Yearly Organization: Weekly File System


Over Christmas break I found a super cool way of keeping organized. It is not much different how I organize my homeschool supplies. So it was easy to figure out and get organized. I love, love, love to organize. I actually like organizing more than I like staying organized. That’s harder I think. :)


I found this idea originally from Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight, and then a few other places on Pinterest called the File Crate System. I’ve taken the last couple of months to make a list of what might serve me well to keep in this crate and put it into play in my own home to see if it is even helpful and if I keep up with it.

It is working! So I thought I would share...

My 3 Organizational Tools

I use three tools to keep organized around this crazy house.

1. My Calendar: I used to keep an actual paper calendar book (daytimer) with me for scheduling but for Christmas my hubby got me a Galaxy Tab2 7.0 (which is a small Android tablet, like the iPad Mini.) I have started keeping a calendar on that thing and so far it is working. (I do miss my good old fashioned pen and paper, though. At any moment I could go back!)

2. My Weekly File System: This helps me keep track of all those papers that pile up on my desk that I need to keep, sometimes forget and end up throwning out after it expires. It helps me with planning weeks and months in advance. And I can put kids projects into the past weeks folders that I want to use in their portfolios at the end of the year. Or cards I want to keep and sigh about when I empty it at the end of the year. (It works both ways.)

3. My Clipboard: This is what I use to keep the weekly checklists, shopping list, and grading charts all together when I take them out of the file box. (Some people use binders, but that is way too bulky for me.)


How to Put Together a Weekly File System

Need:


  1. 52 File Folders (Notice that they usually come in packages of 50, so make sure to buy 2 extra.)
  2. Hanging File Folders (I put 2 months worth of folders in one hanging file for now. It will probably change as I add more items and the folders get bulkier.)
  3. File Box/Crate/Drawer (I am using a smaller File Box that slips easily onto a shelf.)

Set up is as simple as labeling the folders. I label them by week number (March Week 3, March Week 4, April Week 1, April Week 2) using my label maker. You can use a pen or marker. You can even use specific dates for the weeks, but I wanted to reuse mine every year.

The contents

I use this system to make my life simpler, not more complicated. So I came up with a list of things that could be helpful to put in each folder. Here is a brief list I’d love to share with you.

  • Weekly To Do List (Free Printable)
  • Birthday cards to send (inserted into the week before, for timely mailing.)
  • Birthday party planner & gift ideas (Free Printable)
  • Invitations, Thank you notes, etc
  • Print outs of Events we may want to attend (Rodeo, fair, etc.) And tickets.
  • Weekly Menu and Shopping List
  • Grain Coop Ordering Schedule
  • Crafts I want to make (printed directions)
  • Homeschooling Stuff:
    • Weekly Grading Sheets
    • Field Trip ideas and plans
    • Stash completed projects to add to their portfolios at the end of the year
    • Fun printables for monthly holidays (Easter Lapbook, Groundhog Day coloring pages, 100th day of school printouts, etc.)
    • Weekly Homeschool Lesson Planning Checklist
    • Book Club (list of books for each month)
  • Vacation Planning: Reminder to book campsite, Reservation confirmations, Packing List, Camping Menu Plan
  • Sports and Activities: Registration forms, schedules, Spring/Summer Camp info
  • Gardening:
    • When to plant, what to plant, when to harvest
    • When to trim crepe myrtle, or transplant bulbs, etc
  • Holiday Planning:
    • Gift planning, holiday menu, travel plans, special events, holiday parties, etc. (I haven’t put much thought into this yet, but when that time of year comes around, I’m sure I’ll have more ideas.)
  • Cleaning Checklists: Spring cleaning checklist, Fall cleaning checklist

  
So you get the idea, anything can go into these folders. If you are the financial manager of your home, it can be used to keep track of the bills too. (I’m not, so luckily I get to keep it clean of yucky bills!)

How it Functions in Real Life

On Sunday evening (in preparing for the upcoming week) I pull out the next week’s folder. For this week I have my To Do List, Grading Chart, Weekly Homeschool Planning Checklist, and a list of books for the kid's Book Club. I put the Book Club list in there 4 weeks before the event so that I have time to put the book on hold, wait for it to arrive, pick it up and have time left to read it with them.

All these pages I slip it onto my handy-dandy clipboard. I take last week’s Grading chart and stick it back into last week’s folder so that at the end of the 9 week marking period, I can easily pull out all the weeks of grades and input them into an Excel Spreadsheet. (Yes, I am that particular about grades.)

I have all my reminders of things I need to do, things that are due, and cards I need to send. I take it to the grocery store with me with my pre-made shopping list. I take it to run errands. Because I love checking off the things I finish. Woohoo!

It just gives me that little bit of brain space back to think about other things. It has kept my desk from getting messy with those pesky PILES! (I hate piles.) Instead of looking and looking for that lost sign-up form, I know right where it is. I love when things have a place. This... is their place.