Sunday, March 13, 2011

Project: Simplify - Week #2: Paper Clutter

So, I STILL did not complete Week #1 of Project: Simplify...but I WILL DO IT! Last week was a busy, not the most motivated, and draining week. This week will also be a bit busy, but hopefully I will get through it a bit better - and make more time to work on the decluttering that I want and need to do!

Today begins Week #2 of Project: Simplify! The Hot Spot to declutter is: PAPER CLUTTER! This is something that I have begun to work on, but still have much more to do. Later this week, I will share with you how I have begun tackling the paper clutter on my breakfast bar - although I still have quite a bit of tweaking to do in this area!

Some other things that I will be learning this week are:

*How long do you need to keep bill "receipts"

*How long do you need to hold on to a store receipt - and what is the best way to store/file it?

*What do you do with the receipts from the bank/ATM?

I think that I know the answers to these questions, but I need to put it into action...and I WILL get rid of the bill "receipt" from 2005 that I still have in my files...I don't think that I need it anymore! (At least it is in a file - right?) :)

You can check out the tools that are suggested this week to help you here. Tsh's basic plan for "Unleashing Vengeance on You Papers" is below:

1. Gather all your loose papers in to one large box — your receipts, your junk mail, your paid bills, the random notes, and even your kids’ scribbles just laying around.

2. Surround yourself with this main box, your recycling bin, your trash can, your “to be shredded” box or your shredder itself, and your “take action” box. Keep a pen or pencil nearby.

3. Start a movie marathon, IF it won’t distract you. Choose a dialog-heavy flick or one you’ve seen a million times (basically, you don’t have to stare at the screen). Inceptionprobably isn’t a good idea. (My sidenote - I would probably choose music instead!)

4. Start at the top, and work through the main box one sheet of paper at a time. If anything needs attention (a bill to be paid, an event to be added to the calendar), toss it in the “take action” box. If anything needs shredding, either shred it immediately or toss it in the “to be shredded” box. Then, deal with its contents when the three-year-old isn’t around to help you shred more than you bargained for.

5. After you’ve emptied the main box, return to the “take action” box and — well, take action.

6. Once all your paper has been processed, create a spot for paper to land where it can be processed weekly from now on. (My sidenote: I have a GREAT idea for this that I will share later this week!)

7. Take steps to minimize future paper clutter (go paperless with your bills, etc.).

8. Rinse and repeat, either weekly or monthly.

Click here to download and print a PDF checklist of this week’s hot spot (find the hidden irony).

Let me know if you are going to join me in this week's project...of if you already have this in order, leave a comment and let me know what works for you! Have fun!

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