If paperwork is getting you down and you just need a few simple tips for organizing paperwork then continue reading. Paperwork can be one of the most annoying items that you have to organize at home.
It can enter your home in many different forms and this makes it difficult to actually nail down a system for all the different types of paper that is coming into your house. Learn these simple tips on how to organize paperwork and bills.
These seven ideas are for the different types of paperwork and will help you finally get your paper under control so you can start to feel that the paper clutter is gone.
Organizing Important Documents
Do you have documents that you need to keep hold of and you don’t want to lose, then this tip is for you.
You don’t need a file cabinet if you only have a few documents, a file folder might be all you need. If you need something smaller maybe a fireproof box is all you need.
You can buy fire and waterproof boxes too, it will depend on where you live as to the option that’s best suited to you.
It’s simple to grab and if you sort the paperwork into sections you should just grab what you need and go. When important papers come into the home it’s simple to grab the file folder and to pop the new papers inside.
Dealing With Junk Mail
How often is paper coming into your home that is just junk mail? You need to keep your recycling bin handy so you can throw any incoming mail that is just junk mail straight in the place it needs to go.
Just make sure to check for any personal information that you will need to get rid of first. I use a confidential stamp that is simple and easy to use that means the mail gets de-personalised and then thrown into the appropriate bin for recycling.
Paperwork That You No Longer Need
Sometimes we get paperwork through the post that in reality we need not receive this way. You can opt for online bills and email notifications for things like bank statements and utility bills.
You don’t need paper copies of these bills, keep them online or downloaded to your computer so you have easy access but don’t need them printed out at all.
Just save them in case you need to refer to them at any point.
Check out my friend Abby Lawson and her course on how to go paperless.
Kids School Papers
To be fair I think most schools are doing notifications and letters home to parents via email and social media, there shouldn’t be much actual official paperwork that comes home any more.
Art work is precious but you don’t need to keep every item you child ever creates or every model they make.
Pick and choose the ones that you like and store them in a plastic bin for safe keeping. For all the ones that you aren’t keeping, perhaps you can send them to relatives or take a picture and recycle the item in your recycling bin.
Paper Piles That You Don’t Know What They Are
We are all guilty of this one I think. I think everyone has a little stash of paper that we just aren’t sure what it contains and we don’t really want to know how long it’s been sitting there.
You have to be strong and actually go through them. Look at every piece of paper and make a decision as to what needs to happen and then take that action.
You might find that there is a mixture of different types of paper including recycling that just needs throwing out.
Short Term Paperwork
There are pieces of paper that you need for a short period of time and having a place for these is so important as once the time has passed you can then take the action to throw away.
Having a command center for your paperwork that is short term or action required means that you won’t forget about it and it will be a great way to ensure that you are on the ball for appointments and invitations that come into your home on a regular basis.
Related article: Why A Simple Command Center In Your Home Will Make Life Easier
Newspapers And Magazines
I don’t buy these often because I like to read everything online, but if you do buy newspapers and magazines make sure that you aren’t keeping them once you have read them.
Don’t keep stacks and stacks of them thinking you are going to read them again and again, this isn’t going to happen. Have a limit on how many you can have, say a magazine holder full and no more. This will restrict you to making sure you only keep the ones you actually want.
You used to be able to donate these to a few places but in our area that has stopped, so recycle what you can.
Organized Filing System
When it comes to your paperwork you do need to keep a handle on the paper that is coming into your home and the paper that is already there.
It will depend on the types of documents that you need to store as to your main system you choose, but paper can and will take up a lot of space if you let it.
So, you have to make sure that any paper that comes into the home moving forward is sorted and directed to where it needs to go. If you know your main categories and are able to quickly sort any mail as quickly as possible it will help.
Having an organized system will allow you to find what you need and when you need it. You should know what comes into your home via paper and what bills are digital to allow you to file everything accordingly.
Where Not To Store Paperwork
It might seem obvious to some people, but where you put your paperwork down is often where it’s going to stay. So, don’t use your dining room table or the corner on the floor in the living room as a place to put paper that comes into your home.
It might not be important tax documents, but any paperwork that is left lying around is going to end up getting lost or destroyed.
You might be surprised how often important personal documents get mixed up with kids’ artwork and either get destroyed or mixed in with the work you want to keep only to resurface a lot later.
Top Tips For A Good System
There isn’t one system that fits all, it doesn’t work like that and that’s why you should never feel that you have to do something that you don’t feel comfortable with. Often, systems can be too complicated and that means nothing gets put away.
- A cork board or command center is great for pinning post so it gets dealt with as soon as possible
- Paper trays aren’t just for offices, you can use them in your home to organize paper that hasn’t been put away
- A digital filing cabinet is a great option for organizing online bills and paperwork
- Having a label maker is so important as it will help remind you where things belong
- Have a place to store incoming paperwork until you are ready to organize
- Don’t think you can organize a pile of papers quickly, it’s a good idea to take paperwork organizing slowly
- Work on your paper organization on a daily basis, it will help you tackle any backlog
When it comes to the paperwork coming into our homes we have to be mindful of what the purpose is and how we deal with it.
Don’t Rush To Sort Paperwork
If you have piles of paper all over your home it is going to take some time to sort it out and if you do this on a regular basis you are going to make a dent in the amount of paper you have.
Consider getting bills online and not printing them out, create a digital file for them and if you need to refer to them down the line you will have access to them.
Don’t store paperwork on the kitchen table, put it away as soon as you can, even if it’s just in the recycle bin if it’s just junk mail.
Have separate folders for your paperwork that you need to keep and if you have a home office don’t let the paperwork build up to a point where you can’t find the items you want.
Create an organizing system for your paperwork that is simple and works for you and your family.
The best tips are to deal with paper often and to keep it simple as paperwork can take up so much space if you let it.
Rescources To Help You To Organize Paperwork
Are you looking for even more help when it comes to organizing the paper in your home?