Welcome to part 2 of Taming the Paper Clutter. Click here to read part one if you missed it. How did it go last week? Did you enjoy keeping all your counters and surfaces free of all that paper clutter? Let us know how it went in the comments below.
This week’s task is to take action on all that paper you have been gathering in your bin. Here’s what you need to do.
- Step One: Set aside a few minutes each week to process the paper in your inbox. Exactly how much time you need will vary depending on how much paper you have. Also, keep in mind, if you have not been doing this regularly, the first time will definitely take longer than usual. Once you are in the habit of doing this weekly, your papers won’t pile up as much, and it will go much more quickly.
- Step Two: Establish a good place in your house to do this, and make sure you have everything you need in that location. I do this at my office desk. I have a computer in front of me to record receipts in my budget or to pay online bills. I also have a trash can and shredder near me for getting rid of papers I don’t need. I also keep envelopes, return address labels, and postage stamps in the file cabinet right next to me. This way I’m not running around trying to gather up the things I need when I’m processing my papers, helping me to be most efficient and get it done in the least amount of time possible.
- Step Three: Sort through your papers and get rid of all the papers you don’t need. Just as with anything, we don’t want to keep any papers we don’t truly need. If you don’t need coupon inserts, ads, or receipts, toss them. Just getting rid of the papers you don’t need will really help to pare down the stack.
- Step Four: Take action on all papers that need it. Pay the bills, record receipts, etc. If you do this weekly, you know you won’t be late or behind on any bills.
If you have filing systems in place, you can then file everything that needs to be saved once you’ve taken action on it. However, if you’re coming from a place where you don’t already have some systems in place, don’t worry about it. Just put all the paper that needs filed in another bin (or at the bottom of your inbox and put a plain piece of paper on top to mark the spot). In the following weeks, we will be setting up systems for saving all your papers. For now, we just need to focus on taking action on our papers each week.
Here’s a video I recorded to show you the process:
Tame the Paper Clutter Assignment #2 Recap:
Set aside a time and a place each week to process your paper inbox. Take action on all the papers that need it and make sure to get rid of (shred, recycle, trash) any papers you don’t need.
Once you’ve completed this, leave a comment and let us know how it went. Also, let us know how last week’s task went. If you’re still struggling, leave a comment and we’ll try to help you.