Are you tired of paper clutter and constantly picking up papers, shoving them in drawers and thinking you’ll deal with them later?
Do you ever miss important deadlines for bills or events because you’ve lost track of the document?
Is it time to get rid of paper clutter for good?
First, you’ll need to declutter the paper you already have in your home.
Then you’ll need a system for incoming paper so that paper clutter doesn’t happen again.
To begin, decide where you’ll be filing your paperwork; that could be your home office or a spare bedroom etc. Next, gather all the paper you have in your home, including receipts, manuals, documents, bills, keepsakes, your children’s artwork, etc. and bring it to the room you’ll be working when you need to go through your files.
Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll likely have a few at piles of paper ready to sort.
- Shred – If you no longer need the document or paperwork, shred anything with important or confidential information about you or your financials. Examples: receipts, bank statements, pay stubs.
- Scan- Scan paperwork if you require a backup or if you feel that it’s no longer needed in a physical form. An example would be a course you took or notes you’ve taken that don’t need to take up space in your home. Another example could be tax documents. Scanning is also a great option if you’re feeling nervous or anxious about shredding or recycling this particular piece of paper.
- Recycle – Recycle any paper you no longer need that didn’t fall into the shred or scan category.
- File- Create a file folder for the paper. It’s best to do this immediately.
Before you decide to keep any paper physically, here are some questions to ask yourself;
1) Could I get this information elsewhere at any time? Often we can get copies of documents from the business or a source online.
2) When might I need this information again?
3) Can I scan it? Do I need to keep a physical copy of this for legal or financial reasons?
4) Is it still relevant? Do I need to keep the manual if I don’t have the appliance anymore? Is my car loan paid off- Is there a need to keep my loan info?
Many people can become overwhelmed with sorting paperwork. Don’t let it!
If you find that it’s taking too long to complete the project, split it up and tackle one pile at a time. Rest assured that you won’t have this problem in the future because all incoming paperwork will be now be organized through a paper command center.
Paper organizing System
Command Centre for incoming paperwork
- Decide where your command center will be. It can be a closet, a desk area, a drawer or even a section of a wall.
- Gather all the supplies you need in your command center. (Example: office supplies, files for paperwork (files for each family member), bins, label maker, post-it notes, etc.)
- Set up a schedule for you and your family to look at their folder; at least once a week.
Command center Setup: (mail/paper sorter system for incoming paperwork)
When paper comes into the home, try and take action on it right away (pay the bill, respond to an invitation, recycle or shred). If you don’t have time, you can put the paper in the appropriate section in the command center.
Examples of folders you can use in your command center
- Folders- each with the name of a family member on it
I recommend scheduling a time to go through the paperwork in the command center at least once a week.
These are the items you need to take action on in a timely manner but you don’t have the time to do it at the current moment.
Family Member File
Each member of the family should have a file for the best organization.
File important documents that you need in physical form. Examples: loan, mortgage paperwork, insurance paperwork, receipts.
Paper clutter can be overwhelming in any home. Having a paper command center for all incoming paperwork will help eliminate clutter, keep everyone more organized and help the family be more productive! And who doesn’t want that?
Did you know that we offer a Paper Organization: How to Declutter and Organize Paperwork course for an unbelievable low price?
The topics include:
Benefits of organizing your paperwork
Paper organization goals
What to do before organizing your paperwork
What to keep and for how long
How to sort and organize paperwork
What to do with incoming paperwork
Where to go from here!
For more information CLICK HERE!
Don’t forget to join our FREE Facebook group “Organize for Success” for more organizing tips, or download my 7 Top Organizing Tips to Get You Started.
You can also register for our Calm the Clutter home organization course HERE!