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Paper clutter….we all get it.
All. The. Time. Mail, kid’s papers, announcements, coupons. You know where your “hot spot” for paper clutter is – your desk? The dresser? Dining room table? All of the above?
My hot spot was on my kitchen counter where junk mail, my kids drawings, bills and those “must dos” pile up. The pile would grow until I was embarrassed and feel a need to dramatically deal with the mess….usually a realization brought on by unexpected company dropping by in 10 minutes.
Although I do enjoy the feeling of seeing how quickly I can accomplish things when under pressure, I’ve discovered a much easier and stress-free way to handle the amount of paper coming in your door.
The tips I have to share were largely from Sarah Kornhak in the book “Time Management Mama.”
I’ve been following this system for almost a year now, and it’s the best system for managing paperwork that I’ve ever tried! Here’s how you do it:
1. Create an inbox.
Keep one inbox on the wall or counter in your kitchen. Everything that comes in the door can go directly into the inbox. (I put junk mail directly into the garbage right away though.)
2. Get a small plastic file box that can go near or in your kitchen.
This has been invaluable to me. This is not your long-term filing system, just a short-term organization tool. On the file folders, write: SHORT TERM, RECORDS TO FILE, RECEIPTS, COUPONS, GIFT CARDS. In addition, I put in a folder for each child for the year, to put in schoolwork, photos, and artwork for keepsake. You might want to add a folder for keeping stationery. This way the paper clutter is filed away quickly and doesn’t sit around for the one time a month you might go to the long-term file cabinet and deal with the stack.
3. Pick a time each day to go through the inbox.
What is the best time of day for you to deal with the paper pile? Make it part of your morning or evening routine, or while the kids work on homework. (Then you can just hand over whatever you find in the bottom of their backpack straightaway!)
Here are a few super cute affordable inboxes that I love! (Helpful hint : The inboxes we are talking about are usually called “mail organizers” “mail sorter” or “mail file” when you are searching online.)
To learn more tips and tricks about organizing your inbox and time checkout our FREE 7 day challenge :