Due to the space limitations of where I lived a few years ago, I slowly started evolving away from being a pack rat with paper piles. I went from having a 2-drawer filing cabinet and several boxes of paperwork to only one 9 x 15 file box. It feels amazing. I actually have a home paper management system. I am no longer drowning in paper!
Incoming mail can be sorted into a paper file organization system, after deciding one of these actions:
- to toss (shred, recycle, or trash)
- to pay
- to file / reference (coupons, receipts; info, printouts –are these really necessary?)
- to act (dates to remember (invitations, field trips, etc.)
How can you apply these steps?
Ask yourself: where does it pile up? Is it your purse, kitchen counter, dining room table, computer desk, bedroom, mailbox, or car?
Get rid of temporary places for your papers. Make a list of where the paper needs to go. For example, I only keep an explanation of benefits until I get the bill. After I compare, the EOB is tossed. I’ve stopped keeping every account statement, bill, and paper I receive. And, I keep bills to pay in one place, complete with envelopes and stamps.
Consider going electronic. If you don’t think you’ll need a paper copy in a reference file, consider getting information via email so you won’t have to store it at all.
How do you stay on top of your paperwork?