Touch it Only Once: Paper Organizing Tips to Live By

Published Wednesday, August 08, 2012 11:52 PM

Paper may eventually go the way of papyrus, but for now, it's here to stay. Paper bills, taxes, receipts, school work, business cards, not to mention, your overstuffed mailbox: dealing with paper is a part of the day-to-day. Tired of watching papers pile up? Read on for six tips for taming that paper tiger. 

The Circular File: Open mail over the trash. Discard junk mail, catalogs and envelopes. You'll be amazed at how much paper you cut out.

Buh-bye Unread Mags: Do you have magazine or newspaper subscriptions you never get around to reading? Put an end to the wishful thinking and cancel those items. Likewise, cancel the catalogs that fill up your mailbox. Online sites like catalogchoice.com will help you fend off unwanted catalogs. Watch your recycling pile shrink.

Create a Mail Station: Keep envelopes, stamps, pens and a checkbook handy in one central location so bills can be paid quickly, without building up. Consider going digital with as many bills as you can.

Once a Day: Just as you empty your sink of dirty dishes each day, commit to a daily review of incoming paper. By spending even a few minutes a day managing the paper flow, you ward off the massive paper pile ups that cause stress and disorganization.

Get a System: You don't need to have an OCD  filing system to successfully manage paper. Sometimes a system as simple as Act Now, File for Action Later This Week, and Archive is all that's needed. Just be sure to develop a system that doesn't have you hanging on to every slip of paper than enters your home.  Which brings us to our next tip...

Let Go: Not everything needs to be saved. Work hard to distinguish what's important from what's not. If you don't reconcile your ATM slips with your bank statements, why are you holding on to those paper slips? Are you truly keeping each piece of children's art? Choose a few to hang in a rotating art gallery in your kitchen and get rid of the rest. Not sure what to keep, what to purge? Our past post File or Toss? A Handy Guide for Assessing Your Paperwork helps you decide.

Do you have any tips or tricks for managing the paper flow? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

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