Paper floods in fast and furious...if you don't have an organizing system in place, you can feel behind quickly.
Today I am talking with writer and mom-to-2 Kristen about her paper organizing tactics. Kristen has a basic system in place (yay!) but she is finding that it isn't working as well as she wishes it would. She is ready to tweak her system to make dealing with her papers and getting them organized easier.
Kristen's biggest paper organizing frustration is the mail. She feels like she is good at separating out the junk mail from what appears to be important when she brings it in. But the frustration starts when she doesn't have time to process what remains and it just becomes of pile of papers in a basket on the shelf in her kitchen. Here are my tips for how she can adjust her current system to make it easier to process those papers when she has time.
TIPS FOR SETTING UP A PAPER ORGANIZING SYSTEM
- Kristen is a perfect example of my organizing advice to start basic, develop the habit, then tweak when you are ready.
- With her current system, she pairs down mail when it comes in to what she needs but then the rest gets put into a basket on a bookshelf in her kitchen to deal with later.
- She went from no home for the mail, to this basket and now we are going to give her categories in that basket based on what she is keeping to help make the processing of that paper easier.
- She is already executing one of my first paper tips which is to pare down the mail or school papers immediately when you bring them into the house. If you know you aren’t going to use the random coupons for oil changes or call a realtor, recycle it right away. Touch things as few times as possible.
- With the remaining paper, if you are unsure about what stays and what goes, keep only what would be incredibly difficult to replace like marriage documents, social security cards, birth certificates, etc. Things like monthly statements are usually pretty easy to get fairly quickly so those should be the first to go when you are trying to pare down paper.
- If you want to keep paper copies of policies on hand, be sure to remove and replace when you get the updates. Only the coverages in your current policy matter so go ahead and shred the old ones.
And to make processing those papers a little easier, let's sip on this delicious Blackberry Caipirinha from Food 52.
- 8 blackberries
- 1 tsp powdered sugar
- 1/2 lime (cut in 3 wedges)
- 2 oz cachaça ((or substitute white rum))
- 3/4 cup ice cubes
- In a shaker or pint glass, muddle/mash up the blackberries and the sugar with two of the lime wedges.
- Add the cachaça or rum and the ice. Cover well and shake vigorously.
- Remove and discard the crushed lime wedges. Pour the mixture into a rocks glass and use the remaining wedge of lime as a garnish.