Who among us does not struggle to keep on top of paper clutter? An IDC survey from 2007 discovered that 95% of all information is still processed in paper form; with 45 sheets of paper being printed on average each day per employee (source: www.napo.net).
It takes a great deal of determination and a few simple habits to conquer paper clutter at home and at work. Here are your new habits to implement:
1) Sort Daily
Take 5 to 10 minutes every day to sort through any paper that has come into your space. In the workplace, I recommend doing this at a set interval such as first thing in the morning, at lunch time or in your last hour at work. At home, I like to sort through the mail and the kids papers around dinner time. The idea here is to eliminate all the unnecessary items (i.e. junk) and deal with anything that takes two minutes or less.
2) File Immediately
If your sort has resulted in items to file, such as monthly statements, go ahead and file those items immediately. This should take two minutes or less if you have the files set up already. If you do not have files set up, setting up a file should be part of your next habit, act weekly.
3) Act Weekly
This habit is primarily for the home, as work items will typically need to be acted upon according to deadline and priority. Set aside 30 minutes to 1 hour at least once a week to work on and eliminate your action items. If your schedule is flexible, you might opt for 15 minutes several times a week. Your action time might include paying bills, sending an RSVP or setting up files.
If you need a little extra help getting a hold on paper clutter, please contact Carolyn to schedule a complementary telephone consultation and be your best in 2013.
Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. Would you like to learn how to keep your family organized? Carolyn will be presenting "Organize Your Family" through Ann Arbor Rec and Ed on Friday, February 8, 2013. Register with Ann Arbor Rec and Ed.