Friday, August 19, 2016

Finding Time to Organize for the Purpose of Finding Time

Once upon a time, I was organized. Then I moved to Virginia. We changed state residencies. My husband went from being active duty to retired. I went from a living in a  non-regulated homeschool state to living in a regulated homeschool state (which means reporting too much paperwork that takes away my valuable time that they only glance at and slip in a file when they have their own students to focus on). I had high school students which translates to totally focusing on college prep classes and goals. We were in Virginia...which ended up meaning the kids wanted historically accurate clothing to wear in Colonial Williamsburg...and so did I. I had to seize the moment because these days would soon slip away, and they have. I had 3 sets of historical clothing to make every nine weeks for our history presentations. All of that on top of unpacking, finding a place for everything (bigger house but nowhere to put anything...madness). My multi-tasking skills were definitely stretched!

Now that my kids are in college, and even though I'm busier driving them here and there than I ever was, my focus this year was to conquer the piles. They were either:
  • finding a home in our house
  • going in the trash
  • going to charity   
I also needed to go through paperwork. The file drawers were full of the most important stuff, which was good. But I had to sort through all my historical costume research, sight seeing research, and homeschool stuff. Then I discovered too many duplicate files of the important stuff, some I made and some my husband made. I had to reassess. So my first batch was to go through all the important papers. Now that  my husband is civilian, it is maddening how many different insurance companies we have had and old files were never purged. Old items purchased with receipts that have gone blank. (Have you ever noticed the disappearing ink on receipts these days?) There were receipts to things we no longer had. etc, etc, etc. So I pulled every single file out and went through every page. I purged as needed and regrouped. Of the stuff we needed to keep, I made two piles: one that we access every month, and then another of items that were nearly ready for the dead file but might possibly be accessed at some time in the future. They went into two separate homes which opened lots of space for all the previous stuff that never had a home.

After I thoroughly organized all the important paperwork, I went through many other categories. Here is my pile of sightseeing brochures. I collect them to help us decide where we want to visit next, then some of them I keep for historical information. In fact, I decided to coincide some of this with  my history research I had from teaching. Lots of overlap. I had my recycle bin at the top right. I had a basket that would capture brochures of places we have not yet been to. At a moments notice I can grab that for the family to peruse and decide on where to go next...whenever we get another chance to do that. The file folders were color coded for future historical reference of places we've already been to.

8-17-16 Organizing Trips

I also organized my historical sewing information. I organized my 18th century information from lots of Colonial Williamsburg magazines I cut up (gasp). Below is all the homeschool stuff that I organized. (My family told me to write a book of history, etc lessons for our future generations to use when they homeschool. They have no idea how much work that is! I've decided I'm still in research mode!)

8-19-16 Organizing Homeschool

Thus the living room has been quite the mess for weeks! Papers were always laying about. I'd work while watching the Olympics then when the phone rings it's time to leave it there while I drive to pick up or drop off one of the kids. And that was pretty much my summer.

I'm probably 80-90% organized. So far when my husband asks me for something, I find it within seconds. That feels great! And that was the point!

I still have a few piles. It would be great if I could conquer them before the year ends...actually tomorrow afternoon! I have other plans for Saturday!

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