Updated: Jan 8
It’s the number ONE struggle of almost everyone who wants to be more organized. We are drowning in paperwork because we don’t know what to keep and what to toss, and we feel obligated to look at EVERYTHING for fear we will miss out on something important. I’ve decided that blogging about the topic might help more people move forward with their paper clutter. This week is the first in the series – and someday it will become a book or an online course!
In my experience, there are at least three kinds of paperwork:
1. Incoming Paperwork
2. Stacks and Piles of Paperwork
3. Stored Paperwork
We’ve all heard only handle it once – and that makes great sense if you’re on top of your paperwork as it comes in the door. Unfortunately, stacks and piles and stored paperwork have already missed the opportunity to be handled that way, so when we start dealing with those categories, we have to rethink how we tackle the project.
Because incoming paperwork is ALWAYS incoming, I like to start here and build a system to deal with that first. Then stacks, piles, and stored paper can be retrofitted into a system that you’ve designed for your unique needs. And yes, it’s okay if your paper organization system doesn’t look like anybody else’s – you’re aren’t anybody else!
Before next week, pick a place to work and gather the tools you need to get started on your own paper management project. Here’s my recommended list:
· Staple Puller
· Letter Opener
· Trash Can/Recycle Bin
· Portable File Box
· Box of Hanging File Folders
· Tabbed File Folders
If you recycle paper, you’ll need some way to separate it as paper comes in – but don’t plan to store your recycling at your project site. We want to move recycling OUT as soon as we can. Keep your recycle bin small enough that you can easily empty into your outdoor bin for pickup. You don’t want a 35-pound box of paper clogging up your workflow. If you don’t have recycling pick up available, write out a plan for where and how often you will deliver recycling.
That’s enough to get you started . . . watch for more!