Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Paperwork, blech!

Paperwork, especially the variety that involves tediously sending in receipts with just the right EOB and a specially printed form from the website on a regular basis, is the bane of my existence. A paperless society? Sounds awfully tempting.

With our months of extra busy-ness from May through July this year, I really dug myself into a hole. In fact, I was behind and disorganized before I even got to May partly because we've been storing our big filing cabinets on opposite ends of the basement. Big mistake. I had started small file boxes here and there and a smaller cabinet upstairs, but things were a mess. Two weeks ago I dove into doing some reorganizing, because I've realized over time that when my to-do list is really overwhelming, it usually pays not to start there (except for urgent stuff of course!) but to start by organizing and then the other things fall into place.

A few things helped with the organizing. First, we exchanged the new mattress we purchased in the spring (we were having problems with it already and they have a great exchange policy within 90 days) for a smaller one. Then, because I picked up a bunch of decorating and home-organizing books at the library book sale back in April (a little browing really pays off at times) I got the idea that it would be interesting to pull the bookshelf next to our bed out by one corner so that it left some open space behind it - separating a little corner of the room from the rest (perhaps we'll put a reading chair in there some day) and - wow - also making room for the two tall filing cabinets just behind the bookcase (these wouldn't have fit if we had kept the larger sized mattress).

So now, with extremely accessible filing cabinets (which though they're a bit beat-up having been purchased at the annual used furniture auction at John's workplace - it's a good thing they're hidden behind the bookcase!) I was able to get rid of most of those little filing boxes and reorganize lots of paperwork AND get rid of a bunch of out-dated stuff. What a huge relief!

Now I was finally ready to tackle the actual paperwork - especially that ugly medical stuff. Unfortunately, by that point, we actually managed to have both our medical insurance card (which includes a medical savings account) and our regular medical savings account card (this one is also usable for vision and dental and such) suspended. Argh!

This was still a pretty intimidating prospect to tackle but finally, as of last night both cards are back in use (or will be as soon as the fax is received) and the work itself was a lot easier than before. Now I have one file drawer near the computer with all the medical stuff (I have individual files for pre2007 stuff in each category, 2007 in each category and 2008 in each category). It's still a pretty hairy job, but at least a somewhat manageable hairy job at long last.


Karen E. said...

I feel like paperwork is the bane of my existence, too, Alicia. What I really lack is the great filing cabinets and I think I'm going to have to remedy that soon.

Love2Learn Mom said...

Yes, filing cabinets are essential. The only sad thing about our filing cabinet purchases from John's work (three or four years ago, I think) was that we had just purchased new big filing cabinets (but on the cheap-o side) weeks before - and the used ones were bigger and sturdier. So we bought them for a song and gave away the others. Whaddya do? :)