Moving is one of the top five stressors in life, along with losing a loved one, divorce, major illness or injury, and job loss. If you’re facing a move, you may be feeling anxious or stressed—but there are many ways to take the edge off, so you can move more peacefully and productively!(more…)
Spring is traditionally a time for new beginnings. Trees have new growth, flowers blossom, and babies are born. It’s a time of year when everything feels invigorating, it’s a time of expectation. But if your space is full of clutter from past activities, you do not have the space to create, explore, and experience those new beginnings. Let’s talk about letting go of what you don’t need.(more…)
One of the biggest concerns people have when they start an organizing project is where to start. We call it the domino effect.
It’s like a slide puzzle. And we want to do it with the fewest moves possible.(more…)
Now that you’ve got your filing system set up and your action items in their proper places, it’s time for maintenance. Some tips on maintaining your filing system:
- If you have temporary files, file them by month and year, which allows for quick archiving.
- Purge your files regularly—I recommend at least annually.
- File at least weekly, more often if you are a paper-intensive home.
Filing paperwork is crucial because it allows you to find things quickly and easily. Here are some tips for creating a great filing system.
Having a standardized terminology for your files keeps search time to a minimum, with both digital and physical files. For physical files, use consistent dates and names. For digital files, include multiple search terms in your file name to allow for faster retrieval.
Paper Files: 5-20 Items Rule of Thumb
Use cascading hierarchies when creating your paper files. For instance, you could keep all your insurances together in one hanging folder and have the paperwork for the individual policies in separate interior folders.
If you have fewer than five items in one category, that’s a sign that you could condense it with another. More than twenty items should be split up into subcategories. For instance, say you have files relating to places you want to travel to. If you only want to go to New Zealand and visit Lord of the Rings locations, you only need one folder. If you want to go to every state in the US and have paperwork about each state you want to visit, then a folder for each state will be helpful. This helps avoid overstuffed folders that are difficult to look through and avoids having unnecessary folders as well. Using labeling, color coding, or different locations for these categories makes them easy to see at a glance.(more…)
Action items are a type of paperwork that needs attention, like reminders of appointments, or a bill that’s coming due.
One common mistake people make when organizing their paperwork is keeping action items out to help them remember. Put away the paper and keep the reminder. Keeping an action item on your desk leads to clutter. Have a specific place for action items, so you know where to look for them when it is time to take that action.
Have a reminder system in place. You can set a reminder on your phone, write it in a paper planner, or use one of the action item systems below, and put the paper away.
Use the 2-minute rule – if it will take less than 2 minutes to do it, do it now. It’s not worth your time to file it. Set the reminder, and find it again – just do it!(more…)