It could be your children’s paperwork, household bills, business paperwork or the 1000’s of other papers that come into our home, purses, and cars.
The definition of insanity is said to be doing the same thing but expecting different results. So before you succumb to the straight jacket let’s diagnose the problem. Most things end up in piles or stuffed into drawers when it doesn’t have a clear home,or an easily accessible one.
CHALLENGE: Decide a home for paperwork. Will it be in grand central station, a bedroom, a drawer, an office (who is this lucky) under the sink.. ? Pick a home report in comment section where it was, where it is now, and how you tackled the problem. Pictures are a bonus.
If you have conquered this insanity your challenge today is an easy one. Give us your best tip. Also revisit your system, is it still working, any tweaking needed, admire your work. But if not….
Quit pretending you are not the CEO of everything important. If you had an office how would you be filing these papers, what would be your inbox? What would you use to file things you need to keep long term, short term, action items. Would you get fired?
TIP: THE STEPS TO ORGANIZING ANY SPACE
1. Decide the purpose of the space, get a vision of how you want it to look and work.
2. Group like items together.
3. Sort A) trash B) doesn’t belong here C) give away/donate D) Keep
4. Organize the “keep” Storing at point of use, being motion minded.
5. Develop a ritual for the things coming in and out of this space.
So no matter what the paper is, get a better system for it.
TIP: GET VERTICAL: KEEP ALL HORIZONTAL SPACES CLEANED OFF
Horizontal spaces are for action not dormancy. Go vertical for storage. Horizontal space is precious real estate in our homes.
WHAT I HAVE DONE: I have a dresser with a drawer for each of my kids they keep school books, spelling lists, scout books, library books, and school folders here. I have also used a portable file folder in the past but I like the cute dresser with a drawer just for the supplies. Not everyone can have a school bus yellow dresser but the idea here is to group all school things together kids know where to look for homework, you know where to place the children’s items when they are not there. And everyone knows where the pencil and scissors are.
Incoming Mail. One touch system. If I cannot sort it right then I don’t get it out of my mailbox, I get a ritual for bringing in mail. I stand in front of my wall tiered folders and sort in the recycle bin right below it, bills to pay, action items …get my emissions test, to file (for things like property tax statements) I even have a spot for incoming in case I need to have someone else bring in the mail or my hair catches fire and I can’t sort it ….pretty much it is my safety net so I don’t resort to putting them on top of my …microwave.
I use banker boxes to keep things from previous years. You need to keep anything you use to back up your tax filings with. 7 years is the suggested amount of time. These are kept in a storage room on a top shelf they do not deserve space in my home.
I use 3 ring binders for my bank statements, credit card statements, or any revolving loans. All in one binder divided by months .
I have colorful beautiful folders for hanging vertical files Things I am actively referencing for my volunteering, my hobby, insurance paperwork, warranties and owners manuals,
I keep titles, birth certificates, passports and other important documents in a fire resistant safe on a shelf (click on a the link for a cute pink colored safe or pick a color to fit your decor.)
If you made it to the bottom of this post 4 gold stars for you. I would have totally skimmed it. See you tomorrow! We want to see your before and after pictures! Please post those below along with your tips for keeping your paper, paper, paper, under control.