Organize Your Paper

Are you drowning in a sea of paper? Are the piles taking over your space and your life?

Do  you remember when getting a letter in the mail was a treat? The purpose of paper and information is connection, education, growth, creativity and productivity. Sadly, we have lost touch with this pupose due to the overwhelm. We need help. We need systems to handle all the information coming at us every day.

Time to go from Paper Pile Pain to Paper Power!

Marla Dee

SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT.© is the 3-step organizing system that works for all the areas of your space and life. Let’s use it to change the paper pain to paper power!

SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT.© For Your Paper Guide

SEE IT – Take a look at where you’ve been and where you are now. Do your best to be neutral and take the observer viewpoint while exploring below:

  • Go around your space and take pictures of all the paper piles. Then look at the pictures – what do you see?
  • Tap into your emotions and write the story your paper clutter tells.
  • Take time to write what’s working. You can be specific or general.
  • Is your active paper separate from your older papers? Or mixed up.
  • What isn’t working? Where are you stuck and why?
  • What is stressing you the most about your paper pain?
  • Are you holding onto outdated ways of handling paper?

MAP IT – Make a written plan for what you want. Think about the big picture and overall goals with the paper. You can work out the details later.

  • Write how your space will look and feel when you have the right homes and habits in place for handling all of the paper that comes in.
  • Create an online board of images that reflect what you want most.
  • Create a mind map showing the elements of your ideal area and systems.
  • Now take some time to write a new story. How do you want to feel when handling your paper? How might you be open to a different way (i.e. having less paper, using simplified systems, getting help)?

DO IT – Take the steps to make it happen. The DO IT step is loaded because you are now touching all the paper. We will introduce you to the subsystems of iRAFT© for the active paper and S.T.A.C.K.S.© for all the rest. Get help from a professional organizer if needed!

  • Gather and start with your active paper before the older stuff. This would be your most recent piles of incoming paper and mail, bills to be paid, and such. You will use the system of iRAFT© for these papers. iRAFT© stands for incoming, Read, Action, File and Toss. You will want detailed guidance on each step of this system. Get everything at www.clearsimple.com/iRAFT.
  • After you get your active paper organized, you can tackle your older paper and files. Time for the S.T.A.C.K.S.© System that guides you through each step. www.clearsimple.com/systems. You will also want to consider the FreedomFiler System for all your filing needs! www.clearsimple.com/freedomfiler
  • Once you complete your active paper, take time to celebrate.

SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT.© For Your Paper Guide

Your Guide, Marla Dee.

I love teaching the Clear & Simple Way to live free of clutter and get organized at last.

Clutter Clear Your Paper

Here are 3 simple ways to start that can be done in under an hour!

Are the paper piles taking over your space and your life?

Getting in control of your paper begins with clearing the clutter.

Start with your purse or wallet, the kitchen counter, or your desktop.

Marla Dee

If you were looking at your desk right now, would you be ready to work or overwhelmed by the chaos? What if you were looking at your kitchen counter? Are the paper piles taking over? For some mysterious reason, paper lands in every nook and cranny of our homes and offices.  You will find it on the kitchen table, the bedroom dresser, top of the washer, in the bathroom, piled high on desktops and all horizontal surfaces across the nation. Never before in mankind’s history have we had this much information coming at us. 

I want to offer some simple places to start since this project can feel huge. This starts you clearing without getting lost in the details. Keep in mind we will take you through SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT. PAPER next. Choose one of the following ideas, schedule the time, turn on music and dive in. Have boxes and bags on hand for goes elsewhere, shred, trash, and goes to someone else.

HOUR OF POWER:

Set your timer for one hour and journey around your home or office gathering all the garbage paper such as old receipts, junk mail, out-dated papers, etc. Keep in mind that you are only going after the obvious and easy stuff. If you have to stop and think about it, then wait. You can also clear your purse or wallet. You are only doing one hour but you might be surprised and amused by how much goes away.

CLEAR THE COUNTER:

Gather all the paper on your kitchen counter and sort into 4 smaller piles labeled Read, Action, File or Toss (you will learn more about this later). Do I want to read it, take action on it, need to file it or just toss it? Move the read and actions piles to their own container and location, the filing to your file drawers and toss into shred  or trash. Lastly, find a beautiful container to live on the kitchen counter for the future incoming.

DO THE DESKTOP:

Follow the guidance given above for sorting into R.A.F.T. Keep in mind that you are only sorting and don’t get sidetracked by trying to take the actions involved with the paper. Also, you will most likely find many papers and items that don’t even belong on your desk. Take the time now to remove them. It is ok to have open space left as you do need an area to work off of.

When you are done, take some deep breaths and notice how different the area you worked with feels. It can be fun to take pictures of all the stuff leaving. Let yourself take in the change and celebrate what you have done. 

Now enjoy fixing food at your kitchen counter and actually working at your desk!

SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT.© Paper Guide

iRAFT© Paper Guide

Your Guide Marla Dee. 

I love teaching the Clear & Simple Way to live free of clutter and get organized at last.

3 Step System for Kids School & Precious Papers

Yes, you can have fun with your kids and their school papers using this 3 STEP SYSTEM!

One school year is over and another one is ready to begin! So what to do with the huge pile up of art, reports, awards and all those papers that come home throughout the year. Here is a simple system you can do now to clear out the last year and then be set up for this coming year.

Marla Dee, creator of the Clear & SIMPLE Way, has been helping people for 18 years. And she comes from a family of 10 children so she gets the chaos that kids can create and the desire to keep those precious pieces of art!

Marla Dee on KUTV – 3 step system for kids school & precious papers!

Step 1 – Get a bulletin board or display area for each child for the treasures of the week to be seen!

I have been blessed to work with hundreds of moms through the years. And I have heard over and over again – “Where do I put all the art work and school papers?” When your child has a chosen place to put the treasures, your child feels seen and proud. But you can rotate the pieces weekly or monthly. Once you take them off the board, go to step 2.

Step 2 – Choose a container, about the size of a file tub, which can hold the papers all year long. Once the papers come off your child’s board, ask which ones do they still want to keep and then place them in the drawer or tub or cool container. They will still be there throughout the school year and if you run out of space, it is a signal to go through a release a layer. Now check out Step 3.

Step 3 – Schedule a day with your kids for paper play. It is time to do STACKS© (sort, toss, assign, contain, keep it up and simplify) on the paper. The key is to make this last step FUN. Put on music and have snacks. Then let your child take their tub of papers and dump it out on the table or floor and spread them all out. Enjoy the time as your child relives the school year. Honor this time with them by listening to the stories. Next, ask your kids to choose their FAVORITES – the TREASURES!! Then 3 hole punch them and put them in a big binder. Last, you can let them decorate the front, or pick a favorite and slide it in the front sleeve.

*** The best part is now placing the binders in your child’s room so they can relive those memories for years to come.

Have you tried this system? Please share your stories with me at [email protected] or www.facebook.com/clearsimple.com and I will give you a prize. I want you to get organized and have fun doing it – Marla Dee

 

 

SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT.

SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT.

The 3 step foundation system to get organized!

When we are confronted with all the stuff in our space, organizing can feel overwhelming! We don’t even know where to start. Marla Dee defines clutter as “delayed decision or holding onto the past.” The stuff seems to pile up because there are just too many decisions to make. So we need a simple place to start. Try this three step system for any project of any size. For more details get the C&S Systems card here.

Take the 3 steps in order

SEE IT – What’s working, what’s not working and why?

The first step is SEE IT.©, which stands for take a look at where you’ve been. Before you dive into touching the stuff, take 5 minutes to answer the questions what’s working, what’s not working and why? 

MAP IT – How do I want my space to look, feel and function?

The second step is MAP IT.©, which stands for make a plan for what you want. This can seem overwhelming also. To make this step simple write how you want your space/project to look, feel and function when you’re done.

DO IT – STACKS. Sort, Toss, Assign, Contain, Keep it up, Simplify

The third step is DO IT.©, which stands for take the steps to get it done. For this step, try out the Action System of STACKS. Now that you are touching the stuff, the project gets crazy. The power of STACKS is taking one step at a time.You do this by asking one question and making only one decisionat a time. Tune into our blog next week to get more details. 

Get the Clear & SIMPLE SYSTEMS CARD and more here

Clear & Simple SYSTEMS Card

Get your own card to use anytime

3 Step System for Kids School & Precious Papers

Yes, you can have fun with your kids and their school papers using this 3 STEP SYSTEM!

The school year is over and now it is time for summer fun! But what to do with the huge pile up of art, reports, awards and all those papers that came home throughout the year. Here is a simple system you can do now to clear out the last year and then be set up for next year.

Marla Dee, creator of the Clear & SIMPLE Way, has been helping people for 18 years. And she comes from a family of 10 children so she get the chaos that kids can create.

Marla Dee on KUTV – 3 step system for kids school & precious papers!

Step 1 – Get a bulletin board or display area for each child for the treasures of the week to be seen!

I have been blessed to work with hundreds of moms through the years. And I have heard over and over again – “Where do I put all the art work and school papers?” When your child has a chosen place to put the treasures, your child feels seen and proud. But you can rotate the pieces weekly or monthly. Once you take them off the board, go to step 2.

Step 2 – Choose a container, about the size of a file tub, which can hold the papers all year long. Once the papers come off your child’s board, ask which ones she still wants to keep and then place them in her drawer or tub or cool container. They will still be there throughout the school year and if you run out of space, it is a signal to go through a release a layer. Now check out Step 3.

Step 3 – Schedule a day with your kids for paper play. It is time to do STACKS© (sort, toss, assign, contain, keep it up and simplify) on the paper. The key is to make this last step FUN. Put on music and have snacks. Then let you child take his tub of papers and dump it out on the table or floor and spread them all out. Enjoy the time as your child relives the school year. Honor this time with them by listening to the stories. Next, ask your kids to choose their FAVORITES – the TREASURES!! Then 3 hole punch them and put them in a big binder. Last, you can let them decorate the front, or pick a favorite and slide it in the front sleeve.

*** The best part is now placing the binders in your child’s room so they can relive those memories for years to come.

Your Homework –Try this out right away with the current school year’s papers. Please share your stories with me at [email protected] or www.facebook.com/clearsimple.com and I will give you a prize. I want you to get organized and have fun doing it – Marla Dee

 

 

iRAFT – Be FREE of Paper Pile Pain

Did you know you can handle all of your incoming paper in less than an hour a week?!

You heard us – less than an hour a week! We know paper comes at you from all directions and that you think it’s impossible to ever manage it all. Behold…  iRAFT©! We have created a system that simplifies all your interactions with the paper & information. Remember a SYSTEM – Saves You Stress, Time, Energy & Money! Let us introduce you to iRAFT.

EVERY piece of paper that comes into your life can be handled using the iRAFT© steps…

  • Incoming – every paper item that comes into your life
  • Read – magazines, articles, letters, cards
  • Act – requires you do something (make a call, pay a bill…)
  • File – file it quickly and be able to retrieve it easily
  • Toss – shred or recycle

Click for a printable of iRAFT. | or go to www.clearsimple.com/iRAFT for more

*Please note that we recommend implementing this system and starting in present time. Once you are familiar with it and have every step in place, then go to the piles, filing drawers, etc. to clear out and clean up. Paper is its own beast and is very overwhelming. If you desire the help of an organizer, please contact us.

 

iRAFT begins with INCOMING:

As we mentioned above, the information is coming from many places; the mail box is only one. Think about how much easier it is to start into your email because it is in your INBOX. So for the paper, choose a container that will hold a week’s worth of incoming paper and put everything there!  This includes mail, flyers, notes, etc… You also need a place for thoughts, conversations and such to land.  You might use an app on your smart phone, Evernote or a small spiral notebook.

Then once a week (or more often if needed) you will take all the incoming and sort it into four piles. You simply ask do I need to Read, take an Action, File or Toss. Then take the paper (or move the emails) into the each container or folder.

READ:

Choose a cool container for your reading that is staying at your desk, your reading chair and for on-the-go.

ACTION:

Every home and office needs an action container for those papers that need your attention such as bills to pay, errands to run and items to discuss with someone else. We suggest making your container vertical so that it is easy to find what you need and leave the other items organized. It is also nice to have it portable so it can move around your space.

FILE:

We often ask our clients to describe how they feel about FILING. We hear words like yuck, overwhelming, impossible, always behind, drawers are full. And there is a constant theme of not know what to keep or for how long. So start with setting up a “to file” container and then schedule time once a week or once a month to file, depending on your volume. If you really hate filing then get someone else to do it.

TOSS:

 

Daily – plop all the incoming paper and information into the container.

Weekly – take 5 minutes to sort into 4 piles – Read, Action, File, Toss.  Then take each pile to it’s proper container.

Weekly – set your TimeTimer for 30 minutes and do the action papers that need to get done that week.

Monthly – take your To File pile and file into your FreedomFiler system.

Other – Enjoy your reading time.

Clear & SIMPLE, iRAFT