Project Simplify: Piles

This week’s theme is piles, and I have so many it’s just not even funny. Most of them didn’t take that long to tackle once I put my mind to it. It’s not hard or time-consuming, but it’s a task that is easy to procrastinate. These aren’t even all my piles, but these are the ones I was able to address Friday, Saturday, and Monday.

Before & After: Hearth Room Bookshelf

The location of this bookshelf makes it a prime dumping ground, despite the little free space it provides. It’s been one big pile for over a month, and it felt good to get papers tossed and books reshelved to their right homes.

Before & After: Boys’ Desk

My husband built this desk last year, and it’s a great place to send the boys to work when the main dining room table proves too distracting. It has great storage areas, too, but since they are used primarily by children, they mostly just comprise one big pile.

Lately the kids’ desk piles have completely taken over and made the area practically unusable as a desk. It’s nice to have that space back now.

Before & After: My Inbox

Yes, I’ve written a series about GTD for Homemakers & Homeschoolers and I’ve written a book on setting up a digital planning/filing/managing system. Still, I have paper overflowing my inbox.

I sat down and made myself process my paper stacks into my task list or Evernote notes, and I feel much better now without those thoughts and projects and school year plans floating around on random papers. It’s time to distill my thoughts and ideas and wishful thinking into a concrete plan. Because we school year round, our next school year begins in July after we take all of June off. That’s not all that far away!

So, the inbox isn’t totally empty, but it’s much, much closer.

Before & After: Kids’ Schoolwork

Turns out I forgot to take a before picture. Trust me, it was an overflowing mess.

I sorted school papers one night when I had insomnia a few weeks before the baby was born, so it’s been almost 6 months since I’ve gone through the papers (drawings, written narrations, drawings, copywork, drawings, and more drawings) the kids have constantly generate. The each have an inbox for their schoolwork where it goes after they show it to me (in the case of free-time drawings they want to keep) or we correct it (in the case of written narrations). Most math & handwriting & Latin work gets dumped straight into the garbage the same day we complete it, but I try to hold back the occasional sample of work.

When the year is over — in 4 weeks, yay! — I’ll scan in each child’s work for the year and then shred it all (or most of it, anyway). I’ll save it in Evernote and on Dropbox, so we have digital records, but not shelves of boxes or binders of papers no one will really ever want to look at anyway. I am keeping back the one or two best drawings and pieces of writing from each year for each student into one binder, so we can see a progression on paper.

Stay tuned this week for posts about my planning for our next school year!