You get arrive home, various mail and paperwork under your arm. You throw it down onto a table, onto a shelf or into a drawer and think “I’ll get to it later”.
Sound familiar? Opening bills, sorting files, stapling, labeling – it’s not exactly the most fun thing to do in your spare time. However, keeping your important paperwork in a neat, organized system is not only efficient, but it helps reduce clutter. It also can help free up entire day’s worth of sorting in the future when you finally decide to sit down and go through a heaping mound of it! An extra five minutes sorting now can save you time and energy down the road.
Here are our top filing suggestions to get you started!
Choose one place for all of your paperwork – receipts, mail, flyers, bills, literally everything that is of importance. Keep it in one stack. Whether it’s in a box, a bin, a basket, it doesn’t matter. This storage unit is the One Box To Rule Them All. With only one designated landing place, you won’t have to hunt around the entire house for your important pieces come filing time.
The Processing Unit
Designate four boxes/bins/letter trays with the following labels; Now, Processing, Later & Reference.
The first includes anything that must be done in the next 7 days. This could include bills, invitations, late notices, etc. The second includes anything that is currently in progress, such as online shopping receipts, a credit card offer that is being processed, etc. The third includes anything that you plan on doing in the next 4 months, like shopping receipts for returns. This section can cross over with the final, as many bills and receipts will become a reference in a longer period of time.
Sort through the processing unit weekly and file into their permanent destination.
A shredder is a must to help protect your identity, as is a recycling bin and a trash bin. In fact, keep a recycling bin right by your door in your closet for junk mail and toss it in immediately. It’ll save time and space in your processing center.
Ideas for File Storage
- Stand Up Filing Cabinet
- Large cork board
- Towel bar attached to your desk with hanging files for small spaces
- Expense tracker envelopes
- Built-in cubbies
- Greeting card displays
- Pop-up cloth boxes
- Wire or plastic wall magazine holders
Check out the above infographic for some more simple tips to get you started!