How Do I keep Paperwork from Piling Up Again?

Incoming paperwork, like all items in the house, should have a home. I have a “To Do” area on my desk. I use an open magazine rack because I need to see it but don’t want piles of clutter. Use whatever works best for you!

There are several sources for incoming paperwork

1. MAIL – mail should be opened next to the recycling bin as much of that incoming paperwork is junk. Toss it immediately so it doesn’t “bulk up” your To Do pile. Take any mail that does require your attention and place it in its appropriate home, your newly created To Do area.

2. SCHOOL – If you have school aged children, they are likely bringing in a lot of paper. Sort this paper as you would the mail. Have them toss what is no longer needed, file what they want to reference for later in the year and then add to your To Do area anything that needs action.

3. WORK – You may have work that comes home with you from the office. Once it has completed its purpose at home, it should return to the office or be tossed if no longer needed. Don’t let it linger at home without use.

4. OUT AND ABOUT – we get handed receipts constantly. Just because someone hands you a receipt doesn’t mean it has to go in your purse or come home with you. If it is for an item you may return, keep the receipt in your wallet for safe reference. If it is not (groceries, sundries, meals, low ticket items) then just toss the receipt at the store.

On a weekly basis, you should review the To Do area and be sure actions that need to be taken have been completed. Then toss the paper trail.

This entire process can be dramatically enhanced and paper reduced if you utilize these steps and scan and save digitally those things that are required for your records

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