Help With My Paper
What IS it about figuring out how to organize papers and books that gives us a fit? It must be the variety of different papers we accumulate. Papers are one of the hardest things to organize. From junk mail to important legal documents, there are a slew of papers taking up valuable space throughout the average person’s home. There are bills, documents, receipts, lists, letters etc. If you’re the kind of person who would have trouble locating the top of your table with a shovel and a GPS unit. Or, if your idea of “organizing” documents is by simply creating 25 distinct piles and stacking them on the dining room table, or maybe sweeping them into already over crowded drawers, then you probably would like to know how to organize paperwork and reduce the clutter.
You might like to try some of the following hints:
But remember, organizing your documents and papers is a pretty big task, so cutting it down into small pieces helps a lot.
First, finding an appropriate place for all of these papers is essential to keeping an organized home with daily activities running smoothly. All papers need a place to call home, and file cabinets offer the perfect blend of versatility and stability, but they aren’t the total answer.
Before you can organize your papers, you need to assess what you have. Group your papers together in like piles, (you might of already done this; check the table). People naturally organize their papers and other items into piles that make sense to their own way of thinking. Designate one area of your home, even if it’s only one drawer, for the majority of the filing of business papers, bills, letters, and clippings.
Now, assess your papers and determine the best place for each category. Keeping those files you use often near you, and easily accessible, is a key to keeping your documents organized. Having to get on a ladder to access your daily files is not a good idea.
Set up a separate area for your important papers and receipts. Sometimes, just a cheap fire-proof box is all you need. Put all insurance papers, titles, birth certificates etc. in this box. You always hope nothing bad like a fire or severe storm happens, but it can. If you have invested in a fire-proof box, hopefully all your important legal papers are all together and protected. Remember to make sure that you keep your insurance papers in the box. If you need the box, you need the insurance papers. You might think about putting a copy of your most important papers in a safe-deposit box at a bank. Some banks offer a free box when you open a new account.
If you can’t file papers on a regular basis, use a folder or box, labeled “To File” to temporarily store items. (At least that way, before they’re organized, You’ll know where everything is – in the box). Finding the ideal place for papers is a vital key to maintaining the order.
A filing cabinet is almost always the best way to organize papers. If you don’t have a file cabinet you could use an old dresser. Then you can organize papers from those other piles scattered throughout your home. When you organize your papers, use folders or envelopes then store them in the location you have selected. Purchase a portfolio/organizer notebook from an office supply store to help organize papers for special things you are working on. An example would be if you are in the process of changing your car insurance, place all the different price quotes in the one portfolio. That way when you are ready to make your decision you have all the necessary information in one spot. This also works great when those year-end statements start to come in. Put them in a folder and then just take that folder to your tax preparer. I used to have a tendency to just put them in a “safe place”, then, of course I couldn’t find them when I was ready to file my taxes. Another good use for these multi pocket portfolio’s is to store all those receipts. New roof, new furnace, all the miscellaneous items that you had to get for that re-model.
Top of the list as a way to stay organized with your papers, is to sort the mail as soon as it comes in. Throw out those items you KNOW you won’t look at, such as all those ads. Then keep three folders or paper trays in a handy area. One for unopened important incoming mail, one for outgoing mail, and one for papers that need to be taken care of such as permission slips and bills to be paid.