Project: Simplify: Hotspot #2 – Paper Clutter

I am a bit behind with these but the important thing is that I am doing them so I am not too worried about the deadlines!  The second hotspot for Project Simplify was paper clutter.  This is something I feel I am constantly battling and it doesn’t help that getting ready for the move and since the move, a lot of our filing and archives are scattered around the house.

I was getting a bit fed up with the constant sorting of paper into piles, only for it to get in a mess again.  This is a kind of ‘before’ shot (in the background of a picture of ricardo and my daughter):

So the first step was to gather every piece of loose paper from around the house then start sorting into piles: bin, shred, recycle, filing, action needed. I had a little helper;

After disposing of the rubbish, I then organised the three concertina files which were all serving the same purpose, meaning I could never find anything as I didn’t know which file things were in. I used one to hold all our old filing and labelled ‘archive filing pre’ plus the date.  i used a box file to store all our conveyancing paperwork from the move. I wrote proper labels on each section of the newest concertina file and filed away all our current paperwork which we might need to refer to easily.  The third concertina file is empty, ready to be used for archiving once the current file fills up.  Another box file has been used to hold all our receipts and manuals which take up room but might be needed one day.  Box files are great for this sort of thing as it is very quick to throw a receipt in a box file making it much more likely for me to maintain.  Some pretty filing concertinas house the filing for my teaching applications (not yet done but I already have a few leaflets etc.) and my daughter’s filing including her medical information, children’s centre timetables, nursery pamphlets etc.

Here is our side table now… just the ‘action needed’ pile attached to a clipboard with my nearly complete to-do list (although a new set of chores will be added this week I am sure!).

I will be getting an in-tray for this table which will store all the ‘to action’ papers and all the incoming mail which I will go through once a week (or more frequently if I get chance). The filing concertina, my daughter’s filing and the receipts box file are under the table within easy reach, all to make it as easy as possible foe me to keep on top of filing.  Having these in the lounge instead of the study upstairs makes so much more sense as I am much more likely to get it done while we are watching TV in the evening.  Before filing used to be dumped upstairs and since I rarely even go in the study, it got forgotten.

Next up: toys and kids clothes clutter.

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