For those of you who were reading this time last year, I started up a little project I called the February Organize-A-Thon. It’s not the most exciting name ever, but I’ve never claimed to be good with catchy titles. But it IS a super exciting project, so get yourself hyped up. The whole idea was born last year when the beginning of the year I-need-to-organize-everything bug hit me and I desperately wanted to give my entire house an overhaul. I decided to tackle one project each week and post about it, and invite all of you guys to organize right along with me. It was so much fun that I’ve decided to make it a tradition, and it’s time to get started!
For those of you who weren’t around last year, here’s a quick recap to get you all caught up: Last year, we started off by taking on our extra room, which was completely out of control. Then, we organized several of the closets around the house. The next week, we braved the garage, which hadn’t been cleaned properly since we moved in (and, spoiler alert, it’s a hot mess once again so we’ll be taking care of it again this year!). And, finally, on the last week of the month we organized the little console by our front door. And, once all was said and done I came back and shared some reader projects that had been emailed to me – it’s way more fun to organize when you’re not doing it alone!
Whew, that’s a lot of organizing, right? Now that we’re all aware of how life-changing this project can be (I’m telling you, having an organized home is HUGE!), let’s get started on this year.
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that when I started thinking about what I should do for the Organize-A-Thon this year, it was no problem at all for me to come up with ideas for projects. There are so many areas of my life right now that desperately need to be streamlined, and I am so incredibly excited to get started.
This week, I decided to kick things off with some paper organization. When I was younger, I would read magazine articles about organizing all of the paper in your life and I wondered how people ever actually ended up with that much paper they needed to organize. Why were they keeping all of that crap? Do adults really need that much random paper?
Um, yes. Yes, we do.
There is so much random important paper floating around my house that, honestly, I had completely given up on organizing it. Corey and I already own several different organization systems for all of our paper, and even have a small filing system, but it had all fallen apart over the last year or so and there was paper all over my house. Seriously. ALL OVER. When I started gathering it up to organize, I found stacks of paper in every single room in my house. Well, except the bathrooms. No paper there. But every other room! And when I piled it all on the dining room table so I could deal with it, it looked like this.
Oh em gee.
Can you believe how bad I had let that get? I’m ashamed.
BUT, have no fear, because it’s all organized now. This was a pretty straightforward project – it just required a bit (read: a lot) of patience. I started off by organizing the paper into categories.
This will obviously vary depending on what kind of paper you have floating around your house, but we had an insurance stack, a house stack, a bills stack, a receipts stack, and a stack for some sentimental things that we don’t want to get rid of (among a few other random ones). I’ll admit I got a bit distracted when I got to organizing the stack of our sentimental items. I have a few college newspapers that marked historic events (I love having old articles or papers from this kind of thing!)…
…and an entire box of random tidbits and memories from mine and Corey’s relationship. Things like notes, cards, and ticket stubs from events. Am I the only one who absolutely adores looking back at stuff like this?!
Once I had finished pouring over our memories and got re-focused, I started going through each individual pile. I was surprised to find that the vast majority of our stuff could just be thrown away (do we really still need receipts and 2-year warranties for things we bought back in 2005?!), and within an hour or so my piles were looking much more manageable.
I had Corey go through the piles one more time after me to make sure I wasn’t throwing away anything important or that I hadn’t kept something we didn’t need to. Then all that was left was to get all of the papers filed into our existing filing system. When I started this, I was convinced I’d have to buy a ton of new stuff to organize all of our paper, but thankfully everything fit into what we’ve already got, so we saved a bit of money there!
Now that I’ve got everything all nice and organized, though, I’m terrified to mess it all up again. So we bought this cute little filing system to stick on our fridge – we each claimed a pocket, and now when new papers come into our house, if I need to deal with it, it’ll go into mine, and if Corey needs to handle it, I can toss it in his. I’m hoping this will prevent us from letting random papers that we haven’t done anything with pile up, and it’ll help each of us stay on top of the things that we need to do!
On a somewhat related note, we also grabbed this adorable magnetic calendar to stick on our fridge – I feel like we’re constantly trying to remember all of the various things we’re doing, and we sometimes have a hard time keeping track of each other’s events. This way, we can keep things nice and organized…and hopefully we can keep it that way!
I’m feeling much more organized already, and I’m SO excited to see what the rest of this month has in store for us. Call me a dork, but it feels so good to get these little areas of our lives streamlined and organized!
And now is the part where YOU get to join in. I’d love some company in getting our lives organized, so if you’re feeling brave, I’d love it if you join in and organize your house this month too! You can do one project a week like we are, or you can just take on one or two projects throughout the month. All that matters is that you do something, because at the end of the month we’ll be having a big link party for you guys to come back and share what you’ve done! So, get organizing!
Do you have a ton of areas in your home that need organizing? Are you planning on joining in for the Organize-A-Thon this year?!
Oh, and some sweet and wonderful person just happened to nominate me for an Apartment Therapy Homie in both the Design & Inspiration category and the Project & DIY category (THANK YOU!). I’m realistic enough to know I won’t win against all of those amazing, inspiring, and absolutely incredible other blogs that are nominated, but it wouldn’t be awful if you clicked on those links and voted for me. You know, if you want to.