Managing Paper Memorabilia


Kids School/Artwork

–        Use a lidded box, color coded per child and label

–        Use large envelopes, labeled by year and child

–        Transfer yearly papers to labeled accordion file keeper

Travel/Sightseeing Memorabilia

–        Have a journal with you to notate date, locations, and events

–        Gather tourist brochures, postcards, etc. in journal

–        Transfer to accordion file keeper, categorized by year

–        Tear pages from journal and include with memorabilia

Product Review: FreedomFiler

I haven’t done a Tool Tuesday feature in a while, so here ya go!  I helped a client in her home office last week and introduced this product to her. She is a local realtor and although she had been in business for years, she felt that she needed to get “re-booted” in her office.  She felt it was cluttered, the work process didn’t flow, and her files were a mess (her words, not mine).

While we worked together for a couple of days on all aspects of her office environment, I want to tell you about the tool we used to revamp her filing system.  Based on my clients existing files, personality, and needs I recommended the FreedomFiler®.


FreedomFiler® is best known for being a self-purging file system. This system goes a long way in keeping your files organized and is very user friendly. It uses color coding to categorize odd year versus even year files as well as separating your active and yearly files from your permanent, or archive, files.


The system contains 200+ pre-printed file tab labels with a total of over 400 customizable file tab labels included.  There are easy-to-follow instructions and 5 great indexed cards to keep your system on track.  You also have the option to purchase other accessories if you need them.  This system works for home and work files.

Here are a few reasons why I find this product to be so helpful to certain clients:

  • easily integrates into your existing file system
  • streamlines the look of your files, making things easier to read
  • the even/odd year file sets make getting ready for tax time a breeze
  • gives you guidelines for when papers should be purged
  • eliminates the need to make new files each year

FreedomFiler® is a great system and so easy to use.  I am an affiliate for FreedomFiler and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact me via the Contact tab or leave a comment here.

There’s More than One Way to File

When you hear the word “file”, what do you think of?  What image pops in your head?

There is actually more than one way to file your papers.  The traditional method of file folders and file drawers is only one option. You don’t have to file the way your mother did.  Choose what works for you! Here are just two other options:

1.              PileSmart® – a Pendaflex® product

Remember the Pilot from my other blog post, Three Personality Types of Paper Mania?  Well this is the product for that person.  The PileSmart® Organizer features a clear lucite tray that is open on two side.  There are 6 plastic dividers, with end and side tabs that are easily seen as you stack things vertically. The dividers are very sturdy so you can lift up a stack by the divider tab and retrieve papers when needed.  In addition to allowing you to color code your stacks, the labels on each divider are durable and are “write-and erase”, which means you can use re-use them after a stack is purged. Nifty product, huh?  You can get it online at Amazon.

2.              Binders

Yes, binders!  They are not just for school anymore… You can use binders with dividers to keep categories of paperwork manageable.  Don’t relish the thought of hole punching and/or pinched finger accidents?  That’s okay; use plastic pockets in the binders.  This will enable you to quickly “file” your papers away.  Binders can be stored on shelves, in file drawers, or archived in boxes.  You can also color code your binder, if that’s what you like to do or purchase colors that match your office décor, looking sleek and orderly on a bookcase or credenza.

These are just two options for filing the papers you keep.  Would love to hear how you manage your papers, please leave a comment.

It’s National Get Organized Month

    This month is National Get Organized Month. Every January the National Association of Professional Organizers and it’s member chapters endeavor to publicize the benefits of organization and the services that are provided by our industry. There are many areas of specialty within the Professional Organizer industry – from home staging to business productivity to move managers. There are specialized training courses for many different populations – seniors, hoarders, people with disabilities, and children.  Getting organized helps people with time management, productivity, family management, and relieves stress and anxiety. Here are some of the reasons why professional organizers are hired and which areas are most often organized. This information is found on the National Association of Professional Organizers website,
    Top reasons professional organizers are hired

  1. Too much clutter
  2. General disorganization
  3. Difficulty determining what to keep and/or discard
  4. Difficulty finding things
  5. Selling a home or moving

Top areas in a home where organizing services are most often requested

  1. Home Office or Den
  2. Kitchen
  3. Closet
  4. Master Bedroom
  5. Garage/Attic/Basement

I’m not a huge fan of making resolutions anymore; most people do not take resolutions made on New Year’s Day very seriously.  However, if you are ready to take the first steps to getting organized this year, then download my ebook, Project Simplify. It includes monthly goal sheets to help you plan the first steps to getting your organizing projects done.

Receive your free gift today!  Just go to the top right of this page and submit your name and email.  Then check your email!  You will have the link for your free download!   It’s my gift to you this month as you begin to get organized!

 Linking to:

Organize Your Printed Photos

“The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain

I think that having boxes and bags of photos to organize qualifies as an overwhelming task, don’t you?  Many people have photographs they haven’t seen in a while or have forgotten they exist!  What happens when you look at that box of photos in your closet?
Do you cringe?
Breathe a heavy sigh and quickly shut the door?
Feel guilty that you still haven’t gotten to that project?
I know how you feel.  There was a point in my life when I would develop rolls of film (before digital cameras, mind you) , look at them in the store’s parking lot, sitting in my car and then promptly hide them in the hall closet when I got home.  When I would see other friends’ photo albums and scrapbooks I would briefly think “I should do this”; but then the thought was gone (because it made me feel guilty).  I reasoned that getting photos into albums in any  sort of order was a rainy day project – I used to tell my friends that I was waiting until I was laid up due to a long illness and then I would have something to do while I sat in bed -organize photos.  (Boy, that was some negative thinking, wasn’t it?!)
Well, I’m happy to report that I haven’t been laid up due to a long illness but my photos are organized! It took a few tools, which I’ll tell you about in a minute, but mostly what it took is what Mark Twain said in his infinite wisdom – breaking it into small manageable tasks and just starting! I would have never gotten my photos organized if I brought out ALL of my bags of developed prints.  That is too overwhelming!  Instead, I decided to work on an envelope or two whenever I sat down in the evening in front of the television.  And you know what?  As I got into it, I didn’t want to stop.  I went from –
“Ugh, I gonna have to push my way through this”
“Wow, these are some great memories; I can’t wait until I have them all organized by event!”
So here’s the tools you need to get your photos organized:
Sort your photos
  • Small bites of time.  Can you dedicated 1/2 hour once or twice a week to going through your photos?
  • Archival safe container in which to put your organized photos
  • Pen/Pencil and cardstock paper to divide your photos by event/date  (I used large index cards or those index card box dividers)
  • Trash can for the overabundance of duplicates, bad photography, and the “I can’t tell what this is” photos
  • Mailing envelopes large enough to fit your photos to finally send out those copies to your relatives you promised them 3 years ago.
And now, just start with the first envelope!

If you need a little enticement, here’s a dangling carrot.  If you send me an email showing me the before and after result of your organizing your photos during the month of July and August 2011, you will be entered in a chance to win a Clever Container photo organizer that holds 2000 photos!  This is not a contest to see who organizes the most photos but to see who can make some headway with organizing their photos.  Leave a comment here on my blog to tell me that I can count you  in for this contest, then email me those photos when you’re  ready to info{at}organizedhabits{dot}com.  September 1st is the deadline for submitting your before and after photos.  Remember just take it small bites at a time!


PS I’m linked to:
Organize with Sandy

Getting Organized While Watching TV?!

…You can organize. That’s right – organize!  Now if it’s a good movie or snuggle time with your honey, then I don’t recommend organizing at that moment. On the other hand, if you are watching Two and Half Men, The Mentalist, Army Wives, or…. you get the picture. Go ahead, watch your favorite show but do a few things with those idle hands. 

Organizing Your Photos

What does “organizing photos” mean anyway? Many people have different goals for their pictures but the desired outcome is the same; to have photos safely stored and organized chronologically by event or family members, in a manageable way.

Listen to this week’s tip on Photo Organizing

For quicktime: Photo Organizing

For digital photograph organization and storage options:

  • An external hard drive or large capacity memory stick
  • An online program such as Snapfish or ClarkColor
  • Cataloging software such as Memory Manager

For actual photographs:

  • Photo boxes
  • Cropper Hopper (holds 2000 photos)
  • Blank index card dividers

Organizing the photos, once you begin, is a highly rewarding project because you can re-live old memories and count your many blessings!

While organizing your photos can be a daunting task, just break it down and resolve to take small steps. Perhaps just spend ½ hour per week on this project. It’s better than not starting at all. Remember the old adage… slow but steady wins the race!