Paper

846 words - 4 pages

Do you know where your tax records are? Chances are, they're swimming in a stack of paper ... somewhere.

Rafts of paper flood into the average home each day. The mailbox discharges letters and bills and bank statements. Briefcases explode with professional journals, pay stubs and calendars. School backpacks unload children's artwork, meeting notices and sports schedules.

Paper clutter costs money, time and stress. A missing permission slip derails the entire family on the way out the door. Hide-and-seek bills lead to late payment fees. Lose the roster, and it's back to the Yellow Pages each time you need to contact the soccer car pool.

Without a plan for paper management, a ...view middle of the document...

Decide to decide

At the bottom of paper pile-ups is deferred decision-making. It's fun to flip through the day's mail at the kitchen table, but if it's left there to molder, it'll have to be sorted again later. Chances are, important items will go missing when the table is swept clear for dinner.

Instead, decide what to do with each piece of paper the first time you handle it. Ask, "Will this item need to be paid, answered, filed?", then drop the paper into the appropriate folder of an Action File. An immediate sort-and-stow operation heads off paper clutter at the source.
Create an Action File!

Make quick work of daily paper management with an Action File.

action file for household paper

Using a small tabletop file, add hanging folders labeled "To Pay", "To Do", and "To File". Include separate folders for each family member, and for religious, sport or school activities.

Each day, sort and drop incoming paperwork into the appropriate file. Bills go to "To Pay", while medical insurance papers are addressed "To File". When it's time to handle weekly deskwork, you'll find it all in the Action File!
Top Tips for Paper Types

household notebook

Try these ideas to manage different types of paper pile-ups in the home:

Calendars, Menus and Phone Lists: Save telephone time by keeping calendars, schedules, take-out menus and phone lists into clear page protectors in a 3-ring binder. Flip through the household notebook to quickly check meeting dates or find phone...

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