Thursday, February 3, 2011

drowning in papers

So it's that time of year - tax time.  ugh.  My stomach literally clenches at the thought.  You would think I would jump up and down for joy - we usually get a sizable return (which I know is bad, it means the gov is earning on our money and we're not but oh well).  BUT I am TERRIBLE with paperwork.  By terrible I mean I literally have shopping bags full of receipts, paid bill statements, and most of all - insurance claims/bills.  It is the bane of my existence.   No, not that bad...but it's not pretty that's for sure.

So once a year I dump the bags on the table and sort out what to keep, shred, file, and put in the taxes folder.  Our accountant last year told Kevin, "Your wife is great, she's always so organized for me!  Tell her she makes my job easier, thank you!"  Um, WHAT?!  If he only knew the hours and hours I spend going through my mess that I have created over the year.

After tax time I resolve to not let that happen again, and for one month I file diligently.  mmm - not that long.  Maybe 2 weeks.  Then I start my pile-up again, one mortgage statement and Kohl's bill at a time.  One of the problems is I never know what to throw away.  I wonder if we'd need it - which is really ridiculous now that there are ways online to track years worth of statements.  But I like the paper.  It makes me feel safe if I had something to prove.

I have a similar if not worse problem with the girls art work.  Oh, my girls LOVE themselves a good art project.  Several times a day.  Not to mention what they cart home with them that their teachers dump in their bookbags.  When they were younger I would write on the back what they said it was ("Mommy and Daddy swinging me in the water" for instance was a yellow blob in a circle of blue) and the date.  They are 7 and 5 and so now I have BINS and BASKETS of these art projects.  At this rate, by the time they move on from elementary school the 4 of us will be living in a shed in the backyard and their art projects will have free reign over the house.

Before you picture us on the Lifetime show Hoarders, I have gotten creative about where I stow these bins and baskets.  I have a 2 car garage and full size attic, if that's an indication.  Plus their closets, drawers, my desk.  Behind their dressers and desks.  Behind my dresser.

I hope Kevin is not reading this post, I have the feeling I would come home one day to a bonfire in the backyard.

I have tried to stop.  I have tried taking pictures of said art projects.  I do throw some things away - I really do.  When the girls are at school, because Bailey has fallen apart after seeing one of her "creations" in the recyclables.  So much though, I have kept.  What if someday I want to touch it, trace the lines where their little hands colored?  You see, my REAL problem is that I am mourning them leaving the house YEARS before they even leave.

(you are thinking right now, I had no idea Brynn was this twisted in real life).

I don't know what my "REAL" problem is about keeping all our financial paperwork other than I am a TERRIBLE bookkeeper and TERRIBLY disorganized.

When I grow up, I'll be better.


  1. I have to admit I just had to let go of a bailey creation that she gave to Rich at the Silver Diner! We held onto it for two weeks and I imagined your sad face as I threw it and COle's picture from that night out Just so you know our house looks like hoarders too and I we go through the same this at tax time!!

  2. Twelve followers, apparently I was an anonymous follower. I was gonna suggest filing as you got them, you covered that. I/we also have the paper hoarding problem..ThHanks for sharing, I really enjoy your musings..

  3. Thanks guys!! Oh Lindsey I will not tell Bailey, show holds a grudge. :)

  4. LOL! I feel you! We made a rule for every creation that gets hung THEY have to decide which one comes down and goes to the recycle - every once in a while one project will make it up the stairs to the attic into the forever box with their outfits they wore home from the hospital and other favorites I can't part with :)

  5. Two words for you: Peter Walsh. He is an organizational expert. You can watch his show on Oprah's network now, called "Enough Already." He used to be on a cleaning show that I loved. But he has really helped me to reform my habits. And it doesn't hurt that whenever she comes to visit, my mother cleans out at least 2 closets or that whenever I leave out any important paperwork, my children destroy it. If it doesn't go into the filing cabinet immediately, it's gone forever.
    love you, Sarah

  6. I LOVE Peter washes new show!!!! I just spent ALL day yesterday with my personal home organizer ( - check her out!!!!!) emptying my entire home office/study/hoarders room - with masses of kid craft/art supplies, as well as my own, as well as 7 years of three kids art work.... And now have to purge and sort to fulfill my "vision" for that room to be livable again (it becomes the dumping room whenever I have parties, playdates or playgroups, which is often) so, I hear ya!!!