Paper Management- The Systems That You Need

Paper, paper, and more paper. It breeds like bunnies. If you don't process it on a daily basis, it gathers in piles around your home. You need a few systems to contain it. Here is how to start your paper transformation!

1. Limit as many incoming paper items that you can. Most or all of your bills and financial statements should be able to go paperless.

2. Don't donate through the mail. They are run by marketing companies and if they see activity, they will send you more donation requests.

3. Go the and opt out of your catalogs.

So once you have limited the incoming, then you can set up a filing system.

CENTRAL FILING SYSTEM-This should contain your active files. Everyones system is a little different based on their needs. This is where you should have current medical papers, insurance documents, and other misc items.

ACTION ITEMS-These files represent the items in process. They could be contained in hanging file folders at the front of your file system, in files on top of your desk, or in an accordian file. They should include- TO DO, PENDING, SOCIAL, TO READ, and BILLS TO PAY(for what you can't get online). They are active files. Items should go in and out of these files on a daily basis.

COUPONS AND GIFT CARDS-Don't let these important money saving items float around your home or purse. I suggest that you have a small accordian file for these items. I have one that is specifically for grocery coupons, and I have another that is for all my other coupons/gift certificates.

ARCHIVE FILES-Last but not least is the archive filing system. This system should contain your mortgage papers, old taxes, and legal documents. Most people have this items in a bankers box or plastic bin. These papers need to be kept but not readily accessible. I would store them in an attic or basement area.

So there you have it. The basic simple systems that you need to manage your incoming paper. All your paper should have a system to go into vs being piled up in your home. Keep all your paper in one area. Don't let it spread throughout your home.

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