Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Motivation: Getting Control Of Household Paperwork

Out of control paperwork seems to be the number one problem most of my clients have.  I would say it has to be my number one problem as well.  I still struggle with it, but I've come up with some systems that help me to create order out of the mess pretty quickly. 

If you're overwhelmed with papers, here's how to take control and set up your own system to make your life easier.  First we'll start with figuring out what you have.

Let's pretend you have papers all over your house and they are totally disorganized.  Don't apologize - just get started:

1.  Start with a large surface, like your dining room table, to use as a staging surface.  Cover the surface with boxes or other rectangular containers to sort your paperwork in.  Some of the categories you might choose are:  Bills, medical, car, school, insurance, photos, banking, stationary, taxes, recipes, contact info., appliance manuals, etc.)

2.  Working one room at a time, collect every piece of paper you can find and bring it to your staging station.  Go through the pile of papers you collected and sort them into the categories you created.  (warning:  be sure that any papers that require immediate attention, like bills, are kept handy so you can attend to them)

3.  Now that you've gone through each room in your house, it's time to sort each category.  The next three weeks will be devoted to sorting the categories and developing your systems to keep them organized.  Next week we'll tackle mail and bills, followed by household paperwork, and then finally look at recipes.

Quote for the week:
"You've got to think about 'big things' while you're doing 'small things', so that all the small things go in the right direction"  Alvin Toffler 


  1. Mail/paper clutter is my biggest challenge. If I can stay on top of it, I do OK. Can't wait to read your next set of ideas. Sue

  2. UGH papers. I have mine half-organized LOL!

  3. I like the idea of using boxes to sort. I've sorted papers in piles but that didn't last. Good to have a trash can close by, too, because we all keep way too much paper! Looking forward to getting my papers under control with the Monday Motivations!

  4. Thanks for the reminder about the trash can. It will be your best friend!

  5. Yep, I had to go through all the papers I had stacked on my desk. They all have a place it's just when they start to accumulate that it becomes overwhelming to tackle.

    Hopefully people recycle their junk mail and not trash it. Shred and recycle!


I'd love to know what you're thinking. Please feel free to leave ideas and comments.