Harriet said I should report over here. I have DEFINITELY made HUGE progress at taming a whole HERD of paper tigers like she illustrated! (What do you call a bunch of tigers? A pride? Like lions? LOL... y'all know what I mean!) There are still a few roaming around, but they have calmed down considerable and they seem to recognize my position as leader of the pack.
Dmom's house was such a total wreck where paperwork was concerned. I think it is definitely the perfectionism gene working overtime there, and when she couldn't do it like she wanted to do it, she just said "to **** with it." As a retired accountant and former bank compliance officer, dmom would dearly love to track every single teeny tiny expenditure. And she would like to do it on the computer. However, her back problems make it impossible for her to spend long hours sitting at the computer, her eyes bother her somewhat, and she doesn't like the software installed on her computer at the current time.
She finally DID get 90% of her bills on auto-pay, so she knows they are taken care of, and she generally has enough money in the bank that she does not have to worry about over-drawing.
This had led to a situation where LOTS of mail has not even been OPENED. Bills, bank statements, junk mail from everything you can imagine... all just gets piled on her desk. Occasionally, she gets a burst of energy and takes the days mail to the coffee table. As best I can tell, this has been going on since the beginning of the year!
I was trying to sort it out, discard the junk, etc etc... and I finally realized I was not going to be able to spend enough time at her house doing that... so I just picked up all the paper on the desk and coffee table and tossed it into a plastic storage bin. I sorted out the greeting cards and memo pads and magazines. There was another cardboard box (banker’s box?) with a huge pile of “stuff to be filed,” as well. All the newspapers were put in a bag at the back door for our newspaper man to pick up for recycling. (He is the man who is supposed to be taking up carpet at dmom’s today.)
DH didn't really like the decorative addition of the plastic bin and assorted file folders stacked right inside our back door, and he suggested I take the work with me to the hospital and/or rehab center, where it seemed I was spending all my time anyway.
Sooo... I decided my goal would be 25 pieces of paper each day... plus whatever current mail I picked up at her house 2-3 times per week.
That worked pretty well, and I was just concentrating on opening envelopes, sorting into a box “to file” and discarding junk, and separating another stack of stuff to pay and/or ask dmom about.
(I have written approx. a dozen checks in the past week or so, getting things caught up.)
Last night when we got home from our trip, I decided I’d do 75 pieces of paper, since I had been gone 3 days.
Well, I got on a roll and finished everything that was left in the ENTIRE BOX.
Then I sorted into stacks – A/B/C, etc… This meant All-State Insurance papers are now in a file folder with A(our state) Dept of Revenue, etc etc… but it is a beginning.
THEN, I started going through each letter file…printing labels on the label maker so All-State Insurance gets its own folder (with papers chronologically arranged in it) and State Dept of Revenue has its own folder, etc.
SIX HOURS LATER – I have about half the alphabet completed.
I am going to Wmart to buy a box with hanging files and get this completed so between the two of us, maybe we can keep dmom’s life a little bit better organized.
* If you have been following PWYC, you know I have volunteered my services to dmom as a secretary once a week. She is the world’s worst procrastinator, and it has finally become obvious to me that even before this latest setback with her health, her back pain has just made it impossible for her to manage her life.
Sorry this is so long, but maybe it will give someone hope that you, too, can climb a Mt. Everest of paperwork. I wish I had before and after pictures to show y’all. If anything was overwhelming, this was it.
Tomorrow is another day.