Here is where I finally tackle #28 on my list.
This project has been in need of attention fooorrreeevvveeerrrrrrrr.
For the longest time as I accumulated momento's, souvenirs, photos, and other items of meaning I tossed them into a giant Rubbermaid tub. When that tub filled up I put a lid on it and started stacking all the new papers on top of it. It was pretty unsightly. A few years back I decided that I needed to get a handle on the mess so I went to the Container Store and bought some stackable file totes, one for each child and one for the family. Love them.
But they sat, empty, in a corner of my scrapbook room for roughly 2 years. Yeah . . .
Then one night, sometime in the months prior to our move, I decided at the very least I should sort the contents of the tub into each family member's individual file tote. So I did.
Then we moved. And with fore-thought I slapped some orange duct tape on top of those file totes (see post HERE) so I could deal with this mess during all my free time in the apartment. Well, with just 2 weeks left before moving out of the apartment I decided enough was enough -- it was time to organize those babies!
This is the before . . .
With the help of Live with Kelly & Michael and The Price is Right over the course of 3 days, this is the after
It may still look like a mess, but it's an organized mess!
Here was my process.
1. Take everything out.
2. Add hanging files. Label them with each grade in school and the year (i.e. First Grade 2012-2013) all the way to 12th grade. I also included a hanging file for "0 - 3".
3. Quickly sort through the papers & photos and stuff into the appropriate hanging folders. Don't stop and read/reminisce with things, don't think about it, just sort and stuff.
4. Then . . . remove the contents of each hanging folder, one year at a time. Sort into piles that make sense -- school, activities, sports, drawings, birthday, portraits, etc. As I sorted I also took the time to weed out things that I didn't care about and things that were repetitive (how many math tests from 2nd grade do I really need to keep?).
5. Label file folders for these groups and put everything back into the hanging file for the appropriate year. I could have gone crazy with my file folder labeling, but I chose to keep it pretty simple. Each year has a file folder for school (with the teacher's name and school name), one folder for miscellaneous, and maybe another folder for an event or hobby (baptism, Anna's art, Conner's books). The boys also have a separate hanging file for Cub Scouts -- everything from Cub Scouts will go in one file, rather than spreading it out across the years.
6. Pat myself on the back.
With the amount of stuff that I keep it looks like one file tote will fit everything up through 8th grade. Then another for high school. Each of the kids also have a Rubbermaid tote for the "stuff" - baby blankets, blessing clothes, favorite halloween costume, etc. Not too bad, I think.
The family file tote includes folders for both Scott and I, childhood folders (sometimes our parents find random things and send them to us and we need a place to put it), vacations, Christmas, family portraits, and extended family (for all those family & school photos, wedding announcements, etc.).
I'm so excited that I finally did this! Now, as I find and gather the things that are important and memorable to us I know exactly where to put it. And, more importantly, where I can find it later!
#28 -- Sort & organize the giant bin of family memorabilia into separate totes for each family member