You can choose to start with one pile (if you have numerous ones) or bring all piles together to make one big pile that you will commit to tackling right now.
Now you start going through it...one piece of paper at a time. This is where you will make more piles...but these piles will each have a specific purpose. You will need one pile for each of the following:
* To File
Each piece of paper *must* go into one of these piles. Here is a break down of the sort of things you would put in each pile:
Bill Stubs/Pay Stubs
All papers not needed anymore that do not have any personal information on them.
All papers that are over 7 years old (if they are important documents) or just not needed anymore that have personal information on them (phone numbers, names, addresses, etc.).
These are papers that are needing to be taken care of now....bills that need to be paid, forms that need filled out and sent back in somewhere...that sort of thing.
This pile may or may not be needed. If you are going through your paper pile and come across a beloved memory item, artwork from your children or something of that sort...those sort of things would go into this pile. **Remember though: You can't save it all!
Once you have gone through your entire paper pile and put things into their proper labeled piles...then it is time to put them *away*!
To File papers should be filed away in a filing system. I have one set up...so if you don't have a way to file your important papers, I will be sure to share mine in the neat future! For now, if you don't have a system ~ put all those papers into a folder and label it so when you are ready to file, everything will be all ready in one place.
Items that are ready to go to the trash or be shred should be done so right away (so they don't get shuffled around and have to be gone through again sometime)!
Items that are in the processing stage can be put into a labeled folder and put somewhere easily accessible, put into your daily planner, or hung up on a cork board for easy access to them.
Keepsake items are things you will treasure and should be kept in a separate tote or bin (properly labeled) wherever you have room to store it. If these keepsakes are all just paper...you can also have a file for them in your filing system (I have a filing cabinet. The top drawer hold my filing system and the bottom drawer hold my memory/keepsake papers!).
This system...if used properly...should get rid of your paper clutter. Always go through incoming mail immediately and discard junk mail. (You can use all the paper shreddings to keep the weeds down around your garden plants in the summer!).
I don't always have time to immediately file or shred something when it needs done. This is why I have the folders (located in a photo in the middle of this post). Then I know that when I have a moment, I can file all the papers in the one folder....or shred all the papers in another folder. If I just laid it all in a pile I would have to go through it all again...who has time for that?
I hope this post has been helpful to you. If it has been, I would love for you to share it with your friends! If you have any questions...please ask away and I will do my best to answer them!