Saturday, December 21, 2013

Paper Clutter Solution - 2nd try

Finding an effective paper filing system that works is tough.  Before our second move this year we did an overhaul of our paper clutter in Paper Clutter - It happens to us all.  After 5 months living in our new home back in the US, we found that the paper clutter was out of control once again!







 "Enough!" I declared! Time to try something different.

First steps:

1) Identify the problem:

Flat surfaces in the house were becoming a dumping ground for paper clutter and going unchecked for too long.
Unsorted piles made it difficult to determine what needed filing.
We were losing track of important documents.

2) Create categories of paper that come through the home:

Bills to be paid
Other documents needing attention
Receipts
Coupons
Junk Mail
Paid bills, pay stubs

3) Create a filing system:

I had files and bought a simple and cheap file stand for the desk.  I labeled each file according to our categories.

4) Create rules:

No papers are allowed to be put on a flat surface in the house, all papers when brought in need to be filed in the appropriate file folder.  Once a week we will go through the folders for documents needing attention and then will file documents that must be kept in an accordion binder.  This way, the folders will not overflow, we will know where to find the documents we need, and Junk Mail will be tossed once a week into the recycling.

As with all decluttering solutions, it is important to find one that works for you and your family's lifestyle.  The best way is to keep trying new ways if old ways are not working, be honest with yourself about why something isn't working, and make sure your solutions play to your strengths.