Let’s talk everyone’s least favorite thing to organize: paper.

As I always say, the first step to organizing any category is to gather every single item in that category into one place. Search through your purse, drawers, bins, boxes, cars, etc and put all your paper in one open area. While this can feel daunting, I promise you the end result will be WORTH IT.

Reminder: We’re not talking about photos or any sentimental paper items here. Set those aside to tackle at a later time.

Now that everything is in one place, work through each piece of paper one by one and put them into 3 piles: currently in use (to do – aka needs attention like bills, things that need signed and returned, checks to deposit), needed for a limited period of time (short term storage – aka leases, warranties, policies, tax forms), and must be kept indefinitely (long term storage – aka passports, birth certificates, social security cards).

As you do this, when you come across a piece of paper that you know you don’t need (aka most of them), put it in 1 of 2 piles: trash or shred.

Tip: Let go of those bulky user manuals!! You can find almost everything online. And let’s be honest here, when is the last time you actually cracked one open? 

If you need help deciding what to keep/discard, do your research. Consult your accountant, attorney, etc to find out what documents you have to keep and what you can let go of.

Reminder: Wolf & Webb is hosting a free shred it event on March 23rd so this is the perfect time to get your paper organized and shredded! RSVP here: wolfandwebb.com/events 

To store the paper you’re keeping, I suggest having a letter tray for your to do’s on your desk and a vertical organizer with folders for your short term storage and long term storage. You can further categorize beyond this, but avoid micro categorizing too much because it can become too hard to maintain. 

Now that you’ve tackled your paperwork, have a plan of attack for the future. Consider having a “to shred” bin at your desk for anything that can’t be recycled/thrown away. Set a reminder to sit down and tackle your “to do” bin once a week. Use this time to work through all paperwork so your “to do” bin never fills up.

If it all feels like too much and you need help tackling your paperwork, I got you. Email lisbet@getsoorganized.com for a free consultation!

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How To: Organize Your Paper