Too much paper is a common problem in all households and offices. When I work with a client, it doesn't matter what space we plan on organizing, there will always be paper there! The first step in getting paper clutter under control is to reduce the amount of paper that makes it past the front door.
Follow this easy daily mail sorting process and see how much less paper makes it into piles in your house! First, find a convenient place to do this process that can house all the tools needed. We're all inherently lazy, so make as easy as possible for maximum success! You'll need a recycling bin, shredder, calendar and pen plus one of the tools pictured below.
- Always go through the mail daily while standing over the garbage can. Immediately toss or recycle all junk mail, envelopes and inserts, and shred sensitive documents.
- Any mail that can be handled in 2 minutes or less, like a party invitation, do it immediately; write it on the calendar, then toss or file the paper.
- Set up a desk top hanging file system or in/out boxes to sort the remaining mail. You’ll need categories like “bills”, “invitations” or “future events”, “read”, “to do” and “file”. Remember, everything that goes in here does not live here for very long. This is not a procrastination tool!
- Pick a day of the week to pay bills, read, file and take care of the “to do” items. Write a reminder on your electronic or paper calendar until it becomes a habit.
- Reduce incoming paper by removing your name from direct marketer’s mailing lists. Go to the link and fill out the form.
- Do digital wherever you can! Sign up to receive newsletters, bills, bank and credit card statements via email to reduce the physical paper coming in.
- Cancel all magazines and catalogs you don’t read. This is a huge step! The catalogs temp us with shiny new things we don't need and the magazines just make us feel bad when we don't read them. Simply call the number in the magazine/catalog and discontinue them. Some catalogs have a phone selection just for discontinuing receiving catalogs. It's that simple.
Check out the simple paper organization tools below! You probably have some of these laying around already. Need help selecting which paper organization tools are right for you? Contact me today to discuss your project. Check back soon for step #2 post!
What's your biggest paper nightmare?