One of the greatest struggles for most households and businesses, is constantly being inundated with paper. I am actually not even certain where it all comes from, but I do know it accumulates daily. I find this to be incredibly ironic as we have become a very digital society- and yet, paper everywhere. Junk Mail. Kids’ school folders. Bills. Medical Records. Bank Statements. Overwhelm takes over and there it sits.
So how does one prevent being swallowed alive by paper clutter?
Take back your time and sanity by putting these tips into practice and conquering your paper clutter once and for all.
1)Establish a Command Center. There should be a “catch all” location. Establish a location within your home where you open mail and have easy access to it. For us, it is the kitchen since I spend a lot of time in there retrieving 72 snacks a day as the mother of 3 kids 5 and under. (Kidding…sorta…). This also happens to be the first room we enter when we retrieve the mail so it just makes sense.
2) Declutter. Sort paper as soon as it comes in the door and purge what is not needed. Decide what to do with it the first time you touch it. If you toss it back into the pile, you are just prolonging the decision making. You do not have time for this and it is not productive. Put all actionable items in the same place and designate a weekly “admin day” when you will handle it. It is extremely difficult to create categories for paper management when you have excess of papers you do not need to keep. Shred it or even burn it. Just get it outta your house.
3)Create a System. Sounds more complex than it really is. Create a system that works best for you. Keyword: Best for you. What works for Susan will not necessarily work for Janet. You need to have a file system within your command center. Categorize by importance. What do you need to have readily available to you? For us, these categories are bills to be paid, coupons/gift cards and important upcoming appointments/school events. The rest is set aside to be filed later on admin day.
4)Set an Admin Day. What is “admin day”? So glad you asked! It is one day you set aside each week to conquer the paper clutter and allow for more productivity in your week. This is the day you handle paying bills, calendaring all upcoming appointment/events and filing All. The. Things. Admin days allow for success so you never miss the mundane details and can sleep easy at night knowing you haven’t missed a deadline or missed Jack’s school play rehearsal.
5) Stay on Top of It. Without a system in place, a household/business can drown in paper. It can literally cost you time, money and stress. You should never risk playing Marco Polo with outstanding bills, or derailing the family from a missed school event or permission slip. Just make sure you create a system and stick with it. The simpler the system, the more likely you are to stick with it and that is 90% of the paper battle.
You CAN do it all yourself, or let a pro handle it for you. Click here to schedule a consultation so you can get back to the things you enjoy!