As I press on in my organizational journey and venture into Chapter 2: The Everygirl Office of Maria’s book (this one in case you just jumped in, also here), I’m already feeling happier and more efficient. About six months after we moved in, I invested in two lined baskets for our mail. One: Inbox. One: File. Read: (1) Pile and (1) Misc Mess.
Since my initial effort proved difficult to maintain, I’ve adapted my version of The Blackbook outlined in Chapter 2.
My goal was to create a go-to reference book for those phone numbers, documents, and bills I need to keep in close reach. I outline how I organized my black book below. It’s actually a white book… Should I change the name?!
I left out “passwords” and “social security cards” as these items are either password protected or in a safe deposit box/safe. I made this book useful without making it valuable to a potential intruder.
A handy tip for maintaining my book: No garbage in,… so no garbage out! I sort my mail daily now so it doesn’t pile up and immediately put bills into the “Bills Due” sleeve, while tossing catalogs and junk mail if I don’t think I’ll find time to read them. That way, I can no longer accumulate a “for later” pile.
The back pocket of my binder holds black cards I’ve picked up for Weddings and Birthdays. I buy these ahead of time so I’m not rushing when we’re on the way to a wedding. However, it’s easy to misplace them with so much time to spare! Now I will know exactly where they are!
Now, what to do with those mail bins? (Liners are in the wash!)
How My Blackbook Works:
- Front inside pocket: Outbox (signed, sealed, ready to deliver)
- Sleeve 1: Inbox
- Sleeve 2: Bills Due
- Sleeve 3: File (Paystubs, bills paid, Insurance Docs, etc.)
- Sleeve 4: Pending (For active claims, requiring a phone call, etc.)
- Sleeve 5: Checks/Stamps/Return Address Labels
- Sleeve 6: Coupons/Offers (We don’t use them since we can’t see them!)
- Sleeve 7: Invitations (2 days before every wedding, we’re asking ourselves “What time does it start again?” and begin digging through the dreaded mail bins)
- Sleeve 8: Important phone numbers & Addresses
- Sleeve 9: Receipts to file
- Back inside pocket: Greeting Cards
It sounds like one chunky binder, but it’s pretty skinny and I’d like it to stay that way!