Decluttering that paperwork isn’t really an option, but a necessity. We are inundated with an average of 160 incoming messages every day. These messages come from our cell phones, faxes, regular phones, email, and regular mail. This makes it easy to understand how we can quickly end up with piles of paper all over the place. The key is to pull the information that is important off the paper, do what you need with that information and recycle or file the paper away. Here are some tips on decluttering that paperwork.
Mountains of Mail
Many people do not like getting or opening their mail because it seems to just make the piles bigger that are already there. This may seem simple to some, but others cringe at the thought of doing the mail. To start your paper organizing, incoming mail should be taken care of daily. It only takes about ten minutes at the most. If you have piles and piles of mail around the house, it may seem intimidating, but you can conquer it! Good news is that a lot of it may have timed itself out!
To boil it down to its simplest form, mail (or any papers in general) can be divided into 5 categories. These categories are recycle, shred, to be paid, to be filed and action. To conquer your mountains of mail, gather up all the papers or mail you need to go through, but leave the most current in a separate spot. Get two bags or bins nearby for recycling and shredding. These are the steps to take to conquer your mail piles:
- Go through and quickly divide the mail by purging the junk mail into the recycle bin.
- If there’s a credit card offer, you’ll want to put the offer paper in the shred pile.
- It’s quickest to open all the mail at one time instead of picking up the opener over and over.
- Keep your opened mail in a somewhat neat pile.
- Now, go through the mail looking at each piece one at a time. Sort them into bills, items to be filed, and action.
Now, put the bills to be paid where they go and the filing in its designated spot. We recommend action items being obviously located.
The idea is to get rid of papers on a daily basis – because more are coming tomorrow!
A roster of team or class members’ is one of the papers that can’t be tossed, but you still need to maintain paper organization. Almost everything else can go in your phone or it needs a signature to be returned, etc. Do your best to put any info you can into your phone in order to rid yourself of the paper. Place the rosters on a bulletin board or inside a cabinet door.
Paper Pile Ups
Do you have a pile of papers on the kitchen table, the bedroom desk, and two or three more on kitchen counters? You’ll have to conquer this mountain before you can begin to maintain paper organization. Put “paper clean up” on a date/time in your calendar when it’s convenient. On that day – take all the papers you want to go through and put them in one pile on a table. Go through each one, making a decision on it. Put them in categories like above: trash, shred, pay, file, and action. Don’t let papers pile up, keep up with your emails, and open your mail daily.
In conclusion, when you conquer these few things, paper organization is at your fingertips! If you’d like assistance with decluttering that paperwork, please contact us!