Forms. Paper. Bills. More paper. Did I mention paper? I hate them all. I’m knee deep in all the paperwork that goes into the smooth running of a household, and I just got rid of two large garbage bags worth of it. Most of that was Oliver’s art. The boy would like to hang on to every scrap of paper that ever saw a crayon.

Where does it end?

Eleanor is moving to Oliver’s school so we have all the medical forms to submit. I’ll get them filled out tomorrow when I finally take her in for the dreaded four year check-up, complete with four, count them, four shots. I’m three months late, mostly because at least two classmates became seriously ill following this batch of shots. Also? I’m a wuss and try to make Mr C deal with the appointments we know will include shots. I’m batting about .350 on this. Oliver, mercifully, has no medical forms due this year. Yee-haw!

Though I think I did everything I was supposed to with the on-line unemployment forms, it’s been six weeks and I haven’t seen a dime. I called the service center today and got a busy signal for my first 22 attempts. When I finally got through and navigated the menu system I was told my wait would be “less than one hour and forty minutes.” Yee-haw? I gave up after 20 minutes. Cash will show up at some point, I suppose, or I missed a step and they will alert me. Somehow. According to their on-line systems, all is well. I remain unconvinced.

Bills. They need paying. For a while I was really good at putting them in my automagic bill paying system through the bank the day they arrived in the mail. Then I got lazy, and the piles started sprouting all over the house. After a major effort this week, I think I have caught up. Fingers crossed.

I have a big box of stuff that needs to be sent back to various places, or sent to friends. That’s my next nut to crack. When that’s done I should be able to locate the floor on my half of the office, just in time to tackle the kids’ school memory albums. I have vowed Oliver will not start first grade without my having documented Pre-K and Kindergarten in his album. This blog as my witness….

Seriously, I should be getting better at this stuff, not worse.

How do you keep up with the paper and other crap that comes in the door? HALP!

  • AmyJo Sanders

    I know this problem well. :) I’ve developed a couple habits to tame the paper (although no one would say I’m as Virgo on this as I’d really like to be) but one thing that has REALLY helped: I make it a habit to always open my mail after retrieving it. Every envelope, extra stuffing goes directly into the trash, and then I place the bills — just the bill — to be paid in a pile. It’s amazing how small that pile is when all the extras are removed. Less intimidating. 

    Every pay day, I grab that stack and pay every bill I’ve got — no delaying or putting off because *technically* the bill isn’t due ’til next week. I’ve learned that I sleep better if I tackle the chore and conquer it all at once instead of leaving it in pieces to loom over me. Also, even though it can be a shock to get paid and then suddenly pay it all out — I can only play with what’s left over, no opening to juggle a bill so that I can get that extra dinner out. But the big thing is that it helps me control the anxiety of that constant to-do list and remembering due dates, etc. – when everything’s paid at once, there’s nothing to worry about for four more weeks, no stack of paper taunting me day after day.

    Once paid, the bill goes into another stack to be filed away, with scribbled notes of payment, account changes, etc., that I may have to reference later. (I’ve found it’s much easier for me to use the bill to make the notes on directly b/c it already has the account information and due dates, and finding the bill in a stack is much easier than notebook paper or post its — earlier methods I tried) … That last step, the filing away, doesn’t get done as often as I’d like — but b/c its still in its own pile, I can choose to ignore it for as long as I want without worrying there is something in it I might need to deal with soon. Also, this system has kept me from having to go through a gazillion old bills every month to find the ones I have to pay. 

  • red_pen_mama

    I suck at paperwork. SUCK. So this is a more “feel your pain” kind of comment than “here’s some advice”. Sorry. I thought I was getting it under control while I was on maternity leave. And then I went back to work. My dining room table is BURIED.