Question: Paper is taking over my kitchen counter. What is the best way to tame this paper monster?
Answer: The first step is identifying what is there. Sort the papers into categories; for example bills, receipts, ads, take out menus, notices, school papers, etc. Once you have completed this task, you can easily see what can be tossed/recycled (expired coupons) or shredded (credit card offerings). The rest of the paper needs some sort of action.
Set up an “action station” on one corner of your counter.
Determine what the first action is for each sheet of paper. If it’s a bill, pay it. If it’s a note with a phone number, enter the number in your address book whether it be paper or electronic. If it’s an invitation, check your calendar, record the date and call or email your response. If it’s an update on your insurance plan, file it.
Still have some papers lurking on your counter that do not call for immediate action? Create additional desktop file folders to house these papers; for example Pending, Coupons, Menus, Rosters, Receipts or School. (File systems are very personal. The files you set up are dependent on what type of paperwork you have on your counter.)
Your counter is now clear. Now you need to set up a plan to keep it that way. When you bring in any paper, put it into one of your desktop files, trash can, recycling bin or shred box. A non-negotiable component of the plan is that you visit the files folders on a regularly scheduled basis. Putting the paper into the action file is not the final action!
No time to file right now? Have a landing pad basket for the mail until you sort it. Never let that landing pad overflow.
Enjoy that extra counter space!
Jonda Beattie www.timespaceorg.com
Visit our VIDEOS page to view our video on this same subject: “Solve your Paper/Filing Problems: Command Center for Paperwork”