Paperwork organization seems to be one of the most daunting tasks when it comes to home organization. I wanted to create an easy plan you can use to clear the clutter and stay on top of your papers once and for all!
Step One: Gather all the loose papers from your home together. This should include current mail, business cards, receipts, work projects etc. Anything that doesn’t already have a “home.”
Step Two: Set up a bag for shredding, a bag for recycling and a bag of things to keep. Label bags with a sharpie in bold writing so you don’t get confused.
Step Three: Sort all papers into the three categories – Keep, Recycle, or Shred. Items that should be shredded include credit card offers, items with your birthdate, social security number, pin or account number and signature.
Step Four: Once you have taken care of the shredding and recycling you can organize the “keepers” into three piles:
1. ACTIVE: Current to-dos and action items. Mail, invitations, bills. Anything that needs your attention.
2. FILED: Papers that need to be filed include documents you need to keep but may only reference occasionally – i.e car records, house records, important documents, and medical records.
3. ARCHIVED: Archival documents include items you want or need to keep, but that you seldom or never reference – ie. tax records and receipts from previous years or memorabilia.
Step Five: Storage:
1. Your active documents should be stored in a bin, basket or wall pocket near your desk for easy access. Some people like to divide these into the subcategories”to-do” and “reference.” Use a bin or wall pocket for each category and make sure to review at least once a week.
2. Your filed documents should be grouped into broad categories and labeled in file folders. Store them in a portable file box or a filing cabinet.
3. Archival documents should be labeled and stored in water-tight plastic bins. They should be kept in deep storage like a closet, basement, attic or garage.
I promise if you follow these simple guidelines you will feel so much better. Happy organizing!
photos and folders by shop bando
2 comments on “Paperwork Organization: Simplified”
I’m curious how you manage the huge flow of kids school work and art.
Great question! I am putting together a post on that topic soon. Stay tuned!