Your Stuff, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For educational purposes only not a replacement for your trusted advisors. Writing, design, production by me on my mac using adobe cs. Videos in iMovie.

It provides insights for anyone trying to get a handle on their papers. And, its for anyone who dares to think differently about paper and how they should be filed. It contains first steps and unconventional options. It represents my approach to getting papers organized, which by the way, is a creative and very visual right-brained method, with a huge lefty analytical influence. So if youve been challenged by standard home filing systems, this is just what you need to get your papers finally filed forever. Enjoy and send me feedback please. Creatively Organizing Lifes Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. Because an Organized Life is a Life Enjoyed JustOrganizeYourStuff.com fb@justorganizeyourstuff.com @joys - on twitter facebook fan page JOYS Just Organize Your Stuff

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

The only goal of this blueprint is to spark the creative doer in you to help you get your papers organized for life.

How will a lifetime of being organized benefit you?............................................................................................7 Breaking the Rules.............................................................................................................................................................9 Being Creative ................................................................................................................................................................. 10 Letting it Flow...................................................................................................................................................................11 Your Home Filing System Blueprint........................................................................................................12 Blueprints Fab Five of Filing .......................................................................................................13 Recycling Bin.....................................................................................................................................15 Action Center-Tickler File.............................................................................................................16 Everyday File.....................................................................................................................................17 Vital File...............................................................................................................................................18 Important File...................................................................................................................................19 Reference File(s)...............................................................................................................................20 Home Filing System Summary................................................................................................................................... 21 More Resources............................................................................................................................................................... 22 Gathering Momentum.................................................................................................................................................. 23

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

{Close your eyes and imagine what it would feel like to have more time, less chaos and more peace of mind} What could you accomplish? What stresses would it eliminate? How could the overwhelming task of getting your papers organized truly benefit you? Feel it.

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

How will a lifetime of being organized benefit you?

Off the top of my head, I can think of nine benefits to getting papers organized.
My biggie was good records provide all the necessary details to help plan and achieve lifes goals. Whats your biggie? Is it more time, freedom, or peace of mind? Write at least five reasons below, bonus points if you beat nine! 01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10.

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Are you ready? Even if, you have tried unsuccessfully in the past, there is a way to get your papers organized for a lifetime. You just have to be willing to...

Break the Rules. Be Creative. Let it Flow.


And, Do The Work.

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Breaking the Rules

Breaking the rules will be easy. Because there arent going to be any rules. Just Ideas. Ideas inspire. Rules cause remorse.
So forget whatever rules youve read. Especially the Touch it Once Rule. You know the one; it says you should only touch something once. One Touch is not realistic when it comes to your papers. Ok, for some of you crazy, uber- efficient folks this rule works. I am not one of you, and you cant make me be. For most of us, this rule is totally unrealistic unless youre on your way to the shredder or recycling bin. In reality, papers represent your responsibilities. Responsibilities require action or, in some cases, a number of actions. Action requires more than one touch. Heres an idea. Touch it and decide. Decide to toss it, decide if its important or vital and decide on the next action. Just decide to decide.

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Being Creative

Being creative is easy too. Just be. Explore. Everyone is creative when they let go of perfection.
You will never be done. It will never be perfect. It may never look like the pictures in the magazine. Aim for peace of mind rather than perfection. Make progress your perfection. I dont know who originally said this, but its awesome, right? Creativity is exploring and recognizing ideas or options that may prove useful in solving a problem. If you need some inspiration, watch your kids. Children take the simplest objects and use them to create fabulous fun. Most grown-ups look for obvious solutions. Obvious is not necessarily the most effective or efficient for you. Besides, obvious is boring. Time, space, money, filing containers, filing categories, and basic know-how are all important components of your home filing system. Being creative with all of these pieces will help you set up a filing system that works for you on all levels. Being creative will also eliminate the little procrastinator in you. Just make it work, as Tim Gunn would say. So, when looking for solutions, get creativeespecially in the beginning. Use what you have around the house. Boxes, baskets or even that old chest of drawers might just make a great temporary filing solution.

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

10

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Let it Flow

Breaking rules and being creative create flow. Flow is what keeps your papers organized.
Keeping papers organized is a creative process. Simple decisions each step of the way create flow. The only decision you really need to commit to right now is to take steady and consistent action. Getting those piles put away is not going to happen overnight. Keeping them put away requires a foundation and a plan. Your goal is peace of mind for a lifetime. Correct? The biggest mistake most people make when setting up their filing system is not considering all of their current and future needs. Its tough to do when you have no idea what the future is going to bring. So, the best way to avoid this mistake is to make sure you have a foundation set-up that is flexible and will grow with your ever-changing needs and lifestyle a foundation that gives you options. To create that foundation you need a combination of a variety of filing centers, strategically placed throughout your house, to ensure you have a place for everything. This will give you the confidence that anything can be filed or found in a matter of minutes.

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

11

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Your Blueprint for a Good Home Filing System Foundation


CHOICE 01 Shred & Toss CHOICE 02 Act or File Later CHOICE 03 Act or File Now

Current Years Records


EVERYDAY FILE
Pay Use Decide Complete Wait

References Used
REFERENCE FILE

Past Years Support Records


IMPORTANT FILE

ACTION-TICKLER

Vital Documents
VITAL FILE

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

12

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Blueprints Fab Five of Filing

Lets take a closer look at that blueprint and those filing centers, shall we?
First let me say, just because I illustrated five different containers doesnt mean you must have five containers. If two containers work for you, great! Remember we are being creative here. The important thing to pay attention to is the function of each of the containers/centers. You want to make sure that your filing system addresses all of these functions: Containerizes papers based on retrieval for easy maintenance Categorizes papers inside to make finding and filing quick and easy Simplifies daily decision making and paper management Keeps current years papers easily accessible for quick tax prep and reference. Keeps support records from being lost in piles of reference materials and everyday info Keeps reference materials collected and not cluttering counter-tops Keeps vital documents safe, secure and in one location for quick access What types of papers will be stored within How long the papers will be kept

For each container/center it should be clear

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

13

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Blueprints Fab Five of Filing

As I am creating these teaching tools for you, I have gone back and forth on what the most important file container/center is. Where should you start? I guess I cant say for sure, because your priorities and concerns may be much different from mine. So heres a summary to help you decide where you might want to begin. The best thing about having a blueprint layout is you can see the big picture. Eventually you will have all the pieces in place, but right now you can focus on just one the one that would benefit you the most. __ __ __ __ __ Do you want less chaos daily by making quick simple decisions and paying your bills on time? Create your Action Center/Tickler File to get your papers flowing. Do you want to be calm, cool and collected anytime you need an important record to settle an issue or get something done, like taxes? Create your Everyday File. Do you want ultimate peace of mind knowing all the most vital documents are safely filed and ready to grab in an instant? Create your Vital File. Do you want the confidence of important records being organized for the legal, insurance, financial or tax challenges? Create your Important File. Do you want less clutter and more time to do the fun stuff, like fixing family meals, collecting and creating family memories or making a comfy, cozy home? Creating Reference Files will help.

Number them in order of their importance to you. Now you know where to start.

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

14

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Fab Five of Filing + 1

Recycling Bin
Papers are kept here until they can be recycled.

Lets take a look at this awesome and useful clutter reducing center.
The no-brainer contents of this center include Junk. Unsolicited junk mail and flyers The extra marketing contents of all your bills and statements Expired and outdated anything: coupons, announcements, magazines, newspapers The not-so-inspired kids artwork and schoolwork

How often will you be using this center: Every day. What it looks like and where it should be located: It looks like a can, box or paper bag. It should go someplace with convenient access. Who should have access to it and learn how to use it: Everyone. When might you need the paper filed here: Um, never How often will it need to be maintained: Never, its gone on recycling day.

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

15

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Fab Five of Filing

Action Center Tickler File


Papers should be kept here until acted on.

The life-line of your entire filing foundation.


The contents of this center include referring, redeeming and referencing papers. Bills and invoices that need to be paid Invites, reminders and items that require redeeming, response or action Important records and vital documents to be filed for safe keeping Household notebook and family calendar

How often will you be using this center: Every day. What it looks like and where it should be located: It should be an out in plain sight container where your papers are piling up right now. Who should have access to it and learn how to use it: Everyone. When might you need the paper filed here: Everyday activities like paying bills, attending events, doing errands and scheduling. How often will it need to be maintained: 5 minutes daily: adding new things and tossing old. 10-15 minutes monthly: moving important records to your everyday file and vital documents to the vital file (rarely).

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

16

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Fab Five of Filing

Everyday File
Papers kept here for 1 year.

Calm and collected for tax-time or anytime.


The contents of this center include this years support records Paid bills and invoices needed for tax or other support Subject references referred to on a daily or weekly basis Household utilities, maintenance and home improvement records Family medical, work and education correspondences and records Legal, insurance, financial, and tax statements and records

How often will you be using this center: A few times a week, minimum. What it looks like and where it should be located: A file drawer or box near your action center or other easily accessible area. Who should have access to it and learn how to use it: Your significant other. When might you need the paper filed here: For tax prep, budgeting, planning, resolving issues and taking care of responsibilities. How often will it need to be maintained: 5-10 minutes monthly: relocating completed action center items. 15-30 minutes a year: relocating important records to the long-term important file.

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

17

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Fab Five of Filing

Vital File
Papers are kept here indefinitely.

Ultimate peace of mind. Your grab and go.


The contents of this center include your most essential papers. Vital identity documents and personal health, education and work histories Legal agreements and documents for estate, kids guardianship and health care Household inventory, property and vehicle ownership documents Tax returns, legal, insurance and financial account summaries. Vital Document Checklist

How often will you be using this center: Rarely or once a year to update legal, financial and insurance documents and summaries. What it looks like and where it should be located: A fireproof file in a safe location but easy to access if you have to leave quickly. Who should have access to it and learn how to use it: Your significant other or trusted loved one. When might you need the paper filed here: Challenging times including loss of a loved one or loss of property. How often will it need to be maintained: 30+ minutes yearly: accounting for all vital documents and updating summaries.
Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com 18

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Fab Five of Filing

Important File
Papers are kept here for up to 10 years.

Confident youll have what you need, IF.


The contents of this center include support papers if the IRS calls or other challenges. Tax return support records including past years financial statements and receipts Legal support records including alimony and child-support logs and receipts Home support records (tax, legal and insurance) including insurance policies, home improvement records, as well as home and vehicle maintenance records Wellness support records (tax, legal and insurance) including policies, correspondences, logs and health care receipts

How often will you be using this center: Rarely or once a year to update current support records and to purge outdated ones. What it looks like and where it should be located: A locked file, safely out of the way, but fairly-easy to access if you have an issue. Who should have access to it and learn how to use it: Your significant other or trusted loved one. When might you need the paper filed here: Challenging times including legal, insurance, financial or tax disputes. How often will it need to be maintained: 30+ minutes yearly: updating and purging support records.
Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com 19

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Fab Five of Filing

Reference File(s)
Papers are kept here until you quit using them.

Less clutter and more time for fun.


The contents of this center include helpful papers you will USE. Recipe, meal planning, or coupon binders or files Health or exercise journals Household manual file or home idea notebook Family memories, goals, and dreams file or binder Any activity or interest that requires a large collection of information

How often will you be using this center: Daily, frequently, or not so much. What it looks like and where it should be located: A file folder, a binder or box near the location of the activity or interest. Who should have access to it and learn how to use it: Anyone involved in the activity or interest. When might you need the paper filed here: While doing or dreaming the activity or interest. How often will it need to be maintained: A few minutes each day: depending on the activity or interest. If you arent using it or it doesnt make you smile anymore, then its time for recycling.

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

20

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Fab Five of Filing

Home Filing System Summary

Did you see the benefit of different containers? Papers are stored based on a retention period and importance. How multiple filing containers will help get your paper organized. All of your important records are filed in the Important File out of the way. You may never use them, but you should keep them for IRS requirements or whatever little challenge life throws at you. Retention time is determined by you based on your needs. All of your vital documents are filed in the Vital File. Safe and secure in a fireproof file, ready to grab and go in an emergency. Ultimate peace of mind with all your essential papers kept indefinitely in one place. More recent important records are stored in the Everyday File. This allows for quick monthly filing and easy access for tax-prep or other daily dealings. Your Everyday File serves as convenient storage of one-years worth of records you need to keep. Reference materials are organized, not cluttering counter-tops, and more importantly not mingling with important records and vital documents. Use them or recycle them effortlessly. Finally, papers that need action are put away promptly in the Action Center. No more lost bills. Quick decisions and getting stuff done daily will be awesome.

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

21

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Home Filing Blueprint

More Resources

As I mentioned, this document is just an outline to give you the big-picture of a really good filing system. In this document we talked mostly about filing centers or Containerizing. The containers keep papers organized to make maintenance and grabbing all your important records and vital documents easy and effortless. I did not cover two additional and essential elements of a good home filing system: Familiarizing - identifying the papers that are most important to you and how long you should keep them. Categorizing - organizing the papers inside the containers for quick filing and finding. If you want more information on tax records and other important documents read: Tax Record keeping - My Hand-Picked List of Must Read Important Paper Resources. How Long To Keep Important Papers. Some Blasphemous Advice. I am not of the opinion that plain folders randomly labeled are the best solution for any household. If a filing system is not properly coded or requires an index, locating or recovering papers becomes maddening. Read more about my philosophy here: How To Use Color And Graphics To Make Your Home Filing System Unforgettable My opinion on paper verses paperless: It is possible to go paperless to a point, but some original papers need long-term storage. Getting papers organized will help you digitally organize. Personally, I usually prefer a non-digital container. You can read why at, My Reality Check. Paperless Home Office

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

22

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

Home Filing Blueprint

Gather Momentum

Congrats! You took the first step; you saw the big picture. Keep going.
Purge at least 10 paper items each day for the next 5 days. This includes brochures, old magazines, scrap papers, lists, manuals, news papers. Make a commitment to shred and toss unsolicited junk mail the minute you touch it. Apply the Touch It Once rule for these papers, if the rule works for you. Give your magazines, catalogs and newspapers an Inspiration Container. When the container is full, start recycling. If they arent inspiring you, cancel your subscription. Give your kids a Collection Container. They should fill it with school papers ready for your quick review each night. Ask yourself, What is stopping me from filing my papers? Is it time, uncertainty, no systems, or are you totally overwhelmed? Your answer will lead you to your next step. Review the additional resources listed in this book, because with action there will be progress. Take tiny actions to gain confidence and conquer your paper clutter. Start creating the file that was most important to you on page 14. There are lots of resources at JustOrganizeYourStuff.com to get you started.

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

23

blueprint:JOYS A Creative Outline for an Inspiring Home Filing System that Organizes All Life Puts on the Table.

So, thats it, for now.

Wishing you lots of joy and clutter-free counter tops!


If you have any questions. Please ask! Comment on any of the links I have included in this ebook, send me an email or tweet something sweet. I hope you were a tad bit enlightened. Please feel free to pass this along to friends and I would LOVE to hear your feedback.

Feedback on Blueprint JOYS

Creatively Organizing Lifes Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. Because an Organized Life is a Life Enjoyed JustOrganizeYourStuff.com fb@justorganizeyourstuff.com @joys - on twitter facebook fan page JOYS Just Organize Your Stuff

Creatively Organizing Papers for Inspired Living and Peace of Mind. JOYS - JustOrganizeYourStuff.com

24