Professional Organizing Tips and Resources.
Paper cutter is a real challenge because of the volume of paper we all seem to accumulate.
It's just a fact that pieces of paper easily stack and hide each other.
Here are some quick tips to help you purge and organize your paper clutter.
Look for related items and gather them together.
You’ve done this a million times: sorted through a stack of papers and divided them into small stacks, such as Bills to Pay, Bank Statements, School Papers, To-Do Lists, Ideas You’d Like To Try, Things I Might Buy, and blank yellow pads. But you probably stopped there. Keep going through the next three steps, and you won’t end up re-stacking all those papers, only to go through them again later.
Dispose of unneeded or duplicate items.
Did you find duplicates, or old documents you no longer need? Toss them!
Examples: Expired warranties, magazine articles that you kept but can’t remember why, information that you could easily find again, financial statements whose information is repeated on later statements, But please be sure to shred or destroy properly. See my resource page for local options.
Choose containers for each group of items.
After you have purged and you know what you are going to keep, take a look at each box of papers and consider what kind of container will work best. File folders are a natural, but consider other alternatives where appropriate:
Three-ring binders can be stored on shelves, and contents can either be hole-punched or placed in pockets and page protectors. (TIP: have a hole puncher in reach at all times if you go this route.)
Box-bottom folders handle bulkier items well.
Large envelopes can substitute for file folders if you don’t have a filing cabinet or if the papers are various sizes and apt to fall out of a file folder.
For voluminous stacks, you don’t need to organize further, try a box. If you do need to further organize a big stack, think about an accordion file or a notebook with dividers.
(TIP: what ever options you are considering 'do' think long term on how it will work for you before you go to set up.)
Choose a home for each container.
If you use it allot, it needs to be in your reach. Store frequently-used papers in convenient locations. You’ll also locate files easier if you line up all the tabs on hanging file folders in a straight line, rather than alternating from left to right. (TIP: Decide on what side to put 'Main Category' header tabs and keep them in a tidy row too. It makes for easy scanning later.)
And remember that as you have new papers that need to be filed, take the time to label them properly and place them where they belong sooner than later. If you 'Put it here FOR NOW' you are asking for trouble later.
Floating Pieces of Paper/Notes
Eliminate floating pieces of paper by having only one place to write things down. Be sure to identify a home where it will always be kept as well. You may keep your notes in a notebook that stays by the phone, a small pocket notebook that you carry in your pocket or purse. Or maybe a note-pad on your Smart Phone that you know is always going to go with you.
Just follow this rule... never jot something down with the idea that you’ll rewrite or type it in later. Now is the time. 'Putting stuff here for now' is how we get in trouble in the first place, so write it down in its permanent location to start with.
Happy Organizing! Call if you get stuck!
Need help organizing? Michelle serves the Carleton Place, Lanark County and Ottawa areas.