Many people think because we are in a digital age that paper clutter no longer exists but that is simply not true. We still receive junk mail, receipts, papers to sign, bills to pay, and items to be filed.
How do you feel every time you walk by a stack of papers that just keep piling up? Did you promise yourself last weekend that you were going to tackle it but it never happened? Do you start to add something to the pile and think to yourself I really have to do something about this it’s causing me stress, anxiety, and guilt? Do you wonder why you can spend hours on Pinterest but cannot make a dent in the paper clutter?
You are not alone but now is the time especially before tax season to tackle the paper clutter and get organized with these simple tips and some of my favorite things.
GATHER ALL PAPERS IN ONE AREA The reason piles begin and get out of hand is they are not in one central location. Set up a designated space for a small office. It doesn’t have to be an entire room just an area to keep office essentials neat and organized.
SHRED OLD PAPERWORK Invest in a shredder! Open mail where the shredder is located and shred anything you don’t need. That includes all of the multiple credit card applications you receive on a daily basis and any other junk mail. It can be tedious but shredding all old paperwork can also be a freeing experience when you are done. If you have too much to shred put it in a box and take it to a local office supply store or UPS store and they can shred it for you!
SORT Now that you have everything in a central location and old paperwork is shredded or recycled it’s time to sort. The easiest way to do this is to think in categories for example Insurance, Auto, Home, Bills to Pay, Health, etc. Making easy to read labels not only helps you but helps other people in your family if there is an emergency.
SCAN AND FILE Most printers come with a scanner but even if you don’t have one there are apps like Scanner for Me and Scannable that work great and make scanning and filing a breeze.
COLLATOR If you want to keep important files at your fingertips invest in a collator. I have talked about this one on Instagram and in this previous blog. It not only keeps you organized but looks great on a desktop or credenza.
Once you have simplified and organized your paperwork you will realize how much better you feel. Clutter causes stress and anxiety and implementing systems prevents future clutter.