family filing system

With a family of soon to be four people plus a dog, as well as a business I operate from home, the papers can easily add up. After several years of trial and error, I've implemented a pretty easy filing system that keeps our paper clutter to a minimum and ensures that our important documents are easily accessible. In the spirit of spring cleaning, I'm sharing the system with you today! I basically have two systems: one for personal papers, and one for business papers. Let's start with personal.

PERSONAL FILING SYSTEM

1. File box for important documents, organized with file folders. I bought a cheap file box at Staples and a pack of plain manilla file folders. No bells or whistles here, folks. And no need for a giant filing cabinet, either. This black file box holds all of our current personal files. This is where I keep things like our dog's shot records, all the receipts and records for maintenance on our cars, information for memberships and loyalty cards (like our zoo membership, children's museum membership, etc. each have their own separate file), so on and so forth. Notice I said current files. At the end of the year, once our taxes are done, I move all the files that are no longer current, like that year's mortgage statements, that year's tax file, etc., to a plastic tote bin in the attic. If you're short on space in your actual living areas (like we are!), there's no reason to keep five years' worth of receipts at your fingertips. Put them in a bin and store them on a shelf in the garage instead.

2. Letter tray to hold "to be filed" pieces throughout the month. When I open mail that I decide needs to be saved + filed, I toss it in a tray that sits on top of the file box. The papers collect there all month, and I file them in their respective folders on my monthly maintenance day.

3. Fireproof safe for valuable documents. The final step in the personal filing system is a fireproof safe to hold those really important documents, like birth certificates, social security cards, marriage certificate, passports, etc. You could get away with a simple document safe, I'm sure. We have a larger one, because at one point I was storing my external harddrives in there as well, plus now Matt will need a spot to store some of his duty gear that we don't want to risk Xavier getting ahold of.

Tips + tricks: go paperless as much as possible! Our mortgage was the only thing we were receiving a snail mail statement/bill for, and I just changed that to paperless last week. Now, all of our bills and statements are emailed to me or accessible online, and we pay all our bills online as well. It cuts way down on the amount of paper to be filed! I keep a "bills" folder and a "receipts" folder in my email account, and file both the emailed bill/statement, as well as the emailed receipt once it's paid, so I can access them easily if necessary. Also, I do have a shredder, which is stored (not plugged in) unless I'm using it. As I come across papers that need to be shredded, I just toss them on top of the shredder until there's a sufficient stack and sit down to shred the pile all at once.

BUSINESS FILING SYSTEM

My business filing system is similar, and really simple. There are two pieces to the puzzle and that's it!

1. Expandable folder for receipts. I bought an expandable file folder, organized by month, to file my business receipts. Whenever I use my business debit card, I file the receipt for that purchase in the appropriate month's slot. At the end of the year, once my taxes are done, I put all the receipts into a manilla envelope and store them in a bin in the attic so I can start fresh for the new year!

2. File box for important documents. Every business situation is going to be unique, but I personally don't have much of a need for a file cabinet, since my business is 100% online and I don't have contracts, collateral, or any real documents to keep track of. This file box - which is a separate box from our personal files - is honestly mostly empty, but I like having a spot separate from our personal files to store any business papers that need stored.

Tips + tricks: Obviously if you have employees or are doing a lot of contract work, you might need more space. I think the key is to evaluate what you truly NEED to save, and don't feel obligated to save every single piece of paper if it's not truly necessary.

I know that our needs will get more complex as our kids grow and we have more things to keep track of, but I'm hopeful that since we already have a system in place, we can continue to tweak it as necessary and just add more boxes or maybe upgrade to a filing cabinet someday if necessary. I also love the idea of creating a photobook of your kids' artwork and school projects by photographing them on a white background and creating a book each year of the pieces, rather than saving every single thing that comes through the door.

Do you have a filing system for your family? I'd love to hear any other tips and tricks you've found. You know I'm always trying to make things more efficient around Casa Keinsley! :) XO!

Nursery (corner) inspiration

Now that we know we're having a sweet baby GIRL this summer, I've shifted my plans for our nursery. Our house has two bedrooms, so we planned on the kids both sharing the room Xavier is in. It's really spacious, so there's plenty of room for two cribs and all the additions. But then we found out we're having a girl, and suddenly my plans changed. Although Xavier's room isn't too boy-ish, I would definitely want to change things up to make it more gender neutral if it were to be a shared space. But I love his room as-is, so I don't really want to swap out any of the decor.

Enter: baby girl's nursery corner. Since she will be sleeping in our room for the first 4-6 months anyway, and we have an empty corner that will perfectly fit a crib, we decided to forego a bassinet entirely and just put her crib right in our room. She'll sleep there, nap there, and we'll add a little dresser at the end to store her clothes and function as a changing table.

Of course this might all go out the window, because we're potentially renovating this spring/early summer and might not even be living in our house for a few months. I can dream, right?

My plan for her little corner is to keep it really minimal, and include pieces that will grow with her, so they can easily be incorporated into more grown-up spaces throughout the years. I can picture the art hanging above her bed as a teenager, and the throw blanket being something she takes with her to her college dorm. I'm focusing on blush + soft greens, and of course lots of neutrals.

BLUSH + NEUTRAL BABY GIRL'S CORNER

I love that changing basket from Design Dua, and also this sheepskin + leather mat changing station idea I saw on instagram. We're snagging another IKEA crib, as the one we have for Xavier has held up great and we love the simplicity of it.

Did your kids share rooms as babies, or ever? Anyone else sharing their master bedroom with a babe? It really is a funny concept that we assume babies need their own entire room...such a small person to have so much space! We'll see how this setup works out...

SOURCES: crib // art print // basket // side table // throw blanket // pillow //stuffed bunny // dresser // rug // changing basket // lamp

Neutral, simple Christmas decor

Happpppppy Monday, friends!! The whole Keinsley crew has been down with various sickness for almost three weeks, but I think the end is near! I'm so grateful we're all finally feeling better, especially since the next three weeks are jam-packed full of Christmas festivities with family and friends!

Despite not feeling well, I've been a little Christmas elf and have been busy decking our halls! I shared my Christmas decor inspiration last week, and am so excited to show you the final product today!

It helps having pretty minimal and neutral decor to begin with, because it makes the backdrop for seasonal decor a lot easier to work with. I got rid of most of our glitzy, sparkly, and colorful decorations in favor of neutrals, greenery and more natural elements like wood and cozy textures. I absolutely love the result and it's my favorite Christmas decor yet!

I ended up buying the garlands from our local Home Depot, because they were only $6 for a 25-foot strand (!!) and I wasn't sure the supplies and time to make my own was worth it! I bought the center wreath in our dining room as well, but made the two smaller ones. To be honest, I'm not sure I'll do live greenery again, at least not for the garlands. They aren't lasting as long as I'd hoped and are already significantly dried out after only ten days, and are making a huge mess of dropped needles. We don't do a live tree, so for those who do I'm sure you know this is just par for the course, but I don't think the mess and short lifespan is worth it. I think next year we'll invest in a few really lovely faux garlands and still use live greenery cuttings here and there.

For stockings, I went with coordinating but not matching. In the past we've always had the generic red fuzzy ones, with our names written in glitter glue - just like I grew up with. But, I loved this inspiration image I stumbled across from Target, and absolutely loved the look, and decided to recreate it, stick an all! I knew I'd be annoyed if I did matching stockings, but couldn't find additional ones down the line as our family grows. This way, we can continue adding coordinating stockings for future kiddos. I found the stockings at Home Goods, At Home and Hobby Lobby, and added the birch slices to keep track of which was which.

Another thing I switched out this year was the tree skirt. Holy cow, tree skirts are expensive! I know there are tutorials for cute, easy ones online, but with all the other DIY projects I had going on, I didn't want to go that route. I loved the idea of having our tree in a cute, vintage-inspired bucket, and also liked that the bucket could be used for other things - a little baby pool, a cooler for backyard parties, etc. I picked up this galvanized metal tub for $20 at Lowe's, which is less than half the price of the tree skirts I was finding everywhere I looked!

We don't have a theme for our tree, opting for mismatched and mostly sentimental ornaments instead. Next year, I'm going to swap out the colored lights for white lights, and the tinsel for wooden beads.

Christmas is truly such a magical time, and although the past week has been spent 98% at home because of a sick baby (and sick me!), I haven't minded much. All this festive decor, yummy candles burning and Christmas music on repeat has made our house my absolute favorite place to be.

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You can see our 2013 Christmas tour here (our first married Christmas and the only in our apartment!) and our 2014 decor here. It's so fun to see how drastically my style has changed over the years!

I hope your week is off to a great start, and thanks for stopping by! XO!

Holiday decor inspiration

Happy Monday morning, sweet friends! Although it's rainy, windy and downright dreary here today, I'm bursting with Christmas cheer. We just spent a week in Utah with Matt's parents, brother, sister-in-law and our nephew, and it was so fun to kick off the holiday season with family. On Friday night, we walked through this amazing light display, and it totally got me pumped for Christmas. Beautiful lights, Christmas music, cold toes, hot chocolate in hand, ahhhh!

On today's agenda is deep cleaning the house so we can put up the tree tonight, hooray! Over the past year, I've gotten rid of 75% of our Christmas decor. I'm noticing my tastes changing significantly, away from the bright reds and greens of typical Christmas decor and more towards minimal neutrals, much more Scandinavian inspired. I also get really sad having to take down the Christmas decorations after New Years, so this year I'm aiming for more winter decor, instead of strictly Christmas decor. Of course we'll have a Christmas tree, but I plan to use lots of natural elements like greenery which will last well past Christmas, and keep our home feeling festive and cozy through those dreary post-holiday days. Bonus: you can get greenery for free, and there are a million tutorials online for making your own garlands and wreaths!

Here's a bunch of images I've been pinning that are serving as my inspiration board. I feel happy just looking at it! I'll be back next week with photos of our decorated home - we'll see if I can pull this vibe off!

What's your decorating style for the holidays? Do you go full-on Christmas, or opt for more of a "wintry" vibe? I'd love to hear!! Looking at beautiful home decor is my love language :) XO!