Take a few seconds to look round your home…
Chances are that, no matter how organised and clean your home is, there will be some sort of paper clutter in your home – it just builds up and up without you even noticing most of the time.
- Junk mail
- Unopened mail
- Notes from your day
- Articles/recipes torn from magazines
- Lists etc….
Truth is that paperwork is one of the most difficult clutter areas to tackle in a home, as it’s constantly coming into it – whether through the letterbox, in your childs school bag, in your handbag or your work bag – it just arrives and takes root if you’re not careful.
And it’s very overwhelming to deal with, so I wanted to give you a quick tip today for starting to get things under control once again – I like to call it “drawing a line in the sand”.
Getting to grips with what you currently have is vital to be able to move forward in organising anything that constantly enters your home.
Once you have contained what you do have, then working out a system for what comes in from now on can be a much more achievable task.
Today I have decided to do something a little different and share a small extract from my Paperwork:sorted! eBook, so that you can start to see an end to your paperwork clutter straight away – I hope it helps!
“To get on top of your paperwork you need to get what you have under control, and then anything else that comes into the house will be able to be dealt with successfully, and this is where a good declutter really comes in.
If you already have piles of paper building up in your home, chances are that a lot of it is actually rubbish. Whether it be junk mail, invitations for past events or just duplicates of something as you couldn’t find the original – there is a need to take these out of the equation.
The line in the sand…
The first hands-on step to decluttering the paperwork in your home is to go around your home and collect in a large box all the paper that has been piling up.
This is your line in the sand.
The new you starts here!
You have to this point been overwhelmed by paperwork, and nothings getting sorted, or if it is its very sporadic and you will happen upon things by chance rather than in a systematic way.
If it seems scary to just bundle everything into a box then please just try it and see.
If you try and organise the backlog into your system, you will be so overwhelmed that you are likely to stop quite quickly and give it up as a bad job. If you start from here and sort out any NEW paperwork into your new system, then you will keep on top of it.
Chances are, the paperwork that you have is already out of date, just needs filing away, or has been superceded by a follow up mail or phone call anyway as you have been chased.
Any new paperwork should be dealt with using the systems you are about to put into place. This will ensure that you don’t fall behind with anything again.
Once your systems are in place, that is the time to start scheduling in a little time each day or as much as you can manage, to go through your backlog and deal with it correctly. It is important to spend time clearing the backlog in the box, so you can ultimately get everything dealt with.
Paperwork is notoriously hard to deal with, as each piece that comes into your home needs to be dealt with in some way, and if it isn’t dealt with there and then it will build up into something that is simply too much to tackle unless you have a lot of time on your hands.
A lot of people want to read every piece in detail, and this sidetracks them from the job in hand, until they feel overwhelmed again with the prospect of dealing with all that paper in front of them.
For most people it is the sheer volume of paperwork that paralyses them into not doing anything about it.
So you should now have a box full of paperwork to sort, and the promise to yourself that any future paperwork will have a home to go to once you have followed and set up this system.
That’s enough for now.
Well done on getting this far – your home should already feel less cluttered and unorganised and you have started to take back control”
You can’t get anything sorted until you split things into NEW and OLD stuff – you can set up a system for the new stuff and sort through the old stuff separately
I hope that this shows that the first step of any system is to take control back of what you already have – and nothing epitomises this more than paperwork.
When we let paperwork build up, it gets unmanageable, so simply collecting it all together creates a sort of paperwork amnesty in your home, and can really free you up to get it sorted more quickly.
You can start to feel more able to deal with any future paperwork coming into your home, as you haven’t got piles around you that are creating an overwhelming feeling any longer. You are more able to set up a system that you can use from now on to help you – and what could be better than that!