Before your papers and mail form into a pile- your best defense is to work on it daily. This means every day you should perform an initial sort.
After you open envelopes, create 3 piles:
1.) File away – this will be a document you need to keep for future reference. Place in an appropriate labeled file folder and store in a file cabinet.
2.) Act – this document needs a follow up action step. For example, write a check, make a phone call, etc. Once that action step is complete, file or shred the document if you no longer need it.
3.) Recycle/shred– if you will likely not need read it, use it or need it then toss it. Recycle where possible and shred anything containing private information.
We all have paper clutter- if you’re ready to clear some of it quickly, use my ‘Quick Toss List’. These are items that should require little thought but make a big impact in your space.
- Expired circulars and coupons
- Old greeting/birthday cards
- Invitation to events that have passed
- Outdated schedules
- Owner’s manuals for items you no longer own
- Photos that are poorly exposed or look bad;)
- Catalogs older than two months
- Recipes you haven’t tried in a year but thought you would
- Magazines older than a year
- Solicitations from charities you do not intend to support
- Old newspapers
- Old grocery lists
- School papers from previous school year (save a few of your favorites)