Those piles of paper and overflowing files can be tamed!
“I’m coming clean here. Literally. I had piles of paper taking over my spare room that was supposed to be my sweet home office. It desperately needed attention. There were files from the last decade, including my husband’s old papers (he passed away years ago). Boxes overflowed, piles fell over, and the result was stress, stress, stress every time I walked into the room. What I lacked was a system to handle it all. I was inspired to tackle it after Marla Dee came to help me create a vision and plan.
I made this my project for spring and started working my way through the piles using the Clear & SIMPLE Systems© (see below). I sorted first. Then Marla took me through the toss. Honestly, having her at my side talking me through it made all the difference in the world. Next we chose a container for my incoming paper to land until I was ready to deal with it. Lastly, she introduced me to the amazing FreedomFiler System for my action system and all my files, from reference to taxes. I have peace of mind knowing that every type of paper in my space has a home and a system to keep it running smoothly.” W.R.
Why not try The Clear & SIMPLE Way © to transform your paper piles…
SEE IT© – Take a look at where you’ve been
Take 10 minutes to write out what’s working, what’s not working and why. Just let the words come out of you and enjoy the clarity and release.
MAP IT© – Make a plan for what you want
Write a simple vision by asking how you want your paper space to look, feel and function? Get ideas here on our ULTIMATE OFFICE MAP.
DO IT© – Take the steps to get it done
Take it one step at a time using the Clear & SIMPLE System of S.T.A.C.K.S. ©.
Sort first – What is it? Gather the most active papers and sort them first. Keep the labels general in the beginning. Remember like with like. You can sort right into hanging files or bankers boxes with post it note labels. For example: mortgage/rental papers, life insurance, health insurance, auto, monthly utilities, loans, etc.
Toss – Do I keep it or let it go? Give your self permission to recycle or shred the papers that need to go. Get a printable version of our Record Retention Guidelines.
Assign – Where will it go? Sanity starts with capturing the paper as it comes in. Choose a location and container for the incoming paper and drop everything in. It is just like the inbox for your emails. Then get a container for the action papers and 1-2 file drawers for the files you need to keep handy. Check out a printable version of our Paper flow Map for additional support.
Contain – What does it go in? Choose a color of hanging folder that you love along with the powerful FreedomFiler System or another of your choice. Archive papers can just be put in boxes, labeled and stored.
Keep It Up – How do I maintain this? Place all incoming paper and mail into a container then sort once a week into 4 piles – Read, Action, File and Toss, RAFT ©. Take the piles to their appropriate place and then spend 30 minutes just on the ACTION items. FreedomFiler System is the answer again to keep ALL the paper files organized!
Simplify – How can I simplify? Schedule your paper power time each week just like you would the laundry. Also, getting help from a Professional Organizer is always a gift.
We invite you to just start using the tips and tools above. Tackle the active paper piles and let us know what happens.
Marla, Kate & Team
©RAFT, SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT. & STACKS Copyright Clear & SIMPLE, LLC All rights reserved.