The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
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.
All of this work deserves high praise. Pat yourself on the back and have some hot cocoa and a cookie. It’s time to party.
Thanks! I like your tumblr too! :)
Let me know what you are working on around organizing, and I’ll write a post about it. What is your organizing/clutter challenge?
Today was, in short, a spectacular day for me. I looked around my apartment and decided it was high time for a deep cleaning:
- cleaned baseboards
- wiped off all surfaces
- cleaned dishes and cleaned the sink
- answered emails
- wished a friend happy birthday
- went to gym
I’m still working on putting away my laundry, but overall I feel really proud of myself for getting myself and my home together today.
When my house gets a little messy, I often invite people over. What? Invite people Over? Yes!
Scheduling a party makes me that much more motivated to get my house in order. I want people to see my house at it’s best, so I run around washing dishes and picking up until the house is in good shape.
When I look around my apartment after a particularly chaotic or stressful week, I am often dumbfounded by what a mess it is. I am sometimes overwhelmed, but I know that I have a place for things and if I put them away, I will feel better.
LESS IS MORE
The other issue that comes up for me, when I see a lot of things around me is that I want less things. Having too much, tends to crowd out any positive feelings you may have about your home. I often ask myself, “Do I really need this or do I even like it?”. If the answer is no, it’s time to make a bag of things to take to your favorite charity.
TAKE STUFF OUT BEFORE YOU PUT NEW STUFF IN
Bringing new gadgets or doodads into your home can also cause a lot of stress, unless you get rid of older things at the same time.
I feel more creative and at peace when I have just what I need around me. Even if you have made some shopping mistakes, there is no reason to hold onto something just because you feel guilty.
Your things do not define you, but they may contribute to anxiety, sadness and stress.
There is nothing so fatal to character as half finished tasks.