Situation report (evidence of the monster's existence):
1. Piles of paper all over the desk.
2. There are huge 'sort out later' paper piles on the school/sun/dining room floor.
3. Several shopping bags full of homeless resource books are lined up next to a cupboard.
4. My filing drawer is never opened as it's full of old paperwork.
5. Digital devices are also under attack: emails, bookmarks and items saved to desktop are accumulating at an alarmingly rate.
Input is multiplying at an alarming rate, while action, disposal and filing are floundering in the depths of procrastination and perfectionism (more about those characters another day).
I know why this happens. I like collecting ideas. Resources. Information. I greedily read and save, bookmark and sometimes print. Books are heavily tagged with post it notes. I scribble on several notepad pages a day (despite having a ridiculous number of journals for every possible need).
I have a pinterest account, online reading list and Facebook articles tagged to revisit 'later'. All are kept with good intentions (education, enrichment and inspiration) ... but maybe that's what hoarders say about how their collections of newspaper, tyres or jars started.
I LIKE having lots of ideas, but there must be a better way to manage them!
Now, I have made myself sound terribly messy. Here's the dining table (very versatile, it is also our art studio, science lab and writer's den) ... half-organised, half-messy, half-visible on a sorting day a month ago:
I considered and dismissed some easy options:
Then I googled "homeschool how to tame the paperwork monster" ...
These links were enough to encourage me it IS possible to evict the paperwork monster. I am starting to form a plan. I don't want a formal system ... I like to do things spontaneously, creatively and playfully.
I just to consider the desired outcome, allocate time and space to the initial (mammoth) task, and develop better daily habits.
I don't want to drown in a sea of possibilities that started with a harmless drip. I do want to catch up on important paperwork that's been lost in transit for years, and enjoy a tidier future. Of course, I also want to be a better role model for my children and a tidier companion for my organised husband.
I WILL tame the homeschool paperwork monster!
P.S. Progress has been made since I drafted this ... I was left at home alone yesterday for several hours (gasp!) Lots of filing, sorting, dusting, recycling and sorting were done. Hooray!
Items 2 and 3 have been eliminated! The monster is beating a hasty retreat. Next target: the desk.