8 Tips For Managing Paper Clutter

Paperwork can be a nightmare! Monthly bills and account statements, junk mail, insurance, warranties, receipts, your kids’ school papers, and so much more! It is very easy to become overwhelmed by all your papers and end up stuffing them in a drawer or letting them overwhelm counter space, thinking you will deal with them later. Unfortunately, we often don’t deal with it later as we intend to and we end up having an overwhelming pile of documents to sort through. Luckily, there are some easy tricks so that you can avoid having an overwhelming pile of papers laying around. Check out the following tips to help keep your papers organized! 

Go paperless – Switching to paperless options can save you a ton of time sorting through documents. Most banks, credit card companies, and most larger companies have the option to go with online statements. Lots of schools have the option to communicate online as well so that you don’t receive paper copies. 

Personalized Mail Organizer – There are tons of DIY projects on Pinterest that allow you to make a mail organizer that fits in your space and accent your decor beautifully. If you don’t have the time or the ability to make a DIY organizer, there are some options on Amazon that will work well too. Just make sure it has customizable labels so that it fits exactly what you need. You can customize it however you want with the labels; coupons, statements, mail that needs to be mailed, etc.

Receipt Organizer – This is only for tax-deductible receipts. Do not hold onto receipts that you don’t need! Hang onto tax-deductible receipts and receipts that you may need for returns or warranty purposes; you will have to use your own judgement for this. You can buy small accordion-style folders that work perfectly for receipts. They have labels on top which allows you to keep your receipts organized however works best for you.

Tabbed Files Organization – You may think you don’t have enough papers to require a filing cabinet, but I would strongly suggest reconsidering. It’s amazing how fast we acquire a ton of documents; Bill of sales, finance papers, insurance, manuals, etc. It can become overwhelming fast and if your papers aren’t organized, the process of finding a document can seem impossible. With tabbed files you know exactly where to look to find what you need. Save yourself time and less chance of losing important documents by using this system. 

Color-Coded Tab System – An alternative to the original Tabbed Files Organization idea is to do a colour-coded system. Sometimes looking through the names of tons of files can be exhausting and narrowing it down by colour is helpful!

School Papers Storage System – If you have kids in school then you may know the large variety of papers that can be sent home on a regular basis. Some of it can be read and placed in the recycling shortly after, but there are many papers that you may want to hold onto like report cards, important documents, milestones, etc. Create a bin for exactly this. Labelled from Kindergarten-Grade 12 with your child’s name. Hang onto some of that art, I have heard far too many people regretting throwing it all out and having nothing from their children’s childhood because they defined it as clutter at the time. I’m not saying keep everything, but definitely keep something to look back at.

Make an Essentials Binder – Hopefully, you will never have to use this binder, however, if you do, you will be glad you created it. In your essentials binder, you will include any paperwork that you would want to be able to quickly grab and take with you in case of an emergency.  

Binder System: Some people may prefer to use binders as a way of sorting their papers. This system works just as well as any other! Instead of labelling the file folder, you will label the binder and then sort them with the label facing up so you can easily find any documents you are looking for. 

Hopefully, these tips will help you get your paper clutter under control! For any documents that you need to store, make sure you give us a call at Crate It Storage! I’d love to hear from you guys, what are your go-to paper organization tips? Leave it in the comments!

Getting Your Home Ready For Fall

It would be wonderful if getting your home ready for fall were as simple as raking some leaves and hanging a wreath. Unfortunately, as a homeowner, getting your home ready for fall does require some other preparations should be done to prepare for a new season. Follow along in this month’s blog for quick tips on other things you should address inside and outside of the house before the snow flies.

Check Windows and Doors

Before winter hits make sure to check for any drafts. Make sure that you don’t have any holes or broken wood around your doors or windows. If you do notice a draft or come across some wood that needs to be replaced, you should make sure to fix it before you have to turn the thermostat on. You may just need to reseal the weather stripping around the door if it’s a small draft. Check all the windows and sliding doors as well. Leaky windows can lead to chilly drafts and elevated utility bills in the cold winter months. There are lots of different options for sealing the windows, such as specialized foam tape or door sweeps. It is important not to forget the garage when you are checking doors as well.

Clean Your Windows and Screens

If you plan it appropriately, you will be able to check the window seals when you are cleaning your windows. Having dirty windows blocks the sun’s rays and hurts the energy efficiency of your home. If you want to clean your screens, now is a good time to do it while you’re already washing the windows and while the weather is still warm.

Clean Your Gutters

One of the first things on your end-of-summer list should be to clean your rain gutters. Rain gutters can get filled with dirt, leaves, sticks and other debris that may have piled up over the season. You want to make sure you keep your gutters clean so that they don’t get clogged. Clogged gutters can’t let rainwater flow where it is supposed to go and so it runs over the edge and could potentially run over the side and erode the siding or seep into the windows.

Store Your Flower Pots

As your potted annuals come to the end of their season, throw the plant and dirt in your compost and clean out your pots for winter storage so that they will be ready for the next season.

Clean Outdoor Surfaces

Give your walkway, driveway, sidewalks and patio area a good sweep to get rid of all the dirt and debris. Then spray the surfaces down with your pressure washer and some soap, and you can make your outdoor surfaces sparkle again.

Wipe Down Your Outdoor Furniture

Over the course of the summer, your outdoor furniture can get quite dirty from rain, dust and general use. Hopefully, you will be able to use it for a while longer, but before you pack it up for the winter, make sure to scrub it with some warm soapy water and a cloth to get it clean.

Clean Your Outdoor Furniture Cushions

Don’t forget to give your cushions a wash before you store them for the winter. Mix some dish detergent, Borax, and warm water in a bucket and scrub with a hard bristle brush. Then rinse the cushions and allow them to dry in the sun.

Clean Your Grill

After months of summer BBQs, your grill can end up pretty dirty and in need of a good clean. Before you store your grill for the winter, give it a good scrub so that you don’t attract any unwanted critters while it’s out of use.

Clean and Organize Your Garage

If at the beginning of every season you take a little bit of time to clean up and organize your garage, then it becomes a small task that prepares you for all the activities in the coming season.

Service Summer Equipment

Before storing spring and summer equipment, clean and service it or take it to a small engine repair shop for maintenance. If you choose to do it yourself, drain and change engine oil and safely dispose of the old oil. Unused fuel left in gas tanks over the winter can go stale and even damage the equipment. Before storing equipment, add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, then run the equipment to distribute it. Turn the engine off, allow the machine to cool, then restart and run until the gas tank is empty. Make sure that you have made space to store all summer equipment so that you aren’t tripping over it all weekend.

Prepare Winter Equipment

If you plan on using a snow blower this winter, make sure to do the appropriate maintenance and have it ready to go before the snow flies. Make sure you have salt on hand and a snow shovel if needed as well.

Summer Vehicles Storage

If you are a motorcyclist or an ATV enthusiast parking your machines for the winter, you should make sure you have a space ready to store them, and if you have the option to cover them for the winter, I would suggest doing that.

Prepare your Mudroom

As summer comes to an end and we need to trade flip flops and shorts for winter boots and coats, it is important to remember that you will need a space for these boots and coats so that they don’t end up taking over your mudroom. Make sure you’re prepared for this season change.

Clean Heat Registers and Vents

You can choose to do this yourself or hire a professional to clean them out, which I recommend if it has been a while since they have been cleaned. If you want to clean your vents yourself, take your vacuum and vacuum over each heat register to clear out any dirt, dust or debris that has settled in over the summer months. Keeping your vents clean helps your furnace run more efficiently.

Inspect Your Furnace

This one doesn’t generally take long, but it should be something you do on a yearly basis. Do a basic check of your furnace and if anything looks abnormal to you, you should call in a professional to take a look. Save yourself the added cost and be proactive. Now would be a good time to put in a new filter too if you haven’t recently. Replacing your furnace’s filter is a key to keeping your system running smoothly. Make sure you know what type of filter you need before buying a new one, as there are lots of different options available.

Clean Your Humidifiers

If you actively use a humidifier, especially during the dry winter months, you should make sure to clean it periodically. Clean the nozzles and change the water filter.

I hope you can use these tips to have your home ready for fall and winter. I’d like to hear from you; What are some things that you make sure to do to prepare for fall? Leave it in the comments!

8 Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Holiday Season

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The holidays might have you happily buried in gifts and decorations, but it might also leave you with a mess. As the end of the year falls upon you, here’s how you can prepare your home for the last couple of months.