Though we’ve heard of, and some of us have dreamed of, the paperless society, the fact is, we still have lots of paper coming into our lives. Much of the time it starts in our mail box.
Do you have a daily mail system in place? You may find it helpful to get into a daily routine of taking the mail into your home or office and sorting in one spot (a mail zone). Toss all junk mail and unwanted items into a recycle bin right away! Shred documents with Social Security numbers, account numbers or other personal/sensitive data. Next, sort mail by who it is intended for (consider assigning a bin or container for each person so everyone knows exactly where to look for their mail).
When you open bills or items you need to act on, be sure to put them in “action center” files. This could be a tickler system where you file items according to the date you intend to act on them, or it could be a categorical system, where you file papers according to what you need to do with them (i.e.: bills to pay, calls to make, etc.). You may also want to calendar time when you intend to act upon these items. For example, we recommend paying your bills at the same time each month…establishing routine and habits are essential to getting and staying organized.
When you are ready to file items like bank statements or your new insurance policy, do you have a reference filing system that is already working well for you? If so, that’s great…way to go! If you don’t have a good filing system in place, look into one of our favorite products, The FreedomFiler.
If you deal with the mail on a regular basis by tossing what you don’t need, putting in an action system what you need to do something about and a reference filing system the paper you want to refer to later, you’ll avoid the piles and the overwhelm. You can End Your Paper Pain … just start with getting control over the daily mail.