IMG_0004Our Area of Focus is our Kitchen. Your kitchen counters, table, and top of the fridge should not paper storage areas. If your desk is in the kitchen then make it functional and set up an ACTION FILE. Set up an Action File no matter what. It will save you time and possibly money.

An action file is a place for you to handle the papers that come into your home. The basic categories are:

  • To Do

(enter on your calendar when the papers come into your home)

  • To Pay

(prepare to pay on Desk Day)

  • To Read
  • (Anything you want to take time to read, I have a basket for my magazines but anything I want to take time to read goes in here. Make it a durable material so you can grab it and take it with you anywhere you will be waiting)
  • To File

(file on Desk Day)IMG_0299

I also have a file for each month of the year where I put receipts for that month. At this moment I have an envelope in the drawer next to my chair labeled Christmas—all our Christmas receipts will go into that envelope but every receipt I may need goes into the monthly folder. Unless you are tracking fast food spending you probably don’t need fast food receipts, consider which ones to keep. You do want to keep any receipt for something you may want or need to return in the future.

Each January I set up my tax files for the years with the categories:

  • Income
  • Taxes/Mortgage
  • Medical
  • Charitable
  • Miscellaneous

Each time a piece of paper comes into my home that I will need to file taxes it goes directly into the appropriate file.

If the papers in your home are out of control, get a white box and collect all the papers throughout your home. Then take at least a few minutes each day to go through the box and sort the papers into your Action File, permanent file cabinet, or trash can. If you notice papers that need immediate attention as you are collecting papers keep them separate and take care of them ASAP.

Do not collect papers in a grocery bag. Someone may mistake it for trash and toss it.

Begin immediately to open your mail next to the trash can and sort into you Action File or the Trash. My calendar is very near the trash can so I can make note of any activities on our calendar. I attach invitations to the calendar with a paperclip. You may want to keep invitations in the To Do File.

Tomorrow  is Floor Day—Clean Your Hard Floors

Love and Hugs,

Mary

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