Previously I have written about command centers and this is simply an extension of that but the goal here is to have less paper clutter in your life! It is easy to grab the mail on our way into the house and just toss it down on the counter and let it sit there for a few days before we remember to go through it. Maybe even some torn out magazine recipes or newspaper articles that we have full intentions on reading and then never take them off the table. We all have paper clutter somewhere in one of the main areas of home – don’t try and deny it!
Designate each paper area!
Lets start with where most of our paper comes from… the mail.
Junk Mail: There is only 1 place that this goes; right into the recycling bin!
Bills: Always be sure to open them up to check due dates and any errors on your bills. Once they are opened and the ripped open envelope is into the recycling bin, then place the bills into the designated bill area.
Magazines: It is only necessary to keep the most current months edition, so one you receive a new magazine in the mail, throw out last months copy. Then all current month magazines go into the designated magazine area.
Need to file: Anything that is necessary to keep will go in this area. Things like pay stubs, tax records, medical records and anything else that you need to keep for your records or that the state may require you to keep for years at a time will go into this designated area. This will end up in your filing cabinet in a separate area. The trick here is to make sure this need to file bin doesn’t ever get too full, you need to set aside 5 minutes maybe at the end of each week to actually file.
Cards or Invitations: Only keep until the date of the event, then toss these in the recycling bin, or if you keep them put them in your keepsake area!
Keepsake: A lot of the time these tend to be the things that we want to keep so badly we just have no idea where to put it so it is not in the way. A keepsake area is pretty much the same thing as a memory box. Photos can be kept in here or invitations just to name a few. If you have a larger keepsake area, I have always liked to keep awards, yearbooks, team t shirts or jerseys, artwork from when you were a kid and so much more.
Labeling is always important to designate a person or specific thing. Such as “Mom” or “Bills”. You also need a home for where these items specifically go, obviously. Each of these designated areas can go be a basket or bin, a magazine holder, a folder, whatever works best for you but make sure your bins are in sight where you will remember them! An eye-pleasing, attractive system may entice you to keep up with this filing method.
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