Paperwork is the bane of our existence. It seems there is a never ending supply of bills, junk mail, product information, etc.
I have a few strategies that work for me:
When I get my mail, I throw out or recycle all of the junk mail in the mail room before I even enter my apartment. The same can be done in your house. Don’t let it land on a table. Dispose of that stuff immediately. If you can find it online, you don’t need the physical copy.
- To get less catalogs in the mail go to: https://www.catalogchoice.org/
Sort the mail into several neat piles: bills, health bills and pharmacy receipts, coupons and sales information, receipts, as well as any other correspondence.
- Put the coupons and sales information in an envelope or accordian file that is clearly labeled, or label a ziploc bag and toss them in. Make sure and go through them periodically, as they expire.
- Bills should have a colorful rubber band around them to show that they are priority items.
- Receipts should have their own file or neatly labeled container. That should be sorted regularly too.
I highly recommend investing in a good scanner that reads text (OCR) and convert important documents into a digital format, so that you don’t have to keep the physical copy. NeatDesk is pricey, but it is probably the highest quality system on the market.
SET ASIDE SOME TIME
It’s very important that you set aside a block of time for yourself to sit down and sort through your pile of papers. Pay the bills and go through receipts and coupons. If you do one thing at a time, it will go faster and be much more efficient. Converting bills to paperless online, will also substantially cut down on the actual paper you accumulate.
Scanning and regular sorting, makes it much easier to save important documents like tax documents and health insurance statements. I have several notebooks where I store older papers that I want hard copies of. Every year or so, I go through them and toss things I no longer need and put in other documents. At some point, I plan on scanning every document, so I have a copy at the ready.
However you decide to file things, make it fun and pretty. It sounds silly, but a bright colored filling system, or colorful notebooks is a great way to make organizing pleasant and pleasant to look at.