Speaking about paper and war in the same sentence sounds rather dramatic, but if you’ve ever been buried under piles of paper you know what I’m talking about. Keeping up with and organizing paper is the biggest organizing challenge for many people. Even very competent people can be reduced to tears of frustration and overwhelm by a pile of paper.
One way to maintain control of paper is to deliberately create specific paths for specific kinds of paper. For example, when paper comes into the house, make sure it lands in one spot to be sorted into categories instead of allowing it to land in any one of a number of different locations. If you decide the kitchen counter is that spot, make sure everyone in your family knows that mail always lands on the kitchen counter.
Then, once the paper has been sorted, make sure the different categories of paper are moved directly to their next location. Bills, for example, would go to the bill paying area. Once the bills are paid, the paper associated with them would then be filed or pitched.
So, the paper path for a bill might be: from the mailbox to the kitchen counter; from the kitchen counter to the desk of the home office where the bill is paid; from the desk to the filing cabinet.
It’s important to create paper paths for every category of paper you regularly handle. To simplify this process, consider having all paper move from its sorting location to a home office where the different categories can be processed and stored if necessary. That way the path would be: from the mailbox to the kitchen counter for sorting; from the kitchen counter to the home office desktop for review and action; from the the desktop to the filing cabinet or the recycle bin.
Making papers follow specific paths puts you in charge of paper instead of feeling at the mercy of paper. Your work is to determine the paths and to discipline yourself to make paper follow those paths every time. Just one lapse in maintaining your new paper system can cause paper to spiral out of control. Remember, digging out takes much more time and energy than maintaining paper paths!
Win the war against paper! Use paper paths!
© 2012 Clutter Clearing Community | Debbie Bowie
“Author, Organizing Expert and Feng Shui Practitioner Debbie Bowie, is a leading authority on clutter clearing to attract more of what you want in your life. If you’re ready to finally clear the clutter from your life and move your life forward, get your FREE TIP SHEET, “Feng Shui Tips for Instant Success” at http://www.clutterclearingcommunity.com.