And once again, what to do with all that paper…

I was asked by a couple of clients over the last few weeks whether my last newsletter ‘declaring a war on paper’ was pointed at them. And of course it wasn’t, I believe almost everyone has a problem with paper these days. We get far too much of it.

Last month I talked about ‘macro sorting’ and then the ‘fine tuning’. This time I want you to think about the type of paper you may be holding onto, or just not getting around to throwing away. Here’s a list of the typical paper categories I find in many homes:

Advertising material [otherwise known as junk mail]
If you want to sift through your junk mail for ideas and special offers, that’s fine, but do keep all this material together in a tidy folder so it’s easy to go through when you feel so inclined. And I would suggest you regularly cull the folder so you’re not just dumping all your junk mail into it without doing a fast sort of what you absolutely know is not of interest.

Magazines and periodicals
Glossy magazines are gorgeous and many of us love to keep them for a period of time to browse through. However, you don’t want to end up with years’ worth of magazines and periodicals which you no longer look at. My general rule of thumb is that anything older than one year goes into the recycling. To store your mags, if you have a good pile of them, perhaps a cupboard or bookshelves may work better than a magazine holder.

Interesting articles printed from the internet or torn out of magazines
These pieces of paper can quickly become a deluge if you keep printing items off the internet then not doing anything with them. Create a file, either for your filing cabinet or a cupboard, and label it ‘interesting articles to read’. Or even better still, simply Bookmark the link to the page you’re interested in so you can return to it another time. You could also download the article, or copy and paste it into a Word file, and create a file in ‘My Documents’ to hold this type of information. If you have a propensity for ripping articles out of magazines which you may wish to read one day, it’s easiest if you keep them all together in a file, as tidily as possible otherwise they quickly become messy.

Recipes either ripped out of magazines or written out on scraps of paper
Recipes on scraps of paper or from magazines can be filed in a concertina type of file so you can categorise each sleeve in the file as to the type of recipe/meal. The main thing is to keep them all together in the one place, and organised. Rather than scraps of paper you could use a notebook or exercise book to write the recipes in.

Household accounts
If you have a filing cabinet for your home accounts, then it’s just a matter of making sure it’s clearly labeled so your filing is easy. I use a concertina file for my accounts then archive them at the end of the year into a large envelope labeled with the year. For those accounts which you need to action, I suggest you keep them all in a folder which is easily accessible and as you pay each account file it away so the Accounts to be Paid file only contains those to be paid.

Work papers
I mentioned in last month’s newsletter the various filing systems you can use to organise any papers. Obviously your system will depend upon the amount of paper you need to store at home, and if you work from home then you may have already invested in a filing cabinet. A filing cabinet will only work for you when you set it up efficiently, labeling each drop file in a logical order so everything is easy to file away, and easy to find again.

The most important thing here is that whichever system you choose to use to deal with your paper, it needs to be clear, quick and easy to use, and it needs to be maintained. One of my clients recently told me he was able to keep his office clear of clutter because we had set up such an easy filing system to follow that he had continued to use it.

Efficient workable systems are vital both at home and at work. Your days can flow much more smoothly if there’s less frustration around dealing with paper, or any type of clutter. If you’re stuck and don’t know where to start, why not contact me. It’s what I do and I’m very good at creating systems for my clients that work for them. I love my work, and the satisfaction I get when I’m able to really make a difference with people who are all too often overwhelmed by their clutter.

My very best wishes to you for a happy, and hopefully not frenetic, month leading up to Christmas.

In Joy!

Angella Gilbert

P: 09 410 4166
M: 027 224 8937
E: angella@gioia.net.nz
W: www.gioia.net.nz

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