Pinterest continues to amaze me as an endless source of inspiration, a little while ago I came across this Mail station post by The Nest Effect and I just knew it would work for us so I got thinking how I could recreate it to suit our needs and came up with this mail and paperwork organiser.
In the Tapas household there are always piles of mail to sort, be it mine, my business’ or my husband’s, DVDs to watch and send back, post to forward to the previous owners of the house, vouchers from supermarkets (well, I quite like a discount, don’t you?), etc. I tend to organise household bills and statements in ring binders, I also have to make sure I file everything relevant to my business for the tax man somewhere safe.
On top of that, I am also very careful about shredding everything with personal details (this drives my husband crazy!); so, until now, the result has been piles of paper waiting to be stored in those ring binders or in business files. Because I hardly ever have time to file post away the moment it arrives and in facts it can take weeks or months before I have the chance to go through it all.
I looked online for a home file with no lid (for ease of access) but couldn’t find anything appealing enough to sit where I wanted it to live: somewhere on the ground floor out of the way but handy enough to keep on top of it on a daily basis.
Then I remembered this old magazine basket full of back issues of ITI Bulletins (from the Institute of Translation and Interpreting). Perfect!
As you can see it’s dark brown so I bought colourful supension folders:
I quickly found out that, probably because it is so old, not all the suspension files were hanging perfectly from it but it doesnt really matter as long as they stay put, which they do (some of them are a bit tighter than the others).
I got writing on the tabs and attaching one to each folder, there is one for each of these:
- My husband
- My daughter (yes, she gets post, go figure!), I’ve added the childminder’s bills, information, contract and policies there
- Household bills
- Things to be paid / paperwork that requires a phone call
- Outgoing mail
- Rental DVDs (I’m including the envelopes here)
- Things to be shred
- Vouchers (discount vouchers, coupons, leaflets that may be worth keeping as they come through the door)
- Business (things related to my work)
I was tempted to add one for recipes that I cut out but I have my own system already in place for that and, I have just realised, that a handy one would have been Takeaway Menus.
This is my new mail and paperwork organisation system where it now lives. I think it is genius and, with a bit of help from Mr Tapas, I hope to keep it going. Hopefully no more paperwork will build up on the kitchen table anymore.
From now on I just need to take the whole box with me to where I keep all the ring binders and store away or shred as necessary. I have considered having the shredder right next to it but little fingers concern me. In fact, just putting everything in here yesterday has helped me get rid of lots of junk and I’ve already got the shredder working.
All of this for the cost of a pack of 10 suspension files. I am actually rather thrilled.
What do you think? What system do you use? If it’s something you’re proud of, why not share?1