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beginning stages of taming the paper monster

Today I started my paper war.  I mean this very seriously, it is such a dislike of mine that I have put it off for years. I will admit I have always had a difficult time finding a system that truly works for us. We always end up with crazy piles of paper that end up taking over my desk, the car, and the kitchen counter. I absolutely despise anything not kitchen related taking up space on my counters. Perhaps I’m a little OCD. 🙂

So, first things first. I found a great magazine article in Better Homes and Gardens, that just about made me scream from excitement. A paper management system that was so easy and do-able, why didn’t I think of this?  I am very guilty of getting mail or paperwork and then piling it somewhere and forgetting about it or not being able to find it. That was getting very old, especially if it was extremely important paperwork, like a paycheck!

This article gave such great steps and for different types of paper organizers, I happen to be a stacker or piler.

The idea is to have a paper processing center and to make sure you use it as soon as you check the mail.

All papers, once opened, go into an inbox.

like this

Then you need something they call an action file. Which is basically somewhere to sort out whatever is in the inbox.  They had a few different ideas and I liked this one best because I like to stack things. I picked these up at Target for just 1.97 for a 2 pack. Because I only needed three I decided to use the fourth one for storing my printing paper.

Then you label these as do now, do later, and pending.

Now it is important to know the meaning of each of these files.

Do now is for anything that should be dealt with in a weeks time. Such as bills, permission slips, or RSVP’s.

Do later is for anything that can be dealt with in three months time. Like vacation fliers, refinancing offers, or a catalog you want to buy something from.

Pending is for items awaiting response. Things like receipt for a mail ordered purchase that hasn’t arrived.

I found these cute labels in my mountain of scrap booking stuff and thought they would work great!

I taped them on and voila!

Finally came the part where I could start the piling. 🙂

And all of this…

Went here.

Now whatever is left in the inbox needs to be filed right away. Anything that was garbage or junk went into my new little friend. 🙂 I have been meaning to obtain a paper shredder for far too long now.  It is so exciting to put that paper in and hear it being destroyed. It’s the little things.

However I haven’t gotten my new filing system up and running, yet. I plan to start on that tomorrow and then I will hopefully have all this crazy paper under control.




About newhomeschoolmom

a mother, wife, friend, daughter, student and now teacher.

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