April 19, 2024

5 Tips to Reduce Those Paper Piles

A solid desktop filing system will reduce paper clutter

January (aka G.O. Month) is almost over.  How have you been doing on those organizing resolutions you set? 

I’ve done a lot of paper-related work with clients this month.  Are papers  a sore spot for you, too?  Do you engage in “filing by piling,” or dumping everything on your desk?  Help is on the way!  With these five steps, you’ll soon have your paper piles whipped into shape.

1.  Sort papers and mail over the trash / recycling bin.  Feed generously.

 When deciding whether to toss something, ask yourself:

  • Do I really need this information?
  • What’s the worst that would happen if I didn’t have this information?
  • Can I find this information elsewhere? 

 2.  Sort papers and mail with your planner / calendar in hand.

  • Write to-dos in your calendar with a deadline.
  • For events that require a decision or RSVP, pencil the date in your calendar.  Next, select a “decide-by” date and write it down.  When you reach that date in your calendar, it’s time to make a decision.  File or toss any related paperwork. 
  • With this method, you can confidently file pending projects in a “Pending” or “Action Required” file on your desk top.       
  • This technique works with both paper and electronic calendars.

3.  Remove your name and address from mailing lists.

  • This requires a time investment, but will eventually reduce junk mail.
  • Visit the Direct Marketing Association’s website, www.DMAChoice.org, and register for Mail Preference Services.

4.  Set up an effective filing system 

  • Schedule time for weekly filing

5.  Invest in a paper shredder

  • If you have a lot of paper to shred, consider using a shredding service, such as Shred Ex www.goshredex.com.

Remember—you’ll never get organized if you continually add, but never subtract.

…consider this your math problem of the day.