In terms of clutter there is definitely one type that seems to pile up, and that is the paper variety.
With all of the new technology and so many things that are now ‘paperless’ I am always amazed at just how much paperwork I have and how quickly it can accumulate.
Without a good system in place you can soon find yourself sitting amongst a small forest worth of bills, leaflets and documents. If you don’t get on top of it, it will get on top of you!
As mentioned in my previous post 'Is it time to clear the clutter?' dealing with clutter is often an emotional process and it’s important to think about why it’s there in the first place as this can help you release it. When we look at paperwork, which often consists of important documents there can be many reasons why we are not dealing with them.
Maybe it’s bills that you don’t or can’t deal with. Is there an important decision you are putting off that needs to be made? Are you holding on to junk mail to help conceal what is hiding underneath (if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist, right)? Are you keeping documents that you think you’ll need one day. Remember, when we hold on to things through fear of scarcity we are blocking abundance coming our way.
Below are a few tips to help:
1) Go through your current system of filing (if you have one). Are the documents that you are keeping still needed or even still relevant? You probably have manuals for things you don’t even own anymore.
2) If you don’t have a system then set one up. If you do then review it. Is it working for you? Is it organised in a way that is relevant and makes sense? Can you access it and it’s contents easily and efficiently?
3) Create a place to hold all paperwork that needs to be dealt with. Use something that’s aesthetically pleasing like a gorgeous filing tray or a nice box.
4) Collect all paperwork that is hanging around your home and place it in your lovely new paperwork holder. It might also be a good time to clear your bags and purses of paperwork and receipts.
5) Now that we have reflected and have become completely enlightened as to why we have accumulated so much (wink, wink) it’s time to get stuck in. Work your way through the pile from top to bottom. Don’t cherry pick documents as this is just another way of procrastinating and putting off what needs to be done!
6) As you go through each item ask yourself if it is something that requires action? If the answer is ‘yes’ then decide how long this action would take. If it can be done within 5 minutes then deal with it straight away. If it is something that will take longer work out what the next actionable step is. Can this be done now? If so do it. If the document is something that doesn’t require action, then make the decision as to whether you really need to keep it. If it’s something that needs to be kept for reference, then put it away in your amazing new filing system. If not throw it in the bin or shred it. If you can recycle it then even better.
7) Set aside a time to go through your paperwork on a frequent basis. I would recommend once a week but do what works for you. Now we are nice and organised it shouldn’t take too long to fit it in and keep on top of.