Home Organizing: The Fear of Tossing Paper

It is never too late to stand up and face down your demons. Many get paralyzed by the unknown and obsessed by the fear of throwing something away in case they may need it some day. Too often, the easy answer leads to inaction.

The solution to effectively managing paperwork requires a little thought, probability and balance. With these in mind, a practical filing system can be created to maintain it all.

All paper is not created equal. Be generous with the word junk since most of it is after all. Some fall in a temporary category and should be accommodated as such. A small percentage are legitimately very important and need top priority.

However, all of it is worthless if it cannot be found when needed. Balance is crucial. The amount of paper kept should be limited to the amount that one person can reasonably handle.

When in doubt, consider the last time that you ever referred back to any particular item if at all and the odds of ever having to do so in the future. The answer may be surprising.

This can be especially true for financial issues. Separate information needed for tax purposes and at the end of the year, file it all together with the tax return. The rest can most likely be considered discretionary. For example, discard interim investments statement and keep the year end only if so inclined. This alone would cut down on at least 75% of that paperwork.

Invest the time, use some common sense and think it through logically in order to define a simple method to deal with paper. While there will always be shades of gray, the fear will lessen with a definitive game plan.  In fact, fear should not lie in tossing but in not finding. The future never comes in the size and shape that we expect, so better to try and beat the odds rather than drown in a sea of paper. It will all balance out in the end.

For more information on home organizing, visit www.phillyhomeorganizing,com.

Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

Organizing the Never-ending Paper Chase

While we are all living large in the Computer Age, we still somehow bury ourselves in paper. While technology has helped, effectively managing the rest of it and being smart about is the only way to go. The most important step is to be clear from the start as to what to keep and what to let go.

Our homes get deluged with magazines, junk mail and everything in between. Magazines can inspire us but the reality is that we will never have a house like the pictures in them  if we keep all of those magazines. Choose carefully and keep only what really moves you. Holding onto things that will never be found again without massive effort defeats the purpose.

Junk mail is another heavy hitter in the world of clutter. Keeping it corralled in a reasonably sized basket helps if you are short on time on any given day or days. Stick with the golden rule. When the basket is full, the time has come to go through it and purge.

Monthly bills and other important papers should be separated from all of the rest. When bills get lost in the chaos, then bills are often forgotten and paid late. They need their own special place or if you are so inclined, go paperless.

Establish a sensible time frame for all of the paperwork that should be kept for some period. Fear of the world ending if you throw something away just complicates the process. Set up a file system that works for you and one that will give you the greatest chance of maintaining it.

Paper clutter has a way of going forth and multiplying without being too fruitful. It is much easier to deal with a little pile of paper than a mountain of it. A system that personally works for you will make the whole process seem a bit more effortless. The trick is to stay somewhat on top of it. Ignoring it does not make it magically disappear. If you can conquer the great paper chase in your house, it might just get down to a leisurely walk in the park.