Everyone hates to file papers and we all have piles of them on our desks, tables, and any other flat surface around. No one likes to deal with all the papers that we still have even in our modern “paperless” society. Today I offer a 2 step, just TWO, step plan to organize your papers in an easy, simple system that is not overwhelming and will have you binging Netflix in no time.
Even as a professional organizer, my ADHD gets in the way of keeping my attention on sorting papers for any significant length of time. As everyone knows, dealing with papers is boring. And so it becomes overwhelming, and then we give up and give in to the piles. So, out of necessity, I created this quick and easy system for dealing with the paper piles.
Are you ready to change your paper filing system forever? Here goes. Two steps. Two easy steps.
1) Get 2 containers – boxes, plastic bins, baskets etc. to hold your papers. They can be pretty or they can be from the liquor store. Doesn’t matter. Just two. Look at each paper and answer one yes or no question:
“Does this paper have anything to do with my money, property, legal identification, or taxes?”
If the answer is “Yes”, it goes in Box #1.
2) If the answer is “No”, then it goes into box #2.
That’s it. You’re done filing. Even if you never do anything else with either box, you will be able to find any important paper that you need, when you need it. Most papers that we think we need to keep are rarely, if ever, referenced again. But if you do need to find an important legal document, receipt or tax info, you only have to look in Box #1. You don’t need to be distracted by all the non-legal or non-financial papers to find what you need. Your stress level is greatly reduced or even eliminated.
And, an added bonus is that if there is ever an emergency, storm, fire, or other need to evacuate quickly, you just have to grab Box #1.
Now, a lot of people would just not feel completely comfortable with this simple system. If you fall into this category, then take the next step and get a 3-ring binder and some sheet protectors and place all of the most critical documents – your birth certificates, passports, Social Security cards, marriage and divorce documents, property deeds, college transcripts, etc. and put them into the page protectors in the binder. Keep this binder in or near Box #1 and let all household members know about it and where it is. Believe me, this will save you so much time and stress when you need to locate these documents.
I know that this system works well as I just completed the process of getting both my Real ID and my passport. It was so much easier knowing where all of the documents were and that they were all together.
Now that you paper piles are tackled, grab some ice cream and enjoy your favorite show or activity. Guilt free. And now you are organized…at least with your papers.