The Cluttered Home; where to begin

When your whole home needs an overhall, where do you begin? Most of the experts say --paper! I agree. Paper management effects everything that we do.

The first step is to create a file and archive system. Identify what paper you need to keep in files. Have a labeled hanging file folder for each category. To cut down your paper files, get your bank statements, financials, and bills online. You won't believe how much this cuts down your mail.

I find that most clients are keeping way too much paper. Also certain items don't fit well into hanging file folders. Get a small bin or binder for manuals.

The following list is what you need to keep:

1. a medical file for each member of the family

2. important documents

3. memberships

4. file for current tax papers

5. major purchases

6. home improvement

7. travel/activities

8. insurance

9. pension retirement info

10. medical history

Things that can be archived:

1. Old tax returns

2. Medical history.

3. Mortgage info

4. Legal issues

For archiving, I would get a file box and keep these papers in it. This box can be placed in a storage area. Make sure you have it labeled so you know where it is in case you need it!

Another thing to organize is coupons and gift cards. I find these floating around homes. An accordian file is a good way to keep them organized. Label them by category. Most office supply places have ones that are specific for grocery items. Also consider keeping certain coupons in your glove compartment(thing bed bath and beyond).

In order to keep this process working, you need to have one command center or one area to process your paper. When paper is moved around or touched mutiple times, then its wasting your time!!

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