Monthly Archives: August 2011

Quick Tip: Paperwork Solutions

What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork. — Pearl Bailey

I am a bookkeeper by profession, and I am often asked what is the best way to handle filing paperwork.  Really, it depends on how your mind works and how you can easily retrieve the information you are looking for.

I have three different methods that I recommend.

  • File by Date of the Record:  This is the method that I generally use for financial records, just because when you are dealing with financial information, it is nice to keep paperwork together by tax year, so you can easily archive and then depose of paperwork when needed.  I make separate folders for bills, deposits, bank statements, insurance/medical records, tax agency records and so on. For those files that get overwhelmed with paperwork, I sub-divide either by month or quarter.  I find it easy to access these records by looking at the date of the transaction in my check register.
  • File by Type of Record:  This is the method I like to use for any non-financial record, but it can also be used for financial paperwork.  Personally, I just find it harder to archive financial records with this method, but again, it all depends on how your mind works.  I prefer to use this for records I will possibly keep indefinitely.  For example, paperwork of important medical records, school records, car repair records and so on.  When using this method for financial records I recommend keeping like-bills together, ie your utility bills, phone bills, etc.
  • File by Project Related to Record:  This is a method sometimes used in filing financial records when you deal with clients that you are doing a short-term project for.  I don’t generally recommend this type of filing system for large companies because it can become really complicated, but I find sometimes that small business owners prefer this type of filing because frankly, it is just how their mind works.  For non-financial records, you could use this filing type for construction projects at home.

Which ever method you prefer, just remember the most important part is keeping up so you don’t get buried underneath your paperwork.  That is one of the things that stress me out most.  I hate to see a pile of paper staring at me, begging to be taken care of.

A couple other tips to keep in mind when dealing with paperwork;

  • If you wonder if you really need to keep the paper, you most likely don’t.  Don’t be afraid to let go, especially now that you can access most records online.  Sometimes it is really liberating to let go!
  • When filing financial paperwork, I have found that keeping the most current papers in the front of the file makes more sense than in the back.  You generally look for your most current bills/papers, so it is so much easier to just have them up front.  But if you can’t get your mind to switch, just remember, you have to do what works best for you!
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Back to School Craziness

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.  ~Edgar W. Howe

Now that my oldest is in 6th grade, I feel very comfortable with our school routine.  Looking at my calendar for the next few months might be overwhelming to some, but to me, it just feels right.  I love my colorful calendar, even if there is little time to add any new events!  Maybe it makes me feel important, or perhaps makes me feel like I’m actually being productive, whatever it is, it just feels right.

My key to success is keeping my calendar up to date so I don’t over-schedule myself. With smart phones, it is very easy.  I love that it reminds me and can even sync with my husband’s phone to remind him where I’m at when I’m unavailable.  The one thing I haven’t quite figured out yet, is how to fit my blogging in, hence the huge gap in posts.  Perhaps I should add it to my calendar.  No need to worry, I got plenty of Mayhem Management ideas in the works.  Now if I could only find some extra time in my mayhemic life to implement those ideas into reality:)   Maybe it’s time for me to do some weeding.

Have you been able to get back in the swing of your school craziness?  What works for you?  Carpooling?  Limiting your children’s activities?  Please share, I’m sure others would greatly appreciate your input!

Quick Tip: Meal Planning

It pays to plan ahead, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. — Unknown

This is my absolute favorite organization tip!!!  It is super easy, only takes about 10 minutes tops and saves money, time and headaches.  What’s not to like about that?

Once a week or every other week, take a minute and plan a dinner menu (and if you want breakfast and lunch).  I prefer doing two weeks at a time, and have even done a full month.  I just find that I stick to the plan better when I do it every other week.  I print my google calendar for the month, then I can see what activities I have going, this helps me plan which days to eat out.  Then I just write on that calendar what’s for dinner, but even just throwing it down on a scrap paper works.

The perks of meal planning . . .

  • I better use my produce because I have a plan, saving us lots of money!
  • It is a great way to push yourself to try new recipes!
  • You’re not constantly eating the same thing, this makes my hubby very happy:)
  • My kids complain less, because they have plenty of forewarning of what is coming:)
  • It makes it super easy to check if I have the needed ingredients for the recipes I’m using, so I also do my grocery list at the same times, which also saves us money, not buying un-needed items!
  • I can easily pull any frozen meat out the night before to defrost.  I usually pull it out after we finish doing dishes the night before.
  • It saves me from the daunting question of “What’s for dinner?”

Believe me, once you try it, you’re going to love it!

Attitude Makes All The Difference

Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life. — Joel Osteen

I think we all need reminders once in a while that happiness is a choice.  We all have problems, no way around it.  It is our response to life’s situations that makes all the difference.

Some days, when I do the same thing for the umpteenth time, I wonder why I even bother, it will just need to be done again later.  Or when I am faced with the same problem again and again, I wonder if I can ever get past it.  Life can be overwhelming.  Very overwhelming at times.  But life can be great too!  It is the hard times that helps us to better appreciate the good times, and so both are needed.

I have often thought about my mom, raising seven children (eight when you count my dad).  She has definitely done her fair share mundane house chores.  I asked her once why I have never heard her complain about housework and she told me it’s because she has found that when you focus on what you appreciate in life, it makes life much sweeter.

So today, I am remembering the sweet things in my life.  I am grateful to have a wonderful family that I absolutely love to serve.  And even if I have to clean the toilet a million more times for them, I am grateful to have good health that gives me the ability to do so.  I am grateful to have freedom to choose if I want to clean that toilet today or not. And lastly, I am grateful to live in such a beautiful world, so when I am done cleaning toilets, I can go enjoy the beauty that surrounds me!

When I get into pessimistic slumps, I often remember Dr. Glenn Latham’s advice, “Today is not forever!”  When we are in the midst of problems, we have a hard time seeing beyond the issue at hand.  Forgetting that we will soon be past this brief moment in our life.  This thought can change my attitude in an instant.  Even when my child is throwing a tantrum, it helps me to remember that this tantrum doesn’t define me or my child.  Someday he/she will go on to do great things in life and that tantrum will be long forgotten.

Though life will surely throw some curve balls my way, I choose and will continue to choose to be happy.

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