Southern Mom Loves: Easy Spring Home Organization Tips from The Productivity Pro!

Easy Spring Home Organization Tips from The Productivity Pro!

Friday, March 31, 2017

This post was sponsored by Fellowes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Spring is in full swing and I'm in full-on spring cleaning mode! What is it about winter that gathers so much dust and junk? Besides the ordinary spring cleaning of baseboards and closets, I'm focusing on getting fully organized. Today's post is special because it's designed to get you easily organized and help you stay organized with tips from Laura Stack, aka The Productivity Pro! It's not hard to organize every room of your house if you remember these tips. You'll be finished before you know it!

I'm usually a pretty organized person, but there are a few things that I procrastinate about until the task looks so daunting I just don't want to start it. One of my biggest problems is household papers: Bills, receipts, paycheck stubs, mortgage interest reports, property tax papers, school photos, permission slips, and car maintenance records all get piled in a semi-neat stack right beside my desk. The saddest part is they're stacked right on top of my filing cabinet. Womp womp.

I needed a little motivation to get started and these tips from Laura Stack were just what I needed. She has a great way of breaking down big tasks into bite-sized pieces to make it more manageable, especially if you don't have a ton of time to spend on it. The best part about these tips is they're designed to help you create habits that will keep you organized all year long.

The reason I don't file things right away is that I have limited space in my filing cabinet, so filing things means also cleaning out the old records that I don't need anymore, so it makes one task into two and getting rid of papers with personal information can be a tricky situation. To take care of that problem, I grabbed a Fellowes’ 12Cs shredder from Walmart. It's time to get started!

Tip #1 - Get into the FIRST habit.

"First things first – get rid of paper! To make it easy, use the FIRST method: File It, Recycle, Shred, or Take Care of It. Receipts, permission slips, and paperwork can be processed immediately using this method. Shred all documents containing sensitive information with a cross-cut shredder like Fellowes’ 12Cs that shreds up to 12 sheets of paper and has SafeSense® technology that makes it a great choice for at-home use around children and pets."

The biggest reason that I never considered getting a shredder before was that I was nervous having one around small children. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this shredder has a safety feature that stops shredding when hands touch the paper opening. On top of that, it shreds lots of pages at once and you don't even have to bother taking out staples. It powers right through old credit cards and CDs too!

It has a large bin and cross-cuts the paper for even safer disposal of your sensitive information.

Nobody's putting that mess back together!

Tip #2 - Label files logically.

"Label your paper files and folders clearly by subject and have some fun and use colored or decorative folders to spruce up your workspace. For electronic files, adopt a simple naming convention that includes date, name, and version number. Use subfolders to divide up large categories into smaller groupings by topic."

After I made my 4 piles for File It, Recycle, Shred, or Take Care of It, there was another category: Waiting On. These were things that I couldn't file away...yet. Papers like the documents that I'm collecting as they come in the mail to file my taxes, reminders for events that haven't happened yet, and current work-related mail, but I'm not going back to the dreaded paper pile.

While I was at Walmart I picked up these super-cute file folders that will help me keep everything separated neatly and I don't mind having them out on my desk.

Tip #3 - Set routines.

"You waste less energy thinking about minor tasks and have more left for bigger things. Establish routines that help you complete things faster, such as setting out everything you’ll need for the next day the night before."

Tip #4 - Time yourself on tedious tasks.

"Need to organize your hallway closet? Use a kitchen timer for any task you’re dreading! Estimate how long the task will take and schedule an appointment with yourself on your calendar. You can't work non-stop, but you can work for 45 minutes. When you become focused time seems to fly, and you’ll get the job done easier and faster."

I love this tip and picked up a kitchen timer to get myself in gear. When you take large tasks (like organizing my daughter's room, sheesh) and break them down into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable, especially for busy moms who don't always have loads of extra time.

Using these tips I was able to plow through more than a year's worth of papers in no time and I was left with a great system to keep it from piling up again. With a slim and powerful Fellowes' 12Cs shredder under my desk, I don't have to worry about getting rid of those personal papers and can keep up with the paper flow. Thanks, Laura!


What are your home organizational nightmares? Which of Laura's tips is your favorite? I love to read your comments!

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