Recently I've been asked to share my tips on keeping up with the daily "Paper Madness" that comes into every household. Here are my best tips to share with you...
1. Each day when you go to your mailbox, sift through the mail and decide what needs to go straight to the trash, what needs addressing, and what needs to be shredded. I use the trash in the garage to dump the unwanted mail into before I even enter my home.
2. Keep a tray on your desk with important papers and go through them once a week. If you mail in bills, then have a spot to keep your bills on your desk so when you make time to pay them, they are all in one place and you are not searching around the house for them. This will keep your desk nice and tidy so you can focus on your work.
3. My "Rule of Thumb" with paper is to touch it once! Take care of it until it's gone...filed, mailed, shredded, whatever it needs done to it. Don't just move paper from one pile to the next.
4. Use one notepad on your desk to make your lists and any notes you need to function throughout your day or week. Do not use a million "Post It Notes" and place them everywhere, it causes too much distraction, and you could miss important tasks.
5. Use a working file drawer for things that need to be kept up on a regular basis. Such items maybe:
~receipts for taxes
~things you reference often
Everything else can go into a file cabinet that is not as easily accessible or needed. My huge black file cabinet is kept in our garage. It takes up too much room. I have 1 drawer dedicated just for taxes filed by the year (most recent in the front). You never know when you may need those things.
6. One of my best tips I have for you to keep up on your "Paper Madness" is to have your bills set up on paperless statements so you can cut down on filing. If you itemize on your taxes, and have these payments set up automatically from your account, you can go online to your bank and under the "Search" bar, type in the name and date range and it will pull up the year's worth. This has been a HUGE game changer for me when preparing for my taxes.
7. If you have school age children with important papers coming home, create a hub in the kitchen. I always used a large magnet on the fridge with any "date" type things. The rest I keep together to reference often in the kitchen. I put it in a drawer when we entertain, then bring it back out when I need it.
I hope these tips help you to get things somewhat under control. If you need help getting caught up and this system created don't hesitate to call me. This is one of my favorite services that I offer.