Tackling Paper Clutter - Goals for 2020!

Hello & welcome to my Blog! Its been awhile since I’ve posted anything here so I’m happy you could join me!

I recently presented the following information at a Staples Spotlight session. What better way to start the new year than to tackle paper clutter.

I think we can all agree that paper clutter can take over our lives. It can cover desks, counters and tables. If not dealt with, paper clutter can cause anxiety, fear and even depression.

So I’m going to share with you some of my tips and ideas on how you can tackle paper clutter, the right way, by breaking things down into smaller steps.

Decluttering papers can be broken down into smaller easier steps:

1) Sorting - going through and sorting papers into categories

2) Purging - purging papers that are no longer needed

3) Systems - creating systems to store and manage papers

4) Maintain - maintaining and keeping things tidy, organized and efficient

Sorting can also be broken down into smaller categories:

1) Trash - items that can immediately be purged

2) Act on - papers that need action

3) Delegate - papers belonging to someone else in your family

4) File - papers have been dealt with but still need to be kept

5) Questionable - papers that you are not sure what to do with

Invest in a good filing cabinet or filing totes to keep your files neat and tidy. A good basic filing system should look something like the following. Once you’ve got your basic filing system set up you can add to these categories as needed:

1) Home Files

2) Financial Files

3) Medical Files

4) Auto Files

5) Personal Files

6) Tax Files

Just a few things to keep in mind about your filing systems:

-Keep your tax files separate from you home files

-Keep tax files and supporting docs for 6 years

-Keep business and home files separated

-Keep all documents related to your identity (certificates, education, background)

Keep only receipts if they are related to warranty (electronics, appliances, furniture, tools) or if they are business expenses. A good way to keep track of receipts is in an accordion file, labelled by category. You can shred or recycle all other receipts.

Emergency Documents:

I highly recommend that every person has a place to store their important documents. If there were ever an emergency, what would you need? Keep copies of all important papers such as copies of drivers licence, marriage cert, wills, insurance numbers all together in a binder or a tote. Scan copies of everything to a USB and store this in a fire safe box, or safety deposit box. Keep originals the same way. Create an emergency plan for you and your family.

Create an action file:

Use a desktop filing system to store papers that you are dealing with daily, such as bills to be paid, coupons, school memos, etc. As soon as mail arrives, file it into your action file. Be sure to tackle this daily or weekly to stay on top of to do’s.

Going paperless

In a world still full of papers, is it possible to go paperless? It may not be a total reality, but there are ways to eliminate as much as you can.

-Pay all bills online

-Unsubscribe to magazines and newspapers

-Put a no flyers please sign on your mailbox

-Keep kids art and school work to a minimum

-Stop printing stuff! Read online

-Use technology - there are many apps out there to help eliminate papers!! -Recycle junk mail as soon as it arrives

So you’ve worked hard to eliminate paper clutter, how can you keep it this way?

1) Schedule time daily and weekly to clean off your desk and purge papers

2) Maintain your filing systems, add files if you need to

3) Get everyone on board - invite your entire family to help keep papers minimal

4) Have a designated area for filing and papers - it could be a home office, or even a corner of a living room or shelf

5) Keep your shredder and recycle bin close by!!

I hope this has given you some ideas to get the ball rolling on tackling your paper clutter.

Need some help and support?

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Thanks for joining me & have a wonderful day,


Organize My Space