Feeling a little heavy? Wake up in the morning and dread starting your day because of the extra weight? Then it’s time for you to lose that extra five pounds of paperwork and get streamlined this summer!
Organize Anything has five great tips to help you shed those extra pounds and watch your stress slip away.
1. Keep it online. Why waste ink and paper printing out bills, invoices and other documents that can easily be stored on your computer? Go digital and have your bills emailed to you instead of sent through traditional mail. Worried about losing your records? Save everything on an external hard drive or a well labelled memory stick.
2. Get to know your shredder. When you get your mail, sort through it at the paper shredder. Shred anything that’s not a bill or personal letter immediately. Not only does it cut down on paper clutter, but it helps you eliminate your chances of identity theft.
3. Use notebooks for messages. Keep a spiral notebook with a pen tucked inside it beside your home phone and one beside your computer. This helps eliminate the scraps of paper and Post-It notes that can take over your work space when you’re not looking.
4. Don’t just file, follow through. If you sort your paperwork into “urgent,” “high priority” and “low priority” make sure that you empty these trays by the end of the day. The idea is to complete the tasks or have reassessed their priority by end of day. Try not to re-file or re-pile papers at the end of your work day. Ask yourself what is the next action I need to take with this item.
5. Recycle anything that’s not critical.
Consider your personal circumstances and decide what you should hold onto for the long run: wills, birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, prenuptial agreements, alimony and child-custody agreements, divorce decrees, adoption papers, military records, citizenship papers, passports, health care power of attorney, current insurance policies, employment contracts, deeds, property titles, mortgages, and stock and bond certificates are all paperwork that you should keep long term.
Store these things in a safety deposit box or safe place where your next of kin knows where they are.Be sure to shred anything else you don’t need as time goes on. Also important is to ask your accountant or book keeper to see what you as an individual or business owner really need to keep and for how long.
Keeping pounds of extra paper is clutter you don’t need in your office or home. Paperwork is easy to ignore, and it’s even easier to let it pile up. Do your part for the environment by eliminating your paper trail, while relieving the clutter in your home and office. Make this the summer you lose those extra five pounds of paper.
By Colette Robicheau