Organize Papers

What IS it about figuring out how to organize papers that throws us into a tizzy?

In a era where we have more technology than ever before, and more opportunities for storing things electronically and virtually, we still have an epic love affair with paper.

I understand.

I completely, wholeheartedly love paper, too...the smell of paper, the feel of paper under my fingertips, the way it crinkles...ahhhhhhh.

But I also recognize that paper is one of the most insiduous forms of clutter - it just keeps coming at us!

We can easily get overwhelmed by piles of paper if we don't keep up with it, because it walks right in the front door uninvited, in the form of mail, junk, bills, fliers, magazines, catalogs, name it, it's coming in.

Toss as much paper as you can first, before you even think about organizing it. Seriously.

Most of the paper you keep and organize and file away is not worth keeping in the first place (studies show that over 80% of what gets filed is never referenced again).

If you can easily find the information somewhere else (on the internet or at the library), throw it out.

If you keep it because you mean to go through it someday, set a date and if you haven't gone through it by that date, throw it out.

When you get down to the smaller piles that you will actually keep, the easiest way - by far - to organize papers is to get yourself a good filing cabinet (or bankers boxes) and some hanging file folders. Create simple categories (like "phone bills" or "insurance" or "clients"), and then put the papers in the appropriate files.

For more information on how to organize papers and files:




And for more information about which papers to keep (and which to toss):

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