50 Weeks to Organized, Homemaking, Housework, Minimalism, Simple Living

50 Weeks to Organized: Week 16

In last week’s organizational post, I moaned about how I would probably regret choosing to tackle the filing cabinet this week (especially since we’re hitting midterms and parent-teacher conferences this week at the school).

Surprisingly, I actually ended up getting most of it done over the weekend instead of procrastinating it all until the last possible minute.

Sometimes I surprise myself.

Since it has been years since I looked at most of the items in my filing cabinet, it actually provided me with a semi-fun, nostalgic afternoon of coming across things I’d totally forgotten about, like a letter I wrote to myself (and another letter I’d written to my future child) all the way back as a senior in high school (almost 8 years ago). I was surprised too by the sheer amount of STUFF I had managed to stuff into one small filing cabinet–seriously, it was getting really hard to even open and close the drawers because they were so heavy and full.

When it got right down to it, it generally wasn’t too difficult to decide what to toss and what to keep: almost all of my personal writing I kept. Almost all of my educational materials (including lesson plans, literature and poetry pieces, and stuff for my educator portfolio) also stayed. Things I easily tossed or shredded: credit and bank statements from almost 10 years ago, whole folders of information about things I no longer needed (such as scholarships or study abroad info), and outdated contact information.

All in all, I ended up recycling and shredding hundreds upon hundreds of pieces of paper.

I’m not sure if you can really tell the difference in the photos, but I know that with my updated folder tabs and with fewer papers floating around, I now actually have a chance of finding the important stuff I need in a pinch:


Quick Stats for the Week:

# of Items Tossed/Donated: 3 (I counted all those papers as just one thing)
# of Items Left to Toss/Donate Before Dec. 31st: 259
Amount of Money Spent This Week on Organizing: $0

Since we’re going out of town again this weekend (and this week and next are jam-packed), I tried to pick something that will (hopefully) be a little more on the light side:

DVDs and CDs

Now, considering that we probably have almost 200 DVDs and at least that many CDs, it might not seem like such an easy task. Fortunately, we kind of already half went through both of those in the weeks that we spent organizing the car and the living room. So all that’s left really is to just go through and toss anything extra (since everything in both of those categories now has a home).

This Week’s To-Do List:

*Go through all CD and DVD cases and make sure the right movie/c.d. is in the right case
*Sort through all the media and divide into four piles: Donate, Toss, Return (if borrowed), and Keep
(Note: If the DVD or CD is scratched beyond repair, get rid of it. If it’s a movie or c.d. you no longer enjoy but that’s still in good condition, donate or sell it.)
*Deal with each individual pile (get rid of the Toss pile, give away all media in the Donate pile, etc.)
*Decide on a system of organization for all media left in the Keep category. Some possible ideas include organizing by artist, organizing alphabetically, or organizing by genre.

*All to-do lists and cleaning suggestions are taken from and/or inspired by Jennifer Ford Berry’s book Organize Now. (This is NOT a sponsored project–I just adore the book! I highly recommend buying a copy for yourself. It literally is what inspired this whole project and is worth the money. Check it out here.)

I’ve been meaning for literally years to go through my stacks of movies and music and get rid of a bunch of it.

Guess that day has finally come.

Do you have an organizational system in place for your media? Any crazy alphabetizers out there?


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