Paper can pile up quickly! Here is a quick paper filing method that can help you to kick the paper clutter to the curb for good! These five simple steps can tame your paper beast FOREVER!
Get a shredder or at least a bin for where you usually sort mail. If you always bring your mail to the kitchen, put a small bin right beside where you sort..even if it is just a pretty basket. This will be where you put all your junk mail, envelopes and flyers! Empty it into your recycling bin when it gets full!
Have a TO BE PAID bill spot. Mine is by my computer and it is right out on my desk. If I put them anywhere else it’s out of sight, out of mind.
Set up and LONG and SHORT term filing system. I like using an accordion file folder for my short term system. They are cheap, portable and easy to use. I have one tab for each bill plus one labeled MISC. Every time you pay a bill, slide it into it’s spot! I like to keep the previous years bills for a reference, but after one year, you can empty the entire contents into your shredder!
Your long term filing system should be bigger, like a filing cabinet or large hard case file folder. In here you will file anything you will keep for longer than a year such as contracts, medical information and investment stuff. I recommend getting a safe for your tax returns, wills and insurance policies. Be sure to keep your long and short term stuff separate! Keep “memory” paper keepsakes and “manuals and warranties” in a completely different space, otherwise your filing system will grow out of control! I like using binders or bins for these types of paper!
Have a TO DO basket or folder for ongoing papers you need to deal with. Permissions slips, surveys..whatever it is that you want to deal with later..but separate from bills! Set time aside every Friday to deal with some of this stuff!