Last September I discussed, in detail, how to get your papers organized. I recommended Financial filing, Personal filing, Warranty filing, and Yellow Pages filing for papers dealing with interesting resources you want to keep, or places to see, or new shopping areas, etc.
Since I already covered those areas, let’s talk about you in relation to those papers. You walk into the house with a handful of mail, newspapers, magazines, and catalogs. What are you thinking? What are you feeling? From all of the clients I’ve worked with in nearly two decades, the same theme arises: “Good grief, I don’t have time for all this ….!” And then they literally dump everything on the kitchen counter, a chair, the dining room table, the sofa, or (ugh!), the floor. Sound familiar?
There is a solution to this, and like everything else, it takes consistency. Now, I do know that consistency is great when you’re feeling well and in a fairly good mood. But, let anything happen to your health or mood and consistency gets thrown out the window. So, hopefully, what I now suggest can help.
- Find a place to put your mail – an inconspicuous shelf, a drawer, a box on your desk.
- Leave the mail there until you are ready to process it – you’re ready to deal with it.
- Take the bills out and decide if you’re going to pay them today on-line, or by check.
- If you are not going to pay them today, decide when and make a notation on your calendar, or in your on-line calendar, and then put them back in the holding spot.
- Another option for future bill-paying is to set up a tickler file – file folders labeled 1 through 31, and set in a desk top holder, or inside a desk drawer. Always be sure to look through these tickler files so that you don’t forget anything. The date you put the bills in must correspond to the dates in your calendar. The tickler files can also be used for up-coming appointments, or follow-up phone calls, or birthday reminders.
- Generally we read the newspaper at the kitchen table, with breakfast. Once done, put the newspaper in the recycle bin.
- If you do not read the paper in the morning, then place it on a table near the sofa or chair where you like to relax after the day is done.
- News is definitely over with by the next day, so get your paper to the recycle bin once read. If you watch the News, you will get caught up on any important news you might have missed.
- There are hundreds of magazines that taunt us every day. Unfortunately it is the reason why people hang on to them, and why it is so difficult to get rid of them.
- Having worked in corporations that circulate these magazines, and also in advertising companies that advertise in them, I can tell you that for every one magazine, the articles, and tips in them are the same every three (3) months! The authors change; the title of the article changes, but the content is basically the same. So, to avoid getting overwhelmed by these precious shiny tempters, keep three (3) months only, if it is a monthly magazine; keep three (3) weeks only if it is a weekly magazine; and if it is a yearly magazine, keep three (3) years, if you want.
- If you subscribe to a dozen different magazines, just think how many are inundating your home! One dozen monthly magazines (12), each month, amounts to 36 magazines that you can keep over the three months – but this really does impact the paper load you need to find space for.
- For your sake, decide what magazines you really love, and put the others in recycling. And don’t buy any more on subscription!
- Find a nice basket, or a shelf to put these magazines in until you have time to read them. Putting them on a coffee table adds to clutter blight.
- Right along with magazines, are catalogs. These come in almost daily. Use the same approach as above. Keep three (3) of any kind, and recycle the rest.
- Better yet, go to www.catalogchoice.com and remove your information so that you are not getting these. You can decide which catalogs you still want to get, and which ones to delete.
- For the catalogs you’re keeping, as above, find a good place to store them.
In Part 3, we’ll talk about organized cleaning of your home, and how to handle the dishes and the laundry!
‘Til next time . . . Coach Sheila of clutter STOP® 520-822-4036 firstname.lastname@example.org