The Three Tier System

Organising at Home Series 2:

Here’s a tip that may work for you. I have a three tier tray system sitting in our hallway. The top layer is for all the short term paperwork that family members may need ‘on hand’ – the latest newsletter from work, school or church, the latest takeaways, food or video coupons, travel documents for upcoming trips, etc. This prevents these sort of things from building up on your kitchen counter or dining table.

The middle layer is for filing – things you have looked at and need filing but you don’t have time right at that moment.

The bottom layer is ‘research and filing stationery’. Any long term research you are doing, like renovating, house-hunting, job searching etc., are kept in its own plastic L-shape file here. At the very bottom there is also a selection of stationery resources for everyone’s projects kept here – the L-files, clear files, manila folders, clear file folders, and so on.

On my ‘administration’ night I go through the top tray and remove all outdated or irrelevant coupons & newsletters. I make sure the middle tray stuff for filing gets filed. And that the bottom tray research projects are updated and/or disposed of when finished. It takes about 30mins maximum if I do this every week.

For this system to work however, everyone in the household must be made aware of it and reminded every month or so that it exists! Eventually it becomes routine and they know where to leave stuff and look for stuff they might need.