Each Wednesday is Desk Day—Take time to deal with the paperwork in your home.
• Do You Have Any Bills to Pay?
• Do You Have Any Phone Calls to Make?
• Do You Have Any Notes or Cards to Write and Send?
• Do You Have Any Emails to Write and Send?
• Do You Have Any Papers You Need to File?
I have a daily current issues file folder. I also have a pocket on my wall for longer term issues in progress. I take time each Wednesday to go through each of these.
If You Have Not Been Dealing with Your Paper Clutter, do this now:
Junk mail—Sort junk mail directly into your trash can. Shred the credit applications or tear your name and address off them and toss them. Envelopes can usually go directly to the trash. The exception is when you need either the return address or the postmark. I put return addresses directly into my phone. If I am keeping the envelope for the postmark I staple the envelope to the papers from the envelope.
Old mail—if you have not opened mail in over 3 months you may not need to open it. If you have been stacking mail instead of opening it begin to deal with it by dealing with today’s mail and then working backward.
Use the Simple File system. Make Files labeled To Pay, To Do, To Read, and To File.
• To Pay—Bills
• To Do—Documents that request information or require action. Information on upcoming events and invitations (Note: put important dates on your calendar before placing the paperwork in this file.
• To Read—materials you want to read: magazines, newsletter, information on topics of interest
• To File—documents you want to keep for tax and other purposes
Newspapers—Use it or lose it. If you subscribe to a newspaper read it that day and recycle. If you do not read it the day you receive it, just recycle, and cancel when your subscription is over. News is available on TV, online, and on the radio.
Coupons—Many people get the newspaper for the coupons. Until you get your paper clutter under control give your coupons to someone who will use them. Also, there are apps now that will allow you to clip and store coupons on your smart phone. Couponing is a subject of its own. Until you have your home in order, wait on the couponing. Then develop that shopping skill.
Magazines—If you read them, enjoy them. If you do not read them, cancel your subscription. I have a magazine basket in my living room, when a new issue arrives I get rid of an old issue, keeping the most current two or three issues. I donate most of my magazines to my local library or leave them in waiting rooms for others to enjoy. I recently discovered that preschools love magazines, too. I remove the mailing label before donating the magazine.