How to Tame the Paper Monster in Eight Simple Steps
Papers, papers and more papers! If paper is the monster that keeps every space in your home cluttered, all you need is a simple filing system to keep everything neat and tidy. The villain probably wreaks havoc in your home office, but it doesn’t matter where the damage is done; the idea is to create a system that is easy to use and maintain and mimics your “piles”.
Here are eight great steps to help you tame the Paper Monster in your home.
1 – Designate File Drawers
You must have a place to put the files otherwise instead of piles of papers, you will have piles of files. Clean out existing file drawers or invest in a good looking file cabinet. If you are on a budget, purchase a plastic file box with a lid from a store.
2 – Choose Broad Categories For Files
Divide your life into three to six categories. They could be: Bills, Home Improvement, Insurance, Medical and School.
3 – Color Code Your Files
Assign each of the categories a color. Buy hanging files and/or file folders in the colors for each of the categories.
4 – Designate Subcategories
Once you have your broad categories, divide them into smaller categories. Bills could be divided into Gas, Electricity, Cable, Phones and Credit Cards. The trick is to think of what will be the easiest to get to when you need to find something in a month. It should take you less than 10 seconds to find a file.
5 – Include Some Empty Folders
The empty folders are there in case you have a paper that does not fit in one of the subcategories or you need to add a second folder because the first one gets too full.
6 – Add New Documents To The Front
When you add papers to any folder, add the latest paper to the front of the folder so they are in a chronological order.
7 – Write Neatly
Make sure that all of the tabs on the folders are easy to read. It is best to print legibly. If you do not have neat printing, invest in a label maker.
8 – Create A Content List
Write all of the folders on one sheet of paper. It will help you to locate a file or put it back in the right position if you remove it for any reason.
The method is easy and even easier to maintain. Even the people that struggle with paper clutter have found that once they put everything in place, it is simple to keep it going. They have a newfound motivation to stay organized, and it’s proven to improve the way they feel about their space.
And, the Paper Monster in their home is banished forever!