My Mail is overwhelming!

by Beth
(Lacrosse WI USA)

I don't know where to start organizing paper work and mail.

What do I keep?

How long do I keep it?

How do I keep it?

I buy these file boxes to organize and I just get so overwhelmed when I begin to sort through and try to find a place for them.

It looks like a file box blew up in my computer space help!!

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Sep 02, 2011
Comments for organizing mail and paperwork
by: Samantha

Here's a page on my site that answers the what and how of paperwork organization. http://www.lifeorganizeit.com/home-filing-system.html if this link doesn't click through, then just cut and paste into your browser.

Now, if you're not using the files you buy then you've simply not found a system of organization that works for you.

Don't get overwhelmed when you design system of file organization. Dedicate a small amount of time (say 15 minutes) each day to getting it organized and that's it. When times up for the day, clean off your desk (gather the pile & put it on the floor if needed), and your done for the day. The next day, you'll be greeted with a nice clean desk which will give you a better attitude and more energy to finish organizing files.

Think about what you need to organize before you begin. Basic households have paperwork files of bills, equipment manuals, health insurance, vital records, kid's school info, etc. Create files according to your specific needs. Now, if I put my bills in a file, they'd be lost forever. I keep my bills on an open shelf dedicated only to that purpose, no other paperwork allowed, otherwise it would become a jumbled mess of overdue bills. I like to think of my filing system as my way of being 'done' with paperwork that may be needed at a later date.

I also keep a 'pending' file that hangs from the wall. Items and issues that are not done like pending insurance claims, misc. follow up items, etc. are kept in this hanging file so I know to check on them. This also keeps these items off my desk so I have a nice clean desk to greet and energize me each day.

Speaking about a clean desk, no one is allowed to put anything on my desk. Again, a clear work space is so much more energizing than a desk piled high with mounds of paper work (what a buzz kill). We deserve better. My husband and kids put anything that needs my attention on my chair... not the desk.

For your mail, open it over the trash tossing anything unnecessary. If at all possible handle mail and paperwork only once. I have a pretty basic system for both my personal and business paperwork. Bills are opened over the trash tossing unnecessary fliers and trash. The bill is then placed on the dedicated bill shelf. If an item comes in the mail that needs to be filed, it gets filed right then. I have hanging files for manuals, health insurance, taxes (by year), etc.

That's it, pretty basic stuff. If you dedicate a few minutes a day to clearing the paper mound(s) in your computer space in addition to developing a workable organizational system for your paperwork, you'll be done before you know it and less stressed.

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