Paper Organization... |

Paper Organization…

February 14, 2014

Plain & Simple Organizing

 

Last week, I showed you how to set up a “Tax Organization” area in your home. This week, we are working on paper clutter. Do you have mountains of paper piles on your desk or counter top?  If so, try creating a system for organizing paper clutter, before it gets out of control.  It’s plain. It’s simple, and it’s a “must have” if you want to get your life in order.   I challenge you to create a similar system in your home!  Keep reading to learn how I organize the paper that’s coming into my home, on a daily basis.  Its super easy. You can do it too!

 

YOUR CHALLENGE:

Create a area in your home or office, devoted entirely to incoming paper.

  • Mail
  • Keepsakes
  • School Related Paper
  • Magazines & Newspapers
  • Action & to file

 
 

Get control of the paper piles, once and for all...  with this easy tutorial on Paper Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons

 
 

DESIGNATE A SPACE:

The first thing you need to do is designate a space for your “paper organization”.  It could be in your kitchen, office, or bedroom.  Think about where you normally open your mail and where your paper piles end up.

 

GATHER YOUR ITEMS:

  • Filing system (table top file box or cabinet)
  • “Unsorted mail” basket
  • “To File” box
  • “Action” box
  • Keepsake files
  • Magazine Holder

 
 

Get control of the paper piles, once and for all...  with this easy tutorial on Paper Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons

 
 

HOW IT WORKS:

When you bring your mail into your home, you have two options… Go through it right away or set it aside and look through it when you have time.  The best option is to go through it right away,  tossing your junk mail into the recycling bin immediately. Most paper pile ups are the result of junk mail.  If you do this, you have eliminated 75% of the problem.  Don’t have time?  Toss the junk mail immediatly.  Place the rest of the papers in the basket.  As soon as you get a minute, go through your papers.

 
 

SORTING YOUR PAPERS:

 

JUNK MAIL:   Immediately toss the junk mail into the trash. It only takes a few seconds to find the junk mail.

BILLS:  Open all bills.  Take note of the due date. If you pay your bills on the computer, toss the envelopes that they come with.  Place your bills in your designated bill payment area.

KEEPSAKES:  Think about what keepsakes you want to scrapbook (project life, etc) and what you want to store away.  Separate the two.  You can store the keepsakes like I do here.  Or place them into files (to scrapbook at a later time).  I use a magazine box labeled with weekly dated file folders.  When I am ready to scrapbook, I know when they were created. (To learn more about my scrapbook organization, visit my blog post here.

TO FILE:  Anything that goes into your filing system can be placed in this box.  Set aside a half hour each week to file. To see how my filing cabinet is set up, visit my post here.

ACTION:  All paperwork that requires you to respond, sign, mail, rsvp, etc… needs to go into this box.  Set aside 1 day per week to go though and take action on all of these papers. (Afraid you will forget?  Write it in your planner.)

MAGAZINES:  All “current month” magazines & catalogs go into this file box.  At the end of each month, either recycle the magazines you don’t want to keep or store  the magazines you would like to keep (in designated magazine boxes). To learn how to make your own magazine storage boxes, check out my tutorial here.

UNSORTED PAPER:  The top basket is designated for paper that hasn’t been sorted through.  Place those papers in this basket.  Do NOT place junk mail in this basket.

 
 

Paper Organization A Bowl Full of Lemons  2

 
 

This basket is designated for “unsorted papers”. I purchased it at Office Depot (See Jane Work line).

 
 

Get control of the paper piles, once and for all...  with this easy tutorial on Paper Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons

 
 

I purchased these two boxes at Office Depot. They are from the See Jane Work line.

 
 

Get control of the paper piles, once and for all...  with this easy tutorial on Paper Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons

 
 

My keepsake & magazine boxes are from Staples (Martha Stewart).

 
 

Get control of the paper piles, once and for all...  with this easy tutorial on Paper Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons

 
 

Get control of the paper piles, once and for all...  with this easy tutorial on Paper Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons

 
 

Get control of the paper piles, once and for all...  with this easy tutorial on Paper Organization by A Bowl Full of Lemons
 
 
I hope you can take some tips  from this post, to help tame your paper clutter.  This is one of the top complaints my readers have when it comes to home organization – paper clutter.    Keep it plain & simple when it comes to organizing.

 

HAPPY ORGANIZING!

 
 

33 comments on “Paper Organization…

  1. Theresa says:

    Can you tell me where you found that basket/sorting drawer/magazine files. I love the color, they would match my office perfectly :)

  2. Lynne says:

    where did you get the basket?

  3. Nancy says:

    Can you explain your filing system? I love the color coded feature!
    Thank you!

  4. Ashton says:

    Great idea… I have a partial system now, but I love how yours is set up. What did you label the files in your keepsakes box?

  5. Karen says:

    The folders in the keepsake box are numbered – by day or child or what?

  6. Anonymous says:

    In the keepsake box, are those regular filing folders?

  7. Great tips! I am pinning this! We always have piles of mail and school papers to be sorted. I have to get it under control!

  8. Emily says:

    Why do you have a magazine file instead of just putting them directly into the magazine thing in the living room? This is a serious question…I am THE WORST at organizing and have been devouring your blog. Hopefully it helps :)

  9. Terra says:

    Are the blue folders in the keep sake box reg file folders? Staples? In the picture it looks like they are taller than reg folders and the tab is at the top. I love the colors and they would match what I’m already using. Love your set up, thanks

  10. ANGELA says:

    Do you have the link to your fililng cabinet? I looked at office depot and staples and couldn’t find it. Thanks!

  11. Tammi Martin says:

    I have not been able to find the blue stapler and blue tape dispenser to match this set. Any suggestions? My Office Depot does not carry them in blue. Only black and white.

  12. Moor says:

    Could the basket and the sorting drawers be found in other colour? I like this one but it won’t fit the colour scheme of my room.

  13. Robyn Mizell says:

    Toni, I love the new look of A Bowl Full of Lemons!!!!!!

  14. lorri says:

    I would add that when you sort that you have a shredder nearby. Any “junk mail” that has your name on it or any other personal information gets shredded. We learned the hard way! Thanks for all the ideas!

    • Jeanette says:

      Agreed. Everything that has our name on it–no matter what type of junk–gets shredded. NEVER, NEVER just put stuff in the trash. I did not (thankfully) learn this the hard way, I’m just naturally paranoid :) I do love the blue organizers, will have to check Office Depot.

  15. Mari says:

    Where did you get your filling cabinet?

  16. Hi ! I’ve been on your website for hours now. Everything is SO gorgeous ! Your office looks perfect ! It’s all so beautiful it makes me want to cry ! Yes I know… organization freak having its dose ! I’m following you and count on spending more hours here ! Amazing !!!

  17. Natalie says:

    I love your paper organization/command center. I’ve been searching on pinterest to find the perfect way to set up a colorful system like this & love your set up.
    Tell me what do you have in your magazine file with the tabs?

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