Paper Management

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How to Create a System to Manage Your Mail…Snail Mail That is

By |2022-03-30T18:19:20-05:00March 30th, 2022|Categories: Paper Management, Routines|Tags: , , , , , , |

Paper is still probably the biggest challenge for most of us in terms of clutter in our homes. Even though the digital age has eliminated a lot of papers that come our way, if you have a physical mailbox, you are still receiving some paper in the form of mail via the US Postal Service. If you don’t have a system to manage the barrage of paper that your letter carrier delivers, you can become overwhelmed very quickly. To avoid the overwhelm, I encourage you to create a daily routine to manage incoming mail.  The process shown below is the [...]

How to Manage a Paperwork Backlog

By |2021-12-15T14:24:49-06:00December 15th, 2021|Categories: Paper Management|Tags: , , , , , , |

I see this so much with my older clients. Most, if not all of them have a huge paperwork backlog.  I get it, I really do. As I was growing up, even though I didn’t notice at the time, my parents were collecting paperwork. There were invoices, utility bills, cancelled checks - yes, our cancelled checks were actually returned to us in our monthly bank statements, investment statements, all types of insurance bills/statements, medical bills/statements, etc. The incoming flow of paper was relentless! Pretty much anything paper-related came to us via the US Postal Service, business and personal. Not only [...]

Tax Preparation – DIY or Hire An Accountant

By |2020-11-17T13:41:16-06:00February 12th, 2020|Categories: Paper Management, Storage|Tags: , , , , , |

After the first of every year, we head into the dreaded tax season. The time to gather documents for tax preparation. Documents and notices pertaining to our income and associated accounts start to filter into our mailboxes – email inbox or physical mailbox. In anticipation of the yearly event, creating a folder to store all these documents in the same place is essential for ease of access for tax preparation. For those with filing systems setup to work for you, this is a no-brainer. When a required document arrives in your mailbox, it goes right into the folder. For those [...]

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Important Papers – What to Keep & For How Long

By |2020-11-17T13:41:16-06:00January 23rd, 2020|Categories: Home Organization, Paper Management, Storage|Tags: , , , , , |

As a professional organizer I’m frequently asked about how long to keep important papers. There is no catch-all answer to this question.  The IRS states - The length of time you should keep a document depends on the action, expense, or event which the document records. There is a different answer for each document.  Some need to be kept forever and others have a life cycle. Going back to the basics for a moment, important papers are documents that include your personal information.  They are considered legal documents. Some documents contain your social security number, others contain account numbers and other [...]

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A Strategy For Paper Piles

By |2020-11-17T13:41:25-06:00August 22nd, 2018|Categories: Paper Management, Storage|Tags: , , , , |

Have you ever seen someone’s desk, either at work or in their home, that has paper piles covering the surface?  Perhaps your desk looks this way.  These people are known to the organizing world as pilers.  It’s a very common organizing style, or dare I say, lack of organizing style. When asked, pilers will tell you that they can find what they need when they need it. If this style works for them, great, although I’m not sure how they can find a particular document in all those piles.  Maybe it’s some sort of brain radar that has yet to [...]

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Shredding Documents

By |2020-11-17T13:41:26-06:00May 16th, 2018|Categories: Home Organization, Paper Management|Tags: , , , |

Shredding documents that are no longer needed and contain personal information, has become a part of the spring cleaning ritual.  It makes sense, as mid-April is the deadline for filing income taxes.  We accumulate copious amounts of paper year-round, and after filing our income taxes is a great time to purge the excess. Shredding Service - Free Typically, banks and credit unions hold free document shredding events after the tax deadline, some just before. These free events typically occur in April and May. They understand the importance of minimizing the amount of paper in our homes and our businesses. These [...]

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4 Strategies For Going Digital

By |2020-11-17T13:41:28-06:00February 7th, 2018|Categories: Home Organization, Organizing Tips, Paper Management|Tags: , , |

What does it actually mean to say you’re going digital?  We live in the digital age and so many actions we take involve a computer of some type.  There are laptops, electronic readers, smart phones, iPads, electronic devices for healthcare, voice recognition devices, etc.  The internet sends data through the ether to its intended destination as a form of communication. Companies of all shapes and sizes are going digital. When you make an online purchase, you enter credit card information.  When you make in-person purchases you have the option to swipe or insert a credit card or put your phone [...]

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How to Set up a Portable Office

By |2020-11-17T13:41:31-06:00November 9th, 2016|Categories: Paper Management, Planning, Productivity, Storage|Tags: , , , |

    A portable office can mean different things to different people.  To some it means working out of their car, to others it can mean the ability to work in various rooms around their home, or bringing work home from the office.  Actually, anything that can be moved from one place to another makes it portable. There can be a variety of reasons why we have a need for a portable office.  Some may have no spare room or space for a home office.  Others may not like to work in the space where they set up their home [...]

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4 Options to Securely Purge Old Papers

By |2020-11-17T13:41:33-06:00February 9th, 2016|Categories: Home Organization, Paper Management|Tags: , |

In my younger years I kept old papers such as, statements, receipts and cancelled checks for every personal business transaction.  My parents didn’t teach me to do this, I just did it because that’s what they did. No one ever told me how long to keep these papers, so needless to say I had quite a bit that I had been storing for many years. Fast forward to now, the digital age.  So many business transactions take place online, over the internet.  We use credit and debit cards instead of checks or cash to purchase products and services.  There are [...]

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How to Squash Your Paper Clutter Pests

By |2020-11-17T13:41:37-06:00August 24th, 2014|Categories: Home Organization, Paper Management|Tags: , , , |

What is at the top of the list in terms of clutter in your home? Most everyone I talk to about organizing says that paper is their number one issue with clutter. I can relate because paper is on the top of my list as well. It accumulates at an alarming rate. Some of it is important, some not so much, and some not at all. Wherever it may fall on the scale of importance, I think we can all agree that too much paper equates to paper clutter pests. It comes from a plethora of sources. It may arrive via snail [...]

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