Organized paperwork? Is that ever possible, you may ask, as you look at the mountains of bills, papers and assorted letters occupying every surface in your home. Paperwork seems to breed when your attention is elsewhere! But you can have tidy and organized paperwork and keep it that way. So I´m going to show you some easy ways to organize paperwork at home, and keep it under control.
1. Only Keep Essentials
A good place to start when organizing the paperwork mountain is to throw out all the letters, bills and receipts that you no longer need. While some papers need to be kept for a certain time, e.g. for tax purposes, you don´t need to keep everything indefinitely. So start by throwing away any papers that are no longer essential.
2. Regular Pruning
The key to maintaining organized paperwork is to go through it on a regular basis. Otherwise it builds up amazingly quickly! Then before you know it, it´s out of control and taking over the house. So make a point of looking through your paperwork perhaps every couple of months, and discarding anything that´s no longer relevant.
3. Own Home
Does it seem as though your paperwork takes up more space in your house than you do? Buy it its own home if you want to keep it tidy and organised. A box file will do nicely. If you have a lot of papers that you need to keep for business purposes, get a filing cabinet or set of boxes.
4. Don´t Delay
We all do this, don´t we – toss our mail aside, meaning to deal with it later. What invariably happens is that we ignore it or forget about it, and the letters are joined by more and more. Get into the habit of dealing with mail and other paperwork as soon as you acquire it – you´ll know where documents and letters are, and won´t drive yourself nuts trying to locate them.
Not only does organized paperwork need its own home, but it should also be clearly labelled. This applies whatever the form of storage it lives in. Labels make finding paperwork so much easier – instead of rifling through draws, you´ll be able to lay your hands on it quickly.
Make sure that your paperwork is easily accessible. It´s tempting to leave it at the bottom of a closet and cover it with other items, but this is a nuisance when you need to access the papers. You might even forget where it is – out of sight, out of mind!
Definitely one of the best ways to organize paperwork at home is to avoid accumulating it in the first place! Many companies now offer customers the chance to have paperless billing. For anyone who has access to the internet, it´s easy to check bills and statements online, so a paper copy is unnecessary and takes up space. Besides, refusing a paper copy will help the environment!
There are lots of ways to organize paperwork at home and stop it from building up to massive proportions. Keep on top of it, before it gets on top of you. And remember that you don´t need to keep papers forever. You´re not building an historical archive! Are you super-organized, or have you failed miserably at achieving a system of organized paperwork?