Wondering if getting organized is worth your time? Here are a few fun statistics to help you decide:
- Getting rid of clutter eliminates 40 per cent of housework in an average home.
- 23% of adults say they pay bills late (and thus incur fees) because they lose them.
- Eighty per cent of the clutter in homes is a result of disorganization, not lack of space.
(Survey results from Ikea and the National Association of Professional Organizers)
PLUS, as the parent of a child with a disability, you will feel very powerful when you can put your hands on critical information and documents when you need them! If you have a child with a disability the paperless society is still a long way off, you will accumulate paper, paper and more paper. Attending a meeting? You might be asked to bring a document that you last saw on your kitchen table 3 months ago. Where is it now?
First, pick an organization system you are comfortable with. If you don’t like punching holes in paper don’t use a binder system just because your friend does it that way.
Try experimenting with ideas you find on-line or that other parents have used and see what works for you. At home I use a simple system of a few active files which I keep handy in an open file holder. Once or twice a year I file older items but I always keep current documents like IEP’s or assessments on hand. Get a filing cabinet or a storage box and use it for old documents that you may need again but be ruthless and THROW OUT outdated information.
Some people have been successful with accordian-style paper holders. You can buy these with many or only a few sections, it depends on your family’s needs.
Try Googling "Organization systems", "Get organized now" or "personal organization". There must be a million ways to get organized and I think they are all on the internet! Look for good hints and tips, you don’t need to spend money for a fancy system.
A few places to start:
Binder system (make your own):
Find lots of examples and links to sites for templates:
Vermont Family Network Care Notebook: "Parents can purchase the
necessary components of a Care Notebook themselves at any office supply store", and this site includes downloadable templates.
Start the school year out right and get organized early.