New Year Paper Solutions

In the spirit of the New Year, I resolved to create paper solutions for three areas in our home which have previously been problem areas:

  1. Stationery
  2. Recipes
  3. Permanent Files

Here’s how I finally turned my paper problems into paper solutions!

Paper Solution #1: STATIONERY

The Problem: Is there anything worse than spending 10 minutes in the card aisle at CVS searching for the perfect card, only to walk away with nothing, or something less than what you were hoping to find, for more than you were hoping to spend? This has happened to me more than I care to admit, and as you can see my card storage was partially to blame.

Before: My stationery box was in need of an upgrade!

The Solution: I chose to purchase a product to help me with this problem, but you could easily DIY a pretty shoe box for the same effect! This tin box comes with the file tabs pre-labeled, and blanks to create your own categories. For example, I hand-wrote tabs for “Sympathy,” and “Stamps & Stickers.”

After: This is my Jot & Mark card organizer that I found on Amazon ($29)

With cards sorted vertically in visible categories, I can find cards quickly and avoid running out of a particular category.

Paper Solution #2: RECIPES

The Problem: Our family recipe collection was a project entrusted to me and had been staring me in the face for years. This project was so overwhelming because it also included memorabilia from my mother – recipes in her handwriting and magazine clippings of things she loved or wanted to try.

Before: Here are the recipe binders. As you can see they take up lots of valuable real-estate.

The Solution: The first baby step I took to tackle this project was simply to put time on the calendar. I enrolled the help of my sister to make sense of everything.

The Process: This was my set up. I had coffee, tea, and water within reach so I had no excuse to get up or get distracted!
Phoning a friend: My sister Face-timed me with her dog Ralph at 8:00am on a Saturday to help me make sense of it all and strategize next steps <3

The Solution: We sifted through all the recipes and determined which ones were keep, which were memorabilia, and which were recycle.

For the memorabilia, which included my mother’s handwriting and recipes she saved from her relatives, I scanned all of the recipes on my phone using Adobe Scan, and uploaded them to Shutterfly to create a book. I’ll be sure to share a picture of the book when it arrives!

This is my new Jot & Mark Recipe Binder ($24) which will store all of my favorite recipes
After: No more huge binders taking up valuable real estate!

This will be an ongoing project, but I feel so relieved to have taken the first steps in accomplishing my goal and making heirlooms my whole family will enjoy for years to come.

Paper Solution #3: PERMANENT FILES

The Problem: I had an outdated filing system that wasn’t working for me called a “1-25 Index.” This system is great for files that are constantly changing, such as projects and events, which come and go. For my home files I wanted something more intuitive.

Before: This number system used to work for me but a lot has changed since then!

The Solution: Before reworking my file system, I did a purge of old papers I didn’t need. I created new tabs in alphabetical order based on categories I use frequently.

After: Everything is alphabetical now, which helps me find files faster!

Since reworking my file system I’ve enjoyed being able to locate my files more easily and quickly. I hope that my 2020 New Year Paper Solutions have inspired you to tackle an organizing project in your apartment or home!

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