i will BE organized

The Journey to Organization. . the Road to a wannabe Cleanie

An Organized Pregnancy Challenge – Week 9 – The Paper System! January 17, 2012

Filed under: Pregnancy,Project — mikailani @ 6:04 am

Hi Everyone! I’ve been busy working on Week 9 Challenge along with other little projects here and there. Considering I didn’t have a truly functional paper system in place, it really did take me about a week working everyday consistently to finish this project.

Overview : In week 9, my task was to create a Paper System – Banish the paper pile up. It’s very easy to let the paper monster to pile up if you let it! Last year, I created a paper system that worked well. However thru the months, I let it ‘go.’ I had papers stacked up everywhere! Since our home is super tiny, I don’t have the space to keep a filing cabinet close to where I receive the mail. I let the ‘to file’ pile stack up till it got overwhelming. I didn’t know what to keep or what to toss. I had boxes of paper I needed to shred.  I’m tired just thinking about it! My goal was for something that worked for me – easy to keep, file & refer to. I also need a system where I can start organizing papers I receive during pregnancy.

Leeds writes

“When your baby arrives, you’ll want every tasks like bill paying and receipt filing to be as easy as they can be. Your time and energy will be needed elsewhere.”

That’s soooo true! Even if I wasn’t expecting, you do need a system that’s works for you. A simple google search leads you to thousands of ways to file and organize paper systems. From filing cabinets, to portable expandable folders, to boxes – the options are endless! I’ve tried a lot of systems, but the key to any organized function, is the ability to keep it up. A good system doesn’t help if you can’t find what you’re looking for. Simplicity is the key. The more difficult and detailed your system is, the harder it is to file and to retrieve.

Currently, I have my long term files set up in a filing cabinet in my daughter’s bedroom. Soon, she’ll be sharing her room with Baby Boy and space would be very limited. As much as I love my filing cabinet, I do find it hard retrieving information. If I need a simple piece of paper, I’d have to go into her room to get it. It’s recommended cleaning out the filing cabinet every year, but I haven’t touched it since. I probably have old insurance policies that I’ll need to shred and other paper alike. For this project, since I already had a filing system going on, I kept it that way. I have a future project in mind that would remove the filing cabinet from the kid’s room and move it somewhere else. I didn’t want to start that project, because I had a lot of commitments this past weekend. I also don’t have much time [or energy] during the weekdays. =p

I’ve got the new filing system scheduled in my calendar for next month! I’ll share my experience then 🙂


I went thru the whole house & car[s] gathering every piece of paper. It didn’t matter if it was old, new or something urgent. I knew that I’ll sort thru everything by the end of day. I stacked them all up in the dining room table.

Before picture:

Then, I speed eliminated! Anything that was expired, events that past, notes that no longer applied to me, receipts I can no longer need or can’t return – all went to the ‘to shred’ pile or the recycle bin.  While I was speed eliminating, I stacked them up in piles.

Now that everything was categorized, all I had to do was put them back where they belong. Long term files went back into the filing cabinet. Financial paperwork [bills & statements] went into the big red binder. Anything that needed to be done within the week went into either my planner or my ‘Action File System.’

I didn’t have a working system for incoming paperwork – so I went to target to find something that would work. I found a desktop file that holds hanging folders and a few slots in front that can hold my ledger book ‘we’re old school now!’, checkbooks for bill payment and a few envelopes – along with our envelope budget system. So far, it’s working! I have this located near the kitchen table – so all I have to do is bring it out on Bill Payment day and put it back when I’m done. At the end of the month, all bills get filed away in the big red binder. Important papers that need action go in my planner ready for me to . . . act on. lol.

Here’s the desktop system. We have a files for

  • Unpaid Bills
  • Paid Bills
  • Papers to file away [monthly]
  • Kailani’s Folder – kids bring in a lot of paper! She needs her own file. Cleared out [quarterly after her report card comes in]

Here’s a quick glimpse of our filing cabinet. Hopefully by next month – this will be gone & I’ll be working with a new system. I have binders for warranties and manuals. I removed these from the filing cabinet and stored them in Ikea cardbord boxes and stored them in a closet. We rarely ever refer to them & when I need to file something away, I’ll do it at the end of the month! The filing cabinet’s running out of space!!

And that’s how I handled my paper monster. This week your task is also to create a system to hold all baby related information. I’m having a blast working on this Baby Binder & creating spreadsheets for it already! Just gotta print out a few things, attach labels and take pretty pictures and I’ll be ready to share by end of week!

Thanks for stopping by!


Organized Pregnancy Week 9 update January 8, 2012

Filed under: Organize,Pregnancy,Project — mikailani @ 5:03 am

Hey folks!

Just a quick update:

I’m 90% done with my week 9 Challenge. Just gotta finish up on some last minute tweaks and I’ll be sharing soon!

Had lots of plans this weekend – gotta make time for family gatherings!

So far, I’m not so overwhelmed with the tasks. They’re totally do-able!

…. Now if i can find my SD card reader to upload pictures!! 🙂


An Organized Pregnancy Challenge – Week 8 January 3, 2012

Filed under: Organize,Pregnancy — mikailani @ 1:12 am

I’ve wrote about the book One Year to an Organized Life with Baby in my last post. It gave me great inspiration to start an Organized Pregnancy Challenge! I’m on my 17th week of pregnancy, so I have about 11 weeks to catch up. The program starts at week 8. I’ll be working on week 17 and week 8 simultaneously until I catch up – but will post them in Chronological Order. So far, I’m up to par on reading [I’ve read thru week 20] and am now re-reading the rest. It’s an easy book to refer back to in case you missed something.Along with it’s weekly challenges, there are also Monthly Challenges she encourages you to establish. This month – Drinking Water. [I’ll write more about this later]

On Week 8 – Leeds writes about your changing body & understanding what’s happening. This isn’t a week by week guide about what’s happening to Mommy & baby, but she does go into this in detail here. A Pretty easy weekly to-do.

Week 8 is the high of a pregnant mom’s First Trimester. Most have just found out they’re pregnant. Hello hormones!!! What she asks is to understand WHY you’re so tired. Let yourself rest a bit and understand that your body is in mega mode building up the placenta, doubling up bloodflow and all that other good stuff – that it’s natrual to be tired.

Kick up your feet a bit & let the pregnancy sink in. 😀


A Year to an Organized Life with Baby! January 2, 2012

Filed under: Baby,Family,Organize,Pregnancy — mikailani @ 4:21 pm

It’s been 9 years since I was pregnant with Lani. I was a teen mom – I had no clue what to do, what to expect and how to be prepared. I was very unorganized and just rolled with the punches. I didn’t get much advice or guidance with that pregnancy. But! I still had a beautiful healthy baby girl.

Now that I try to look back at the blur that happened, there are many things I would have done differently. Sheesh… I didn’t even have a hospital bag! I wasnt prepared for anything. Having a surprise C-section really did come as a surprise. I’m older, much aware and slightly more organized now. Back then, I didn’t read books. I hated it! Now – you can always find me cuddled with my kindle 🙂

After a few weeks of finding out we were pregnant, I felt overwhelmed. Lost. Although we’ve been trying to have a baby for the last 5 years, we still aren’t ready. So I turned to the Internet. While doing some researching on organizing while pregnant, I’ve bookmarked alot of blog posts, tips, forums and ultimately found a book! As soon as I read a few chapters, I instantly felt relieved.

The book, “One Year to an Organized Life with Baby,” is a blessing! It breaks down your pregnancy week by week and suggests different projects to tackle. From paperwork, to kitchen, to wardrobe – I feel like she covers everything!
“Change tends to be less overwhelming when you know what’s coming.” A quote that truly relieved all my worries!!

I started reading on my 13th week. The program starts at the 8th of pregnancy. Although I wish I found out about the book earlier. Leeds recommends to start where you are during your pregnancy and simultaneously read the beginning. There are some things that don’t pertain to me – so I can always count those as bonus weeks!

Im currently 17 weeks pregnant, but I haven’t really followed the plan to the T. I got Excited with the plan that I forgot to actually do things! Today I’m re-reading the book and will be documenting each step of the way. It’s exciting when these projects are already pre selected! It’s like… The organized pregnancy challenge!!!