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Paper Organizing Tips for Purging Paper Clutter

While the trend may be to go paperless, there is still a significant amount of paper in our offices taking up valuable desk, floor and file cabinet space. How can we get rid of the excess and stay organized? This volume of paper is intimidating. We see all the paper clutter that is causing a constant state of chaos and realize that we don’t know how to regain control over this mass of paper. It’s time for action. These paper organizing tips from this Professional Organizer in NYC will enable you to take back control of your space and purge the clutter for good.

What needs to be saved?
We have trouble deciding what to keep and convince ourselves that every piece of paper is important. After all, what happens if we need this information later on? If we can answer the questions “where can I get another copy?” and “what’s the worst thing that will happen if I need this document and don’t have it?”, we can make much quicker decisions concerning what to keep when sorting the paper piles. However, there are definitely financial, tax and legal documents that need to be saved for varying periods of time. Consult with your advisors for the exact amount of time for each type of paperwork.

What about the mail?
As a result of managing our financial lives online, it’s probably safe to say that there is very little important information in the daily mail delivery. We get mail delivered to our office or office/home and just add it to the pile of papers to sort through later because we are too busy to address it. We are adding junk mail, flyers, and magazines to the growing collection of papers on our desk. Why are we doing this? Instead, try taking a minute to sort the mail when it is delivered and recycle/shred as needed so that only the important mail is left. If this isn’t possible, set up a paper tray specifically for the mail and sort through it on a regular basis. ,

What to archive?
Be proactive about archiving. Don’t add to the excess paper clutter by keeping old files in your filing cabinet mixed in with your current action and reference files. Take the time once a year to review your files, recycle/shred those that are no longer needed, and archive those that need to be kept. Don’t devote valuable real estate for paper that you just don’t need anymore. Remember that 80% of the documents stored in a file cabinet are never accessed. By removing the excess, you’ll be able to access your files more easily and won’t be so overwhelmed with the amount of paper in your filing cabinet.

What’s the 5 minute plan?
Schedule time to dive in and purge the paper clutter. As we all know…if we don’t schedule time for this task, it’ll never happen. Take a look at your calendar and make paper organizing a priority by blocking time on a recurring basis. Schedule just 5-10 minutes each day. Start by sorting/filing that day’s papers and once done start on the pile of older documents that has collected. By immediately putting away papers and files, the clutter will start to diminish. If you have a larger collection of piles to address, schedule 15 minutes per day until they are gone and then reduce the amount of daily time for this task. When you rid your space of this excess paper, your productivity will increase.

Stay ahead of the paper clutter curve by tackling each piece of paper and file head on. For more paper organizing tips and hands on strategies, reach out to this Professional Organizer in NYC!

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