In an earlier blog post, I told you about my Big Pile. After taking care of that Big Pile, I never had a Pile like that again. Do you wanna know why? I'll tell you why and how you too can organize your papers. And keep them organized.
These days I don't dread the middle of the month anymore. Admin Day. Looking forward is another extreme but the days of "I rather don't wanna deal with it" are behind me now. And it's all because I have one thing in place.
- have many piles of papers throughout the house
- can't keep up with filing them
- have all kinds of papers in your pile(s) from work, from your kids, your household and lots more
------> You need a system!! <-------
It's as simple as that. In fact, having a system is the key to getting, being and staying organized.
Getting a workable system, you need to put time and effort in it. First, you gather every paper and every pile. Sit down with it and start sorting. Finds tips on how to break that down in the blog post about my Big Pile. You don't need to have all of that finished within 2 hours. It took me several Sundays. No big deal. Just take your time.
Once you have that in place, you want to keep it that way. With every paper entering your home in whatever way, be it through the mail, an email that is been printed or your kids bringing it home from school, act on it immediately. DON'T just lay it on the table or in a drawer without doing something with it!!
What do you need to do with it?
- Pay it? (bill, invoice)
- File it? ( insurance papers, kids art)
- Act on it? (respond, talk it over with your spouse)
Look at the due date. You probably don't need to act on it right away. Just put it in its right place.
Its right place could be
- a transparent document folder
- a desktop organizer or inbox
- an accordion file folder
I myself have a desktop organizer with 2 transparent document folders (Bills and File). Just don't have one big pile. Separate already when your papers come in the house. It makes dealing with it later so much easier, believe me.
Of course, there come a time you need to deal with your papers. I set myself down with a cup of tea on every 15th of the month, basically because we get paid on that day. I reserve time for it in my agenda. Take all your different little piles or folders out. This is the time you pay that bill or schedule the payment for the future in your online banking system.
After your bills are paid, you are going to file them. Together with other papers you need or want to keep. Like insurance papers, manuals, bank account statements or your kid's artwork.
If you do this every month (or every week or fortnight if you like) your 3 piles (pay/file/act) will be much more manageable. It will only take maybe an hour or 2 to get everything in its own binder or in your filing cabinet.
To make it more fun I have 8 colorful labels for you. You can use them on your file folders or on those transparent document folders. Just click the button below to download this fun gift!
Tell me, how do you manage your paperwork?
P.S. This is a post in a series for 2017 to help you get more organized. So every month I will give you tips and tricks to organize your home, life, money or bag. Let me know if you are looking for some tricks to organize something in specific, OK?