Declutter your paper
We tend to hang onto old paperwork because we are afraid that if we throw something out, we will immediately need it. Am I right? Then, if we do need it we still can’t find it because it’s buried under piles of other paperwork. It’s a common dilemma.
In Day 11 we talked about dealing with your paper clutter. Were you able to pick a pile and start decluttering? If so, bravo! Then, after you decluttered did you say, “Now what?”
Know your style
If you don’t love detailed organizing, then a filing system with really micro-organized categories and rainbow-color file folders is probably not going to work for you. You may do better with a basket system that uses only broad categories.
If you are a very visual person, you may prefer to use a binder system that sits on a shelf and/or wall mounted baskets to hold your paperwork. Pay attention to your personal organizing preferences.
A smart filing system
I have one definition for a smart filing system: One you will actually use. If you aren’t using what you currently have, then it’s probably time to switch things up.
My Ducks In A Row Course shows you how to organize important documents into nine broad-categories. Within those nine broad categories are smaller, micro-categories. If you know you are never going to label file folders with detailed information, that’s perfectly fine! Do what works for you.
The Ducks In A Row System works with binders, bins or a filing cabinet. I choose to use a filing cabinet because I am a detailed, micro-organizer. You can take a peek inside my filing cabinet by clicking here.
- Continue decluttering your paper work. Important: You can’t effectively organize until you declutter. Purge and then set up a system.
- If you are done purging, start thinking about what system would work best for you:
- Binders, bins, wall-mounted baskets and/or a filing cabinet.
- Micro (detailed) or Macro (broad) categories
- Do you prefer visual (wall-mounted and shelving system) or hidden (filing cabinets) systems?
Paperwork can be exhausting, so pace yourself, and set up a filing system that works best for you.
Day 12 Recap
- Know your style – don’t organize like everyone else. Do what works best for you.
- Use a smart system. If you use it and can find what you need, then it’s smart.
- Always purge before you organize.
Check out the Ducks In A Row Course!