One of the most challenging tasks is decluttering mail, documents, bills and receipts. Even though I had decluttered my home of possessions, it took me some time to stop fighting the crazy paper war. Sometimes piles of papers would take over the entire kitchen table, my desk, or even end up in a box filled to the brim in the corner of the room. Here are a few suggestions that have helped me keep the paper war at bay.
1. Create a filing system that is simple and easy that works for you.
Once you’ve found one you actually like, use it. I prefer an accordion file that I purchased at CVS. I buy a new one each year. I don’t know why I waited six months into the year to actually use it this time, but that’s another story.
2. Look over all of your mail when you first get it and toss junk mail immediately.
If you know exactly what’s coming in you won’t find it unopened later on and be surprised. I can’t stand missing an important date because I didn’t thoroughly read my mail. It’s best to discover the information when it first arrives.
3. Have a specific place where all of your mail goes and is organized.
I use a basket to place all of my mail so it is easy to find and ready to be sorted and filed when I’m ready to.
4. Allocate one day a week to go through all of your mail again.
Take action on all mail that needs attention, file away important documents, and shred documents with vital personal information. Recycle everything else.
5. Sort and file all tax deductible receipts at the end of each day.
This will really make things so much easier when tax season comes around. This will save you so much time!
6. If you do have a magazine or newspaper subscription, pass on the reading to a friend or co-worker when your through.
Another great option is to recycle them. If you must keep an article that you absolutely loved, scan it and save it on your computer for future reading.
7. Create a reasonable system to stay on top of it.
Once you’ve figured out what works for you it will be a breeze. You’ll never have to fight the evil paper war again.
This is true freedom!
(Image by D Sharon Pruitt)