Paper Organization – Pile or Stack of Papers

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 38,191
    Professional Organizer Erin Young discusses ways to reduce those piles of paper that have gotten out of control, maybe on your dining room table, at your front door, wherever it is.

    Erin Young: Hi! I am Erin Young. I am with Clutterbusters and today we are talking about ways to reduce the paper clutter in your home.

    We are going to be attacking the stacks today, those piles of paper that have gotten out of control, maybe on your dining room table, at your front door, wherever it is.

    I am going to walk you trough some very simple steps on how to sort each piece of paper in those piles.

    With Clutterbusters, we teach our client a system called Do, Delegate or Ditch. Essentially, this means that each piece of paper in that stack has one function. Its either something you are going to do, which means its an actionable item for you to take care of right now or you put in its proper place.

    Its a delegate item meaning youre going to give it to a third-party, somebody, else for their action. Typically, this happens more often in office setting, but you never know might happen at home too.

    Third, Ditch means just that you are going to toss it, recycle it, shred it, whatever get it out, and as we approach the stack, each piece of paper were going to look at in terms to do, delegate, or ditch.

    What were going to do right now is set up some categories for all the papers in your stack to go into. Youre going to need some post-its and a sharpie.

    As we create a category you want to be general and not too specific, but you want to make sure that you have a spot for each paper to go.

    Some categories that are going to work are; banking, investment, and as you work youre going to want to make sure that you have space to move, either a dining room table or a bedroom floor, some place its going to allow you to spread out with some papers. Credit card, 401(k), IRA, Taxes, Card, Utility, Phone, House, Employment, Medical, Identity; in this category, goes things like your Social Security card, your birth certificate, your passport that kind of things. Pets, Special Interest whatever hobbies youve got, correspondence and of course, Miscellaneous.

    Now, with all of these post-it notes set out clearly for you to see, youre going to take each piece of paper and decide where it goes.

    Dont worry, if youve got three checking accounts, put them all under Banking right now. You dont need to designate a category for each one of those right now. You can get more specific and create individual files when you go to file them later.

    When youre done, when youve gotten through your stack, youre going to go ahead, pile them neatly and then stack them alternately, cross ways like this, so that when you are at your filing cabinet, you can easily grab each little stack of paper by its proper category and put it where it needs to go.

    Make sure that you designate some proper time, some uninterrupted time to deal with your paperwork. Make sure you dont answer the phone, dont deal with the kids; just deal with your paperwork and go small. Start with one stack, finish that, and see how you feel about moving towards the next one. If you break it down into smaller pieces for yourself, youll find that its easier to accomplish the whole thing.

    So, here we have it, a simple easy way for you to sort through each of the papers, in each of your stack. I promise, itll help you cut down on the paper clutter in your home.