Catch up on personal and family business by paying bills, sending notes, cards, letters and emails, and making any needed phone calls
File–Store only those papers you will need in a way that you will be able to locate them when needed
Do you have a desk?
Is it functional?
First gather the papers from your desk and sort them. You do not need out of date coupons, information on activities that have passed, most records that are over 3 to 7 years old. Memorabilia belongs in a memory box.
Empty your desk of papers and stock it with the supplies you need. Use a desk organizer for small items.
Which of these items do you have? Which do you need? Do you have more than you need?
List the items you do not have but need.
Donate the items you have in excess.
Toss the items that do not work—staplers that do not staple, pens that do not write.
Add items to the list specific to your needs. Make notes on what you need, how many you need, what you have an excess of.
Area of Focus, February 1-7: The Living Room/Family Room
Monday is Launch Your Week Day
Pick up your home after the weekend
Clean Your Toilets
Check Your Bathrooms for any needed items and add to your shopping list before you run out.
Declutter from 15 to 30 minutes each day
My Whole House Declutter
I am now in the inch by inch declutter—paperwork. Not fun but not too bad because I keep up with it and I actually file papers. Store papers in a way that you can locate them.
The main question is will I ever need this piece of paper again? If not, toss it or shred and toss it.
I am remembering as I work to not try to be prepared for every possible scenario in life—that can result in keeping waaaay too much stuff. Be prepared but use your common sense.
Reminder: shop your home. Ask yourself, would I buy this piece of furniture, décor, clothing, whatever, today for the purpose it needs to fulfill? If there is no specific purpose, you don’t need it..
One of my old favorite television programs on Organization was neat with Helen Buttigieg. She counseled one man who had difficulty letting go of most anything (comments are mine):
Excuses that Don’t Cut It
1. I’m going to fix it some day. (Today is someday. Fix it or get rid of it) 2. I need it just in case. (Are you living in a home or a storage closet?) 3. I’ll sell it in a garage sale or online. (Either schedule a garage sale with a friend within the next few weeks or donate it and take the tax deduction.) 4. This may be worth something some day. (Space has value, too, if it doesn’t have value now and you don’t need it, let it go) 5. Someone else may be able to use it. (Call them and ask them if they really could use it, without pressure, and if they actually want it make arrangements to get it to them this week.)
Walking Through Ephesians: Ephesians 6:1-3 Instructions to Children
Each Monday I am sharing the Areas of Focus and Tasks for Each Day for the week.
Pull your home back together after the weekend
Clean all your toilets
Check your bathrooms for any needed supplies—personal, paper, and cleaning and add them to your shopping list
Each Tuesday—Duster Dance Day—Draft any little helpers in your home to help you. Grab some fun dusters, and put on some happy music and dance that dust right out of your home.
Pay your bills
Take care of any personal and family business—Cards to send? Phone calls to make? Emails or letters to send?
File any papers you need in a way that you will be able to locate them, if needed. Don’t clutter your life with papers you will never look at again. Toss them!
Each Thursday—Clean hard floors—wood, laminate, tile, or linoleum
Each Friday—Wrap up your week—
Clean out your car
Clean out your purse, backpack, diaper bag, tote, or computer case.
Vacuum the traffic areas in your home.
Saturday is Family Fun Day –whether you work or play together, make it fun. Create memories.
Sunday is the ring on your week that signifies your love relationship with the Lord—take time to worship. Then plan your week with your husband and children. Anticipate the needs of each day ahead of time—for activities, games, concerts. Will food be needed? Special clothes or uniforms? Write it down now and work out the details calmly instead in a last minute panic.
Clear the Decks
Keep the surfaces in your home clear of clutter. I am as good as the next person at creating a mess. My nest on the love seat in the Living Room regularly gets cluttered with papers and electronics. I simply make sure that I put things away daily. I keep baskets for the papers I use routinely. As I have worked through my home I have placde some lovely things on the surface to discourage myself and my family from leaving papers and other stuff on those surfaces. When anyone leaves anything on the Dining Room table I put it away right away. I know if I leave papers on the table, someone will add to it. So clear your decks. Put away papers and other stuff that seems to multiply on flat surfaces, as quickly as you can. If you are facing this dilemma for the first time:
Get a box or boxes—I like white banker’s boxes.
Collect the papers and other clutter that are on the flat surfaces, room by room.
Label the box with the name of the room where you have collected the papers/clutter. Otherwise you will have a stack of white mystery boxes.
Stack the boxes in an unused corner
Make an appointment each day to deal with a box at a time until you have gone through all the boxes.
Don’t get comfortable with the boxes. Make a point of dealing with clutter as it comes into your home.
When a surface is clear and clean, put something lovely on the table to discourage junk buildup.
Dealing with the boxes
Sort the contents of the boxes by type. Bills to pay, coupons, materials you want to read, school papers.
As soon as the contents are sorted.
Toss the trash
Deal with anything that is due or overdue
Put items you want to read into a reading file.
These are some earlier posts on dealing with papers:
April 24, 2013—Papers and Files
July 10, 2013 –Setting up a Simple Filing System
July 26, 2013—Do You Know How to Declutter
August 28, 2013—What Papers to Keep—For How Long?
Titus 2—Submission—A concept the enemy has marred.
3Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.aInstead, they should teach others what is good. 4These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes,b to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
I am going to repeat a series I had written a few months back because understanding the basis for submission becomes easy when we realize that Jesus—God with skin on—modeled it for us long before Ephesians, where the principle teaching on submission is taught, was written.
One of the most misunderstood concepts I have encountered is submission. The idea of submission as presented by the Lord is one of mutual support, service, and protection. The world has changed it into lording it over other people, and demanding compliance.
If we look at our example—God with skin on—Jesus the Messiah—we see a totally different picture.
One portion of Scripture that speaks clearly of Jesus’ attitude is Philippians 2:5-8(NLT).
5You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.6Though he was God,He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.7Instead, He gave up His divine privileges;He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, 8He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross
We are called to have Jesus’ attitude and chose to serve other people. Even in leadership we are to be servant leaders not seeking privilege and prestige but to serve with integrity, putting the interests of others ahead of our own.
On the night before He died as Jesus prepared to share the Passover meal with His disciples:
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
From a position of power Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. One pair of feet Jesus washed was the feet of the man who was already in the process of betraying Him. Washing the feet of guests and family members was a task for the one of the household servants of lowest rank. Jesus told them that He was doing it as an example of how we are to treat others.
John 13: 12-17
12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.16Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Jesus wasn’t speaking just of washing each other’s feet but of a life of service to each other. We are told in Romans 12 how to walk this out in our lives. Read this chapter and note the specific instructions there. http://biblehub.com/nlt/romans/12.htm
Return also to Philippians 2 to see Paul’s specific instructions in that chapter:
make my joy complete by
having the same love,
being one in spirit and of one mind. (v. 2)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, (v. 3)
not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.(v. 4)
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, (v. 14)
Our obedience to others in authority is actually obedience to God.
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.
Insofar as governing authorities do not violate God’s commands, we are to obey them. We are also to pray for them. 2Timothy 2:2:
Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
These verses apply Scripture to serving and submitting to governing authorities, tomorrow we will look at our family relationships. Bottom line—service and submission is to God and not to man. There is never a right to do wrong so we are not commanded to submit to ungodly commands by anyone in authority over us. We hold ourselves accountable to God for appropriate response to those in authority over us and for those we have authority over.
Each Wednesday I try to give at least 15 minutes to making sure my filing is up to date and all business is current. I use Quicken to download and reconcile my transactions DAILY. I never have to go searching for a transaction or try to find where I am off by a few dollars or cents. I also can immediately alert my bank when something is incorrect—an unknown transaction or an altered tip.
In dealing with paper my questions are:
Do I need this paper?
Why do I need this paper?
Can I find the information somewhere else?
If I was trying to locate this paper where would I look?
I have a small action file—To Do, To Pay, To File, To Read and a file for each month of the year where I put receipts I may need.
I have my archive files where I keep records like insurance policies, mortgage papers, income records—pay stubs, social security. I use the Homefile filing system. http://www.homefileorganizer.com/ I have used it for years and I love it.
I have a topical file where I keep tourism information of places I want to visit, information related to groups I participate in, game rules and directions, and other things of interest to me and my family.
The goal is to be able to quickly locate information when it’s needed. I try not to clutter up my files with unneeded papers and to purge a file or two when I have time left on Desk Day.
Tonight I am hosting our neighborhood Bonco group. I am a last minute fill in for a friend who had a family emergency. My home needs a light cleaning—dusting vacuuming and mopping. I will shop for food this morning, have my nails done with my friend Cathy during her weekly beauty day, and fix the food this afternoon to be pulled out tonight. I like Mason canning jars and my home is very slightly country so I am using a country theme for our menu:
Emeril’s recipe baked chicken wings
Pigs in a Blanket
Strawberry shortcake with real whipped cream for dessert
Lemonade and ice tea
Nuts and bridge mix on the tables.
The table tents, score sheets, and name tags will have Mason jars on them.
Did you notice I am taking time to have my nails done? When your home is in order from the inside out you can take time during a busy day to relax and be with friends. The way I declutter, organize, and clean my home gives me freedom to do other things instead of being tied down to endless drudgery. Caring for my home is not drudgery but a way of expressing gratitude to God for all He has given me, and love for my family and friends by providing a welcoming place for them (and me, too).
Saw something in one of my favorite groups that got me thinking: I am a welcome mat, not a doormat. I want my home and my life to say welcome to all who come here.