Have you ever wondered how much paper we go through in our lives? Bills, invitations, magazine clippings, printouts of articles we’re reading in school, our kids’ paintings taped to the fridge. And these are just personal papers. Think about how much paper we encounter in our work lives! Contracts, letters, memos and so much more. Not to mention those pages we ball up and throw in the waste basket.
Because of the sheer amount of paper, we use in our daily lives, sometimes, it becomes overwhelming to see it all cluttered around the house. Even if it’s been hoovered, your room just doesn’t seem tidy until you’ve picked up the paper that has found its place on the floor, the shelves and piled up on your desk.
And what do we do with those papers? We throw them away.
Well, usually. Sometimes, we spend hours feeling overwhelmed and going through every single sheet of paper to make sure there isn’t anything we need. But that just doesn’t work when all you want is a clean space.
Usually, we discard tons of paper every year without looking through it and this is where we make the mistake. It is almost a cliché to lose important paperwork because we don’t sort through it. There are, however, approaches you can take to your paperwork managing that will help ease the load. Literally.
One of these techniques is categorizing your important paperwork and filing it in a neat expanding file organiser. For categories, we recommend “personal”, “professional”, “academic” and “miscellaneous”. The genius of the miscellaneous section is that you don’t have to make a decision immediately. Whatever you cannot categorize, put it in the miscellaneous category and deal with it when you have time. Otherwise, your run the risk of slowing down and ultimately losing your motivation to sort your paperwork.
Another set of categories you can try is “need immediately”, “long-term paperwork”, “might need in future”. These can also be used as sub-sections to the previous categories, if you’re a real organizational hulk. A great read on organizational hacks is Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
For the filing part, we recommend, getting a expanding file folder. One of the banes of paper organization is that you have tens of files. Medical records here, school reports there, artwork in another place. And it just keeps adding to the heap. So, instead of a haphazard load of papers, you have an organized load of papers. No extra space cleared! With an expanding folder organiser, you can keep your categories separate yet still in one place. All your paper, in one neat filing folder. A favorite on the market is DYNUIQ’s Expanding File Folder Organiser with Foldable Lid and Multi-Coloured Labels. It has room for upto 3000 sheets of paper, comes with 24 pockets and 18 foldable lids. It’s currently available on Amazon and is an affordable choice. When you have all your paperwork organized, you will eventually be rid of the monster of a job of decluttering it. Just remember that whenever you get a piece of paper in the mail, the key is to file it immediately and get rid of what you don’t need.
When your environment is paper-free, you can focus better on work and stay on top of everything.