This month's organizing project is paper- not glamorous but necessary. My favorite projects are the ones that when you are done you can look at something pretty. Paper is just not pretty- lol but, when your paperwork is organized you do feel more in control of your whole world which is pretty amazing too.
Let's tackle that paperwork.....
Steps to Organize Paperwork:
#1- Gather 6 boxes or containers for sorting
#2- Label each sorting container with the following
#3- Sort papers into these containers
Types of papers that go into each one
Reference- Coupons, menus, brochures, newsletters, informational documents
Memories- Cards, pictures, notes
Long Term- Tax info, loan documents, contracts, medical, insurance documents (These are things you will keep for years)
Short Term- Bill statements already paid and receipts (These are things that you will not need after 1 year)
Action- Bills to pay and anything requiring you to take action or follow up on.
Trash-anything you are 100% you do not need
#4-Contain the sorted papers
How to decide what type of system is best? This will depend partially on your personality.
Ask yourself: Do I like to drop papers in a basket vs. taking the time to open a drawer and insert in a file? The best systems will work with how you naturally live. If you have a file cabinet and you find that you have a huge pile of need to file - you may want to consider baskets. So put some thought into what will work for you.
The one exception to your system would be your papers in the Long Term category-These should always be stored in a file system and labeled (This will be easier to quickly find important documents since you don't use these all the time)
My Personal preferences for paper storage in case you need some ideas.
Reference- a basket in the kitchen command center area
Memories- Clear plastic bins labeled with each family members name - keep in my basement storage area.
Long Term - 2 types- fireproof box for the really important documents like birth certificates, social security cards, passports, etc. File box- labeled for each filed category.
Short Term- Photo box that I keep by my desk area- I usually only keep receipts and statements that are not available on line to keep the paper to a minimum. At the end of the year I go through to look for anything needed for taxes and shred everything in it.
Action- I have a magazine holder that I put all the items I need to follow up on and try to get it cleaned out weekly.