Have you ever your faced dining room table or kitchen counter covered in paper, taken one look and turned around to find something else to do? Planning to host Thanksgiving dinner by shoving the piles into bags and sticking it in the closet to deal with “later?”
Despite the appearance of being hundreds of items, all paper piles boil down to only 3 types of items: action, reference, or trash.
These are items that need actual action – the “To-Dos.” Bills to pay, calls to make, items to research, forms to return. There are many ways to store this kind of paper but generally they need to be very accessible and fairly visible. For many folks storing them in a filing cabinet is too “out of sight, out of mind.”
These are items that are purely informational that you want to keep for reference either short or long term:
- Insurance policies, medical records, financial, tax related, legal, etc.
- Travel, art, leisure, self growth, parenting, job ideas, etc.
These can take the form of clippings, articles, printouts, and statements, mailed documents, books or magazines. Books and magazines are best stored on a bookshelf, loose papers are best stored in a filing cabinet. Freedom Filer created this concept of “Simplify With The Art Of Filing™” which is a great option for handling all of your reference files.
Self-explanatory! Shredding, recycling, garbage. It can be helpful to sort your incoming mail while standing over recycling & shredding bags. The quicker it goes out, the less pile-up of true junk happens.
Not being sure if you need to keep something often creates stress, anxiety, and confusion. Check out our prior post: Paper: to Keep or Toss? Problem Solved.
Set the timer for 15 minutes and see how far you get with this method. Enjoy the leftovers from your family meal rather than the aftermath from a hasty clean-up.