Paperwork Organization: Simplified

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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

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