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paper tiger

Blog, Business, Faith, Homemaking, Marriage, Parenting, Spiritual Gifts, Time Management, Writing

Declutter and Organize for 2015

Beth Jones, January 2015

Beth Jones, January 2015

Do you need to get organized and declutter for 2015?

This weekend I’ve been on an organizational roll! FEELS SO GOOD!

I went through my email inbox the last several months, finally finishing up this week with filing or deleting emails. I had 1000’s in there; what a relief to get the emails down to ZERO. My goal is to keep it at that or¬†as few emails as possible in my inbox. I’m also unsubscribing to lists that aren’t serving my priorities this year; my time and yours is precious. Michael Hyatt has a great post on staying on top of your email here.



I bought a new address book and transferred addresses and phone numbers to the new one. Recently I asked our daughter Leah to find an address for me in my book, and she said, “This is a mess, mom!” Addresses were crossed out 3 or 4 times, so I bought a new one to fill out and use. I recorded our checking account numbers and ATM/Debit/Credit card numbers for safekeeping.¬†



I sorted through papers in my black file folder box – important documents, bills that have been paid off, bills that are due, speaking presentations and teachings, pictures from magazines as visual aids for speaking/writing, manuscripts for my books, etc. Each of these are in a separate, labeled, colored file folder. You can buy these inexpensively at Walmart.



I shredded a whole bunch of papers from my files. I love the shredder; it’s a great way to tame the paper tiger. One great book I recommend for organization is Organize Now!: A Week-by -Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life by Jennifer Ford Berry.


Organize Now! by Jennifer Ford Berry

¬†I put all the critically important documents¬†in the floral tote below¬† – copies of our marriage certificate, birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, insurance benefits, passports, etc. This week I’m planning to buy a fireproof-waterproof box to put them in. I also made copies of these to go into the black file folder box.



My goals this week are to clean out the fridge (that’s where all the tupperware has disappeared to – uneaten leftovers!) and to clean the stove…major but necessary jobs. ¬†In the next few weeks, I’ll also be going through cabinets and drawers to declutter and organize more.

I love each new year because it gives you a fresh start. I love decluttering and organizing for the new year. It gives me such relief and freedom. It makes room for the new and exciting. It lets you breathe and declutters your mind and soul as well.

Are you decluttering and organizing for the new year?

What do you need to declutter, organize, give away, sell, or throw away to make room for the new in 2015? Share your comments and tips below.

“Own less, do less, and say no.” – Geoffrey Godbey

Blog, Faith, Homeschooling, prayer

Shred what’s in my heart

This weekend I’m getting my new office ready, going through plastic tubs ~ putting loose pics in a new photo album, throwing stuff out, organizing books and supplies.¬†Getting organized can mean the difference between a thriving biz and one struggling to stay afloat.

Many of the¬†tubs have our kids’ homeschool portfolios in them.¬†Leafing through them has resulted in what Rhett Butler called¬†Scarlett O’Hara’s “crying jag.” (Gone¬†With The Wind¬†, Margaret Mitchell, 1936.)

I loved homeschooling our kids and really miss it sometimes. Here’s a sample from one of the portfolios of Leah’s art, as a child, of an angel and a child:

Leah's angel

Leah’s angel

Here is a picture of an elephant she drew:

Leah's elephant

Leah’s elephant

Here she was practicing her handwriting and identifying words through matching words and pictures:

Leah's handwriting

Leah’s handwriting

I reminisced looking at the homeschool portfolios, then put them away for another day. Then I began taming the paper tiger.

One of my fave office tools is the shredder. Mine is little but mighty, getting the job done.

my shredder

my shredder

So far I have an entire yellow trash bag full of shredded papers, and I’m not done yet. It feels so good to get this accomplished. I only wish Ray could catch on to this amazing idea.

Maybe you have a hard time getting rid of stuff. But it’s truly liberating.

Of course you should keep important documents (such as birth certificates, school records, tax returns, and other legal documents), but you don’t have to keep every single scrap of paper you’ve ever had in your whole life! Giving¬†things away, selling items, throwing stuff out, and shredding papers will set you free!

Shredded paper

Shredded paper

As I’ve been shredding the papers, I’ve been asking God to shred whatever is in my heart that doesn’t please Him:

  • anger
  • unforgiveness
  • resentment
  • bitterness
  • jealousy
  • envy/comparison
  • pride
  • discouragement
  • negative, self-limiting thinking.

At this new house, I want a clean slate, a fresh, new start ~ beginning with my heart.

What do you need to “shred” in your heart? Share in the comments below.