Weighted down with tons of paper
The company I work for decided to do a major 6S type cleaning this past month in preparation to achieve Silver Certification for an OSHA VPP program. My bay ended up shredding more than 11,000 pounds of paper. This completely filled a CINTAs shreddingtruck (holds 10,000 pounds) and we had to call for a second one. Scary part is that my area is only one bay out of many. I can just imagine the tons of other documents lying around still needing to be shredded.
This was a major overhaul of our filing system and raised a bunch of questions on what papers needed to be saved and for how long. We ended up having to call the legal department on a few items.
With me being the overachiever that I am and with 2012 being my Year of Physical and Spiritual Growth, I decided I was going to tackle my home filing system in much the same way.
6S at home
Just like at the office, the big question was “what do I save and what do I toss?”
Last month I blogged about Making Organization an Olympic Sport and referenced an awesome book called Organize Now – A Week-by-week Guide to Simplifying Your Space and Your Life by Jennifer Ford Berry. Not knowing how best to get started with this overwhelming task, I grabbed the book. Jennifer Ford Berry provides a step by step guide on how best to tackle this situation. Just to give you an idea of the wealth of information, I’ll reference a small section from page 52.
“Here’s a list to help you decide what financial items to keep or shred:
ATM Receipts… Put with taxes if necessary; otherwise toss
College Savings statements… Keep the most recent
Credit card receipts…make sure they are correct, record expenses and only keep the most current
Insurance policies and bills…Only keep the most current
Medical bills…Keep for three years
Mortgage records…Keep for as long as you own the property
Mutual fund statements…Only keep the annual reports
Selling records of previously owned property… Save and file”
This information was exactly what I’d been searching for. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve worked my way through my filing cabinets and am now wading through the last three years’ worth of documents that I’ve saved.
What to keep
One example of a great use for this information is with the records hubby’s had me keep of the properties we’ve remodeled, built and sold. I’ve wanted to shred them for years but am now glad that I did not. I had no idea these were documents we really needed to keep for the long haul.
This is a very small part of the gems filling this book. If you haven’t already grabbed a copy, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Step by step
Switching thought processes, I also wanted to share information on an amazing fitness tracker I found. My FIL sent hubby this cool little gadget called a FitBit. Not only did hubby get one, but so did his mom and his two sisters. After only two weeks, hubby has lost four pounds and is on track to meet his weight loss goal by September.
After watching them have all the fun, I broke down and bought my own. Now, I’ll admit right up front that it isn’t cheap. We paid $105 at Best Buy. But after studying the options available with the on-line program, I knew this little black pedometer was going to make tracking my fitness and weight loss goals much easier than with what I’ve been doing this past year.
Not only does it keep track of my steps, but it monitors the hills and stairs I walk, keeps track of my calorie intake (you do have to input the food you eat, but I was doing that with the fitness app I was already using), correlates the number of calories burned compared to those taken in, and even monitors my sleeping patterns. A bonus with the FitBit is that you get to friend other people using the same program, cheer them on and use their encouragement to keep you moving.
Growing a garden
One of the coolest things has been working to receive the virtual awards for meeting my 10,000 steps, watching the leaves grow on my FitBit flower and trying to negotiate with a computer on how many more calories I can finagle in order to eat that evening snack.
As silly as it sounds, it’s been a lot fun.
Now that I’ve worked my way through my filing system and found a great way to hold myself accountable to the exercise program I committed to, I’ve started to tackle a second pass through the extra stuff we weren’t able to part with during last year’s decluttering process. Stop back Thursday, May 3rd to see how well that went over with hubby and The Kid.
Care to share some of your filing tips and tricks?
Do you keep a boat load of papers or are you a tosser?
Do you have any ideas on making our fitness goals easier to keep up with?
I’d love to hear them and as a way to encourage you to share, I’ll give away a $5 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter.
Picture from http://www.sxc.hu/