Recently I spent some time with a Mum from school to set up a weekly routine so she can manage her paperwork. She was concerned she had overdue bills, school notices were going missing and the thought of being out of control drove her call to me for some assistance.
I was delighted that she understood the need to make time to get stuff done. I look forward to keeping up with her progress. You too can follow the same process to take control of your paperwork.
Allocate time to action paperwork
A allocate a block at the same time each week to action your paperwork. 30 minutes to 1 hour per week should be plenty
Deal with incoming mail
Set up a system for incoming mail. Create an intray and put mail in it as soon as it comes through your front door. Process the mail in your paperwork sessions you have put in the diary in the above step. Read here for more inspiration about dealing with your incoming mail particularly automating utility payments and receiving bills via email.
Tackle the backlog
Start to tackle the backlog when you have your basic system set up and are regularly processing the new incoming paperwork. Dealing with all the backlog may take a few weeks of regular 1 hour blocks of processing. Perhaps you don’t need to file the backlog at all. A box that says 2014-2016 may be OK and concentrate your efforts on going forward.
Keep your filing system simple. Only keep paper copies of what you absolutely have to.
Discard bills once they are paid (copies can be found online or through provider if you need them in future).
Keep tax documents in a box or file (check with your accountant as to what you need to keep).
Keep it up
Creating and sticking to the time allocated to process your paperwork is imperative (how else is it going to get done!?) Create a simple filing system for easy retrieval and be diligent to use it regularly instead of letting the piles mount up.
What system do you use to process your paperwork? Send me message on firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to hear about it
Contact me here to arrange a time for me to work with you to kickstart the process.
Julie Cliff, Professional Organiser at Space and Time specialises in helping families get organised at home. Her clients find they can achieve a lot with hands-on help and expert advice from Julie in a few short hours. Contact Julie today to get started on that job you have been putting off because you don’t know where to start.