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home>>family>>organization>>end paper load

End Paper Overload at Home

by Barbara Collins-Myers

As a professional organizer, I have found that he biggest organizational challenge people face at home is dealing with paper. Mail, bills, magazines, school work, newspapers and e-mail overwhelm most of us on a daily basis. If we fail to set up an effective paper processing system in our homes we end up with piles of paper.

The two most important elements are learning to sort and having a designated place for everything.

Think about your current system (if you have one). Do you have a specific place for bills? Where do you place magazines and newspapers? How do you pass on information, mail, etc., to your spouse and children? What do you do with your mail after opening it?

First, gather a few basic tools: a pen, some manila file folders and a basket or some type of containers. Also, a small, portable file box is perfect for processing paperwork at home.

Label one file for each person in your home. Then label additional files: Do, Pay, Consider, Hold, File. The basket or container will hold reading materials. It's really that simple.

As you sort through your current paper piles or open your mail follow these tips.

* Place bills in the Pay file.

* Put all reading materials (catalogs, letters, magazines, etc.) in your reading basket or container.

* Place anything that needs to be done in the Do file.

* Filing belongs in the File file.

* Use the Consider file for items you want to review and will consider doing or buying.

* The Hold file is for tickets to upcoming events, information for which you are awaiting an answer and paperwork you will need at a future date.

If you have mail or paperwork for your spouse to review or deal with, place it in the spouse file. Depending on the ages of your children, their files can either be used in the same way as the spouse file or they can simply place their school papers in them for you to review.

You can tweak this system to meet your individual needs. Just remember to have a place for every piece of paper that enters your home. You will be rewarded with the satisfaction of knowing that you are finally in control of your paperwork.

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About The Author
Free "50 Ways to Manage Your Time" tips booklet. Visit http://www.ineedmoretime.com

Copyright 2002-2003 Barbara Collins-Myers. All rights reserved.
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