Dealing with Clutter
Ways to Deal with Clutter
What Do I Do With...
Financial and Tax Records
General Papers: Magazines, Junk Mail, Coupons and Other Papers
Barriers to Getting Organized
If You Still Can't Get Started
Paper clutter is challenging because of the volume of paper we all seem to accumulate, and because pieces of paper easily stack and hide each other. Filing is both a way of organizing papers and communicating the contents through labels. To file effectively, follow the five steps to "corrall" your paper clutter.
Look for related items and gather them together.
Dispose of unneeded
or duplicate items.
Examples: Toss expired warranties. Toss magazine articles that you kept but can’t remember why. Toss information that you could easily find again, such as printouts from web sites. Toss financial statements whose information is repeated on later statements for that month, quarter, or year. But be sure to shred or destroy properly.
Choose containers for each group of items.
Choose a home
for each container.
As you have new papers that need to be filed, label them with the name of the file where they belong. Also do this when you remove a paper from a file. It makes filing a snap, whether you do it yourself, or have someone else help you.
Reduce the amount of paper you receive.
Become fanatical about stopping as much paper as possible before it comes into your house. Possibilities include:
Consider consolidating investments, bank accounts, credit cards, or other services to reduce the number of statements you receive. Or elect to receive the statements via the Internet.