One of the most important, yet least fun, aspects of adult life is staying organized. This is especially true when it comes to paperwork. Bills, receipts, documents, and other papers can quickly pile up and become overwhelming. If you are Swimming in a sea of random mail, magazines, photos, receipts, notes, bills, and other paperwork? Try these tips.
1. Have a specific area for special documentation.
You may organise your outstanding bills by placing them in a box, envelope, file, or folder. Keep the receipts for paid bills in a separate location. Have one place for coupons and advertisements, one place for memorable newspaper articles, one place for car records, one place for medical records, etc. A file cabinet makes this straightforward and small.
Make use of charts to keep track of your bills and expenses.
Make carbon copies of a blank chart that includes the following basic information:
- Amount owed from previous month, amount owed for current month, total owed, amount paid, date paid, check number, and balance owed after this payment is completed are all shown at the top.
- Write down all the various bills you’ve accumulated down the side.
- List the sums of each column across the bottom. Every month, or whenever you are paid, fill out a new chart. As a result, you may see all of your bills at once, monitor your spending more closely, prioritise your spending, avoid late fees, and detect billing mistakes.
3. Use color-coding to organize paperwork and to grab your attention.
Color makes things more memorable, and appealing, as well as easier to recognize, organize and navigate. To use color-coding, start by designating a color for each type of document. For example, blue for work documents, green for personal documents, and red for important documents. Then, use a label maker or colored markers to label each document with its corresponding color. Once all of your documents are labeled, you can quickly and easily find the document you’re looking for by its color.
4. Use a checkbook register to keep track of money in your account.
And compare your register to your bank statement (preferably on the day the statement arrives, so you’re less likely to forget). If it is difficult for you to write down each expense as you make it, then make it a routine to keep receipts in your wallet and write them down at the end of each day.
5. Use an address book
…or a rolodex, or a bulletin board, or a business card organizer; to help you keep track of contact information, instead of having countless pieces of paper floating around, with mysterious phone numbers that you don’t recognize any more.
6. Use technology
Put all of your financial, contact, and calendar information (including bills and receipts) into a digital database. Those who are comfortable with computers may find that managing their money using financial software and paying bills online is more convenient, less time-consuming, and more enjoyable than the other alternatives. When you use email instead of snail mail, you save time and help the environment by reducing paper waste.
7. Throw out old newspapers and magazines
Many people’s clutter problems stem from newspapers and magazines that have found new homes other than on the magazine rack (if you have one). Getting a garbage can and really using it is the best and most crucial approach to deal with these heavy objects. Do not send in the renewal notice when it comes, cancel your subscriptions, and only purchase them when you truly want to read them if you have more than two unread back-issues of a specific subscription or if you regularly throw away a week’s worth of newspapers without reading them.
8. Use shelves and filing cabinets
If you want to keep a specific article for future reference, cut it out and file it in a filing cabinet. Throw the rest of the magazines and newspapers away, with the possible exception of a few choice issues that you keep. If you decide to keep a stack of old magazines, don’t just stack them up in the corner, but put them neatly on a shelf. If you don’t have enough room on your shelves then you either need more shelving, or you have too many things that you are holding on to, and you need to prioritize and decide what you will get rid of.
9. Create a scrapbook of children’s artwork.
Buy an inexpensive scrapbook (or two) to save the older images in if your fridge or walls are already covered with your children’s artwork. Remove an old photo off the refrigerator and place it in a scrapbook whenever you add a new one. That way, when relatives come to visit, they will have a beautiful scrapbook to look at, and you won’t be able to suffocate under the weight of too many images every time you use the kitchen. Other odd yet significant bits of paper may also be kept in scrapbooks. A scrapbook may be made using a binder, too.
10. Use photo albums.
Some people have boxes full of old pictures, half of which are out of focus, with the heads cut off, or with a finger covering the lens. If this has become clutter for you, then pick a weekend to sit down and pick out which pictures you want to put into a photo album. Once you’ve decided how to organize them and have put them in the album(s), then the rest can be tossed, or can be used by the kids for art projects. Another way to condense pictures is to make a collage, frame it, and hang it on the wall.
If these ideas aren’t enough, then ask your friends what they do to keep their paper clutter in check, or look for more ideas in a book on controlling clutter.
What is the fastest way to declutter paperwork?
If you don’t have a reliable method for processing new paperwork as it arrives, it will likely accumulate in stacks on your kitchen table, coffee table, desk, or any other empty surface you find. If you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by paper clutter and you’re on a quest to declutter paper quickly, the following tips will help.
The first step is to gather all of the paperwork that is cluttering up your space. This can be done by going through your drawers, files, and any other areas where paper tends to accumulate. Once you have everything in one place, it will be easier to sort through it and determine what needs to be kept and what can be discarded.
One way to declutter paperwork is to shred any documents that contain sensitive information. This will prevent identity theft and protect your privacy. Any other paper that you no longer need can be recycled.
If you have a lot of paperwork, it may be helpful to invest in a paper shredder and/or a filing system. This will make it easier to keep track of what needs to be kept and make it simpler to declutter in the future.