Now that I have a set schedule for keeping my electronic files and folders organized and backed up and safe–it is time to attack the next phase of organizing—paper.
At one time, paper was a wonderful invention! It allowed us mere humans to write down our thoughts, our histories, create our art and our personal stories among a myriad of other things.
Somewhere along the way, though, we had so much written down on paper and everything became so important to keep that we started–and for many of us–are still drowning in paper!
Now there is paper and then there is paper–and believe it or not we categorize our paper in the back of our heads: junk, reading materials, records, and memorabilia.
There are really only three ways to take care of our paper: we can get rid of it, scan it and keep the paper electronically (to be able to get rid of it), or keep it.
To get rid of papers that have any identifying information I suggest getting a shredder–it has become a very good friend to me–I call my shredder Rosie.
Here is how you can organize your paper.
Junk. There is a great deal of paper in our lives right now that we can really just throw away. Grab a plastic bag and go to town. All the junk paper in your office, bedroom, kitchen table, counters and any other flat surface in your home can go. Old receipts, advertisements, junk mail, take out menus, empty envelopes and the like fall into this category.
Reading Materials. Magazines and newspapers also that are piling up because you haven’t had a chance to read them in our busy runaround lives–should be walking out of your home right into the recycle bin. Books: we have so many books in our lives. Keep the ones you love–and give away (or sell) the rest.
Just by taking care of those two categories of paper you will feel lighter.
Records and Memorabilia. Our records and our memorabilia are harder categories to take care of. Here is an easy solution–and this is what I did. I will warn you that this is not a popular solution and some of your family members (or your dog) may look at you like you are crazy–but it worked for me.
I put all–and I do mean all–my records and memorabilia in a huge pile. It actually turned out to be 4 very large piles! And then decide with each paper if you need to shred it, scan it (and then shred it), or keep it.
It is time consuming. It takes concentration. And it is one of the most satisfying chores I have ever completed. Now there is no paper, paper, everywhere!
Why? Because it has to be done. Because you will feel lighter and cleaner. Because you will be making room for all the good things coming your way.
Living the life you want faster, smarter and better can be done with less paper. Have fun with it!
What are your challenges when it comes to all the paper in your life? How do you feel about getting rid of the paper in your home?
Comment below and let me know your thoughts!