Paperwork is the hot topic for almost every one of my business and home-based business clients. Having a business, especially one that is run out of the home, means that there is twice as much paperwork coming into the house. Even if you have a P.O.box, the mail comes back into the house and then…well, where does it go?!
We are already six weeks into2014 and every client has had the same issue. Paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork! This is why, in the typical consult, we start with the ever-present “basket” of papers that had been collecting for the last week, month - or even month(s). Every type of paper was in each client’s basket.
Important paperwork that required action, coupons, junk mail, paperwork that needed to be filed and papers that needed action later in the month,
Why does this happen? Why does paperwork get piled into one very cute, pretty or “functional” basket? I think if happens for several reasons:
· There is no system developed to know “what” to do with the paperwork when it comes into the home or office
· Paperwork elimination doesn’t happen on a daily basis
· It is seems easier to put paperwork into the basket and get “back to it later”
Organizing paperwork should be one of America’s biggest New Year goals. Having a paperwork system is essential in keeping it under control and avoiding the pile management syndrome. The perception with paperwork is that it takes so much time. And, it does…without a system to deal with it. However, once you have a system developed, it can be easy to track, manage, file and control.
What do you do to manage your paperwork? I’ll tell you what I do. This is a system that I use (and personalize) with all of my clients. It works for home paperwork, kid paperwork, business paperwork, miscellaneous paperwork…every kind of paperwork that exists.
It is my File It, Find It…Fast paper filing system. There are only a few things required to get started.
· A filing box (small, colorful, with or without a lid), file folders and hanging folders.
· The next step is what everyone avoids the most. Sorting through the paperwork. Set aside a place with enough room that you can spread out the paperwork into categories (which will later be files). This takes time and thought and is really boring! This is why most of us don’t like to deal with it.
· This process is helpful because it allows you to know what you really should keep and shouldn’t. Keep the trash can and shredder available and get rid of paperwork that fits into these categories:
a) You won’t use (you just thought you would use it)
b) It is expired
c) You can get the information online
d) Have been paid – and you really don’t need to keep it
e) Needs to be filed away in your family or business filing system
This is the beginning of the process to developing your filing system that will allow you to find what you need – when you need it - because otherwise paperwork can cause stress.
Save time, money, frustration, clutter and stress…organize your paperwork.
I don't know about you, but with all of the snow this year, the intermittent school closings, delays and "life in general", I need to eliminate stress wherever possible. If you would like more information about my filing system, just let me know. I'm happy to talk to you about it!