Sunday, October 18, 2009

Organize Your Work Area: The Newspaper Edition

There are a number of ways to organize different work areas. Today the focus is on my newspaper prep area.

A short while ago, I decided to take on an early morning paper route. I am an early riser or a night owl, depending on the day so this works really well for me.

It also forces me to get some exercise as well. Since it is done in the middle of the night, no one can see me, dripping sweat and looking rather scuzzy.

So anyhow, the papers are dropped off at my door (how convenient is that?!) and I bring them inside to insert the ads, count them up and then either bag or band the papers. It took me about a week to find a workable solution that did not involve straining my muscles and making them cramp up.

There is also a fair amount of paperwork involved in the process, which also needs to be kept well organized.

So this is what I did:

I took an area that was being mis-utilized in our family room, near the door where the papers are dropped off. I had Hubby move two van seats and a huge amount of clutter that had stacked up on top of the seats and dealt with it, leaving me an empty floor area.

I then moved our deep freeze into that spot. The freezer was already in the room, but in a different location and having it in this spot now is much more functional and aesthetically pleasing. It is also the perfect work height for me to do what I need to do.

On the wall above the freezer, I hung an unused over-the-door-organizer that I got at Target a few years ago. There is a basket above and seven (coat) hooks below. There are also seven (hat or scarf) hook type things as well, but I don't use those individual hooks.

In my basket, I store my paperwork in file folders: my route list, my contracts, my financial information, any paperwork that has to do with this job.

I also use six of the seven (coat) hooks for needed supplies. The first hook has the bags that I use for one publication. I deliver five, so it's very important that I keep the things that belong to each publication straight. The next hook is used to store the HUGE rubber bands that my papers come in. My hauler has to pay for these and while they don't cost much, I still try to save them for him so that it will save him a little bit of money as well. Plus, its reusing the bands which I also like. The next hook holds my bag of daily rubber bands. I can use these on all but one of the publications. The next hook is the bags for the main paper that I deliver. The hook that follows is for my Sunday rubber bands. Then there is an unused hook and then last, a third set of bags that I use for three publications. These bags are primarily for use for the one publication that is not to be banded, but I can (and do) also use these bags for two other publications that I deliver.

In the morning, when I get my papers, I bring them inside, look through the paperwork. I count up my papers, taking note of any changes to the delivery list for that day. I flip my papers over (inserting ads and folding/rolling the papers are so much easier from the "wrong" side) then I either bag or band the papers, drop it in my tote and move on to the next paper.

It has saved me so much time and has also saved my muscles an incredible amount. I can get through my stack of 40 papers in about 10-20 minutes and be on my way.

I love my set-up! It just makes it all so easy! How do you have your own work area set up? It may be your out-of-home office, your home office, whatever. Share with us. Click below to add your post to the list. And remember to link to your individual post and not to the main page of your blog so that it's easier for others to find it.

So anyhow, that is our homework set-up. Hope that it may help someone else or spawn other ideas. Share the set-up you have for your kids below. Remember to link to your individual post and not to the main page of your blog to make it easier to find.

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