December 6, 2010

Taming the Paper Tiger: Part 2

The clutter is gone. The rooms looks tidy. You know where to go to find a document or piece of paper. Now the trick is making it stay that way.

Here are 10 steps to maintaining your home as a clutter free zone.

  1. Commit to making decisions. Don’t fall into the trap of procrastinating.
  2. Use your FAT system when you open the mail or bring paper into the house:  File it, Act on it, or Toss it.
  3. Be aware of what paper is coming in and ask if you really need it. For example, if you have 6 bank accounts and therefore 6 statements coming in every month you should re-evaluate whether or not you really need them all.
  4. Buy a shredder.
  5. Make a date each week to manage the paper. For example, Monday mornings at 9 you will work on and clear out the Action file, and remove all items that are in the toss area.
  6. Establish the safe spot for filed items – a cabinet, or perhaps boxes in a closet.
  7. Make your filing system easy to use. Color code them and make the labels easy to see.
  8. Re-evaluate subscriptions. Do you really read them?
  9. Donate magazines to local hospitals, retirement residences and the like on a regular basis
  10. Review the filing system annually and purge older documents. For example keep tax returns for only 6 years.

Follow these easy steps and the paper tiger will stay in it’s cage!

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