Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

Organizing paperwork

Paper tends to mess a place up. We had our paperwork spread out in different locations around our house and decided to do something about it a few years ago. We have a very small house. It’s only 82 square meters plus basement (882 square feet somebody translated it to) so there’s no room for a home office in a room of it’s own.

We built a unit smack in the hallway. It’s basically the first thing you see when you enter our house so I knew it had to be pretty or I couldn’t live with it.

I posted the three first photos below on Flickr and judging by the number of faves they got our little unit is a success :).

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This was the first version to hit Flick’r in December and so far it’s my most faved photo there with a whopping 145 faves!

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The pink version was only a very brief one. We’re not pink people. A lot of you like it tough, It was faved 68 times.

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This is basically how it looks now, with a few minor changes. 93 Flickr faves and I guess our fave too. On the desk is where I keep the laptop and it’s where I’m writing this.

Here are some close up’s so you can see what’s inside and what goes where.

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I divided one of the cubbies into four slots. We have one each and there’s one for bills to be paid. When I get mail I immediately sort it. Throw all junk mail in a trash can (which you can see in the pink photo) which I empty into a recycling bin evey week. I then put the bills in the bill slot and and any magazines or catalogs in a reading pile by the sofa in the livingroom. All other paper bits or mail laying about go in our individual slots.   

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Again almost all white storage. To me it just looks the best and doesn’t draw attention to itself in other ways than looking neat and tidy.

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I got these two divider thingys at a fleamarket and they are both a nice aqua color and extremly useful. As you can see they’re holding and hiding a multitude of not so pretty office supplies.

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I wasn’t sure I’d show you these… As bloggers were starting to blog my photos and as I was getting requests for house tours I printed them out… There are now two files… I feel a little embarrassed  but it’s a good ego boost if I ever doubt myself.

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I have three boxes for hanging files. I use  one for user manuals and warranties. There’s one file for all things related to our bikes, one for cameras, one for the TVs, one for kitchen appliances and so on.

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The other two are for bills, taxrelated thing, insurance papers etc There’s one file on the cats, their vet bills, shots and insurances. One regarding the boat, one with my air mile statements and one each for Martin and me with pay slips. Basically anything we want easily found has a hanging file.

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Inside of the hanging files I divide the papers into plastic files. For example each insurance company has a file within the "insurances" hanging file.

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These files are for personal papers like certificates, grade reports, documents etc. There’s also one for papers related to the house and one with the camera manual which I want easily accessible as I’m still learning.

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At the bottom of the unit I have some magazine files where I keep large envelopes, plactic files, colored papers, stationary and  local maps.

It takes a little effort to get all the papers organized in the first place but once you’ve done it it feels sooooooooo good and works really well.

You can do it too!! 

 

23 Comments

  • Kristie says:

    I’m in utter awe. Thanks for the photos and information. I’ve never seen orgnization so pretty before.

  • Lindzi says:

    Jag som inte skulle sitta vid datorn… kan inte slita mig från detta. Jag blir sjuuuk när jag ser sån ordning. Du är fantastisk. Och du skriver ju så underbart kåserande. Jag måste slänga ut mina pärmar och skaffa dokumenthängare. Jag såg Martha hos Oprah först och älskade hennes vita rena stil. Nu känner jag att det kommer tillbaka!

  • molly says:

    How do you get other members of the house to participate? I set org. stuff up only to find my husband ignoring it and my son dumping everything out (he is 16 months old so I cut him slack..for now).

  • Petra says:

    Du är min hjälte och största idol numera. Jag lovar härmed att organisera våra papper tillbaka till den ordningen de en gång var. Vi har också ett relativt litet hus och jag har skapat en enhet i vår inre hall med ett köksskåp och en malmbyrå – det finns ingen tid att förslösa, nu SKA det bli ordning, tusen tack för den fantastiska inspirationen, jag är djupt imponerad.
    Petra

  • sunny says:

    thank you for sharing with us how your paperwork is organized! It all makes sense. I will be putting my papers in order this weekend and will keep your ideas in mind!

  • moline says:

    I’ll start immediately! Wish I could come over to see the things in reality! This is such a boost for my next week!

  • Men va roligt att hitta din blogg! Har kikat på dina vackra bilder på Flickr tidigare men visste inte att du även “bloggade”. Va kul! Kram Karin

  • Benita says:

    Thank you all so much! I’m constantly overwhelmed at your comments…
    Molly, Martin and I are total opposites… I’m super organized and he couldn’t care less. He does appreciate an organized home though but doesn’t contribute much in that respect… Wille who’s 14 is (thankfully)pretty organized. Not to my standards, but that’s probably a good thing :). I do realise I’m overdoing it!

  • Maria says:

    Avundsvärd ordning!! Och snyggt med enhetlig färg!!

  • Would you want to stop by my place!?!

  • Kristy says:

    Such a great idea.I should have a similar system myself but the rebel in me won’t allow it! When I grow up them maybe I will.

  • kat says:

    Benita this is inspirational! I am so bad when it comes to organizing paperwork – and I never throw away my magazines, the pile just grows and grows… I need to learn how to edit!

  • christy says:

    Can you tell me how you did your windows?

  • Benita says:

    Christy, do you mean the curtain? It’s just a piece of hemmed linen fabric with a channel at the top with a stretchy curtain wire running through and two hooks screwed into the frame at either end. Super simple!

  • i am absolutely in LOVE with your desk and shelving unit! how did you stumble across it? because im a college student, and i want one just like it for my dorm, i can tell it would be great for all its multiple purposes and it looks amazing too!
    thank you!

  • Benita says:

    Jordan, we built the unit out of MDF to fit the space. I looked around the internet though and I like Pottery Barn’s Bedford series
    http://www.potterybarn.com/products/p346/index.cfm?pkey=ff034
    and at Target there’s this one where you might be able to adapt one of the shelves into a deeper work space for a laptop.
    http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/ref=sc_pgc_r_12_0_3665671/601-4396856-6692131?ie=UTF8&frombrowse=1&asin=B000ES5VWK

  • Mariah says:

    You have NO IDEA how GRATEFUL I am that you posted this!!! I am in extremely desperate need of the info you’ve provided! I have piles and piles and piles of papers, manuals, awards etc. and if I needed to find anything there’s a very small chance I’d be able to! I am going to take your advice and see if I can get it all organized b/c I truly believe you when you say that it feels soooooooooo good!!!
    You have inspired me so much! I’ll be sure to post about it all on my new little blog! 😉 Thank you a million times over! 😀
    Warmly, Mariah

  • katie says:

    about the curtain..i know this was a LONG time ago: how do you roll it UP then? or in the pics when it looks like it’s bunched up @ the top do you just have to manually do that when you want it? aren’t i pathetic? might be a dumb question… but i’m thinking of using the idea in my girls’ room so…
    THANKS! =)

  • katie says:

    benita: another WAY-AFTER-THE-FACT question:
    where do you find white mag files? ikea? LOVE your storage. i now find myself WALKING AWAY (broken addiction) when i don’t totally love something or if it’s a cheesy color instead of white. i liked & agreed w/ your reasoning that white storage doesn’t draw your eye to it…except to marvel at how clean and pristine everything looks! around here, the office supply stores, everything is cardboard white (which would be fine, i suppose, just not AS white as i’d like, more greyish) or plastic black…and ea. piece costs a sm.fortune. =( so i’m looking to make an ikea trip one day. or order. i have the feeling i’d way overspend if i walk in that store! =) thanks, benita, for inspiring us!

  • Some of mine are from IKEA and some from a local DIY store. Here’s a link to some nice one’s from IKEA http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30159507. They are in the Kassett series which also includes a lot of the white storage boxes I use and love 🙂

  • I don’t roll it up on a daily basis. I just had to do a little thingy (folding it over itself) at the top to allow for the star to hang at a good height. Normally it just hangs there. We have a big tree just outside so people can’t really see in.

  • jadeee_d says:

    dear god. you are the most organised person EVER. this is amazing. i’m having so much fun reading through your blog, it’s wonderful!

  • I just found your blog. I had to start with your office posts since that is what I am working on for the last couple weeks on my blog too.
    Love your photography!…. going to go do some more looking.
    Thanks!