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6 Quick Steps to Purge Your Paperwork

Out with the old and in with the new in 2020. Old papers and information can not only stifle the atmosphere in your home or office but mental energy as well. Here are 6 Quick Steps to Purge Your Paperwork.

1. First things first. GET YOUR TOOLS. post-it notes, sharpie, a piece of blank paper, a box of manila file folders, 3 boxes or bins, a trash bag, a clear tablespace.

2. LABEL. Take your post-it notes and label each box: "inbox," "shred", "recycle." Label your blank piece of paper and folder as "to-do "

3. COLLECT. Take the "inbox" and place all of your scattered, disorganized papers throughout your home or office and place it into the "inbox."

3. SORT. Start at the top of the pile and remove one piece of paper at a time. Decide if you need to keep it, trash it, shred it or recycle it.

  • Keep - place on the table and label it.  Example: auto insurance, bills, medical insurance, taxes, etc. Add categories as you continue the process.
  • Trash - non-sensitive obsolete information or soiled, waxed, coated or foiled paper.              Example: a closed account or coffee-stained paper. 
  • Shred - sensitive obsolete information.  Example: a bank statement from 6 years ago
  •  Recycle - other papers.  Example: white office paper, newspaper, colored office paper, cardboard, white computer paper, magazines, catalogs, and phone books.

4. CREATE YOUR TO-DO LIST. As you're sorting & purging your papers you'll most likely find a notice, bill, etc. that you need to take action on right away. Write the task on your "to-do " list with a date and place the paper in your "to-do" folder.

5. FILE. You've completed the process and now have categories. Label your manila file folders with the category name you placed on the post-it notes and file away. Use either a file cabinet, file box or expandable file. Organize files alphabetically. Voila!

*Don't forget your to-do list! Place it in a visible location and set a time to you know, do it!