Entries tagged with “organize piles of paper”.

Piles of paper are often the toughest type of clutter. When was the last time you couldn’t find an important paper you knew you had carefully put away?  A missing permission slip derails the entire family on the way out the door. Organized Home.com offers these ABC’s of paper management: actionbasic and classic file systems. 

An ABC household filing system includes:

  • Action File: a tabletop file for daily, short-term filing. Use an action file to organize bills for payment, papers that require response, and information that must be filed.
  • Basic Files: a household’s working file system. Kept in a file cart, cabinet or drawer, basic files hold medical insurance records, credit card statements, rent receipts and bank statements. Use basic files for routine activities like bill paying, tax files, medical information and home maintenance.
  • Classic Files: archives for long-term file storage. Copies of tax returns and insurance policies, homeowners’ records, medical records, and copies of legal documents belong in classic files. Use file cabinets or records boxes to protect these items for long-term storage. Note: original documents such as insurance policies, legal documents, or tax records should be stored in secure facilities such as safe deposit boxes. For more information on how long to keep important documents USA.GOV  
  • Consider Scanning and storing some documents electronically since it’s best to save your important documents and files in a way that can easily be carried away and accessed later.

After following these ABC’s, all that’s left to do now is sit back and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from paper-clutter-free living! Enjoy that peace…and then go do something you love to do! :-)



You’ve probably seen desks that look as if they’d gone through the spin cycle of a washing machine, or as if a dump truck had backed up and dropped its load. There are papers–big pieces, little pieces, new pieces and old pieces. There’s a reason for cluttered desktops and piles of files: Out of sight is out of mind. We’re afraid to put anything away because we know we’ll never find it again, or we’ll forget about it.

Here’s a reminder of what we’ve heard before and a tip from Jeffrey J. Mayer in his book, “If you haven’t got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?”

  • To start, take a look at every piece of paper in every pile. Why are you keeping it? If you can’t come up with a good answer, toss it.
  • If there’s any work that needs to be done or action that needs to be taken, keep it. Start a pile of papers to keep.
  • Go through all the papers in the keeper pile and make a Master List, an inventory of all your unfinished work and ongoing projects. Ask yourself a simple question: Is there any work that needs to be done? Do I need to make a phone call? A letter? Is there anything that remains undone? If so, write it on your Master List and either toss the paper or file it.

While there’s nothing new about making lists, the Master List is different.

  • It should be written on lined paper. Never use small pieces of paper.
  • Write on every line on the page, and do not number the items on the list. This is an inventory of all your unfinished work.
  • When you finish a project, don’t just put a check by it; draw a line through it. you’ll get a great deal of satisfaction from doing that.
  • Date your lists. That way you can see how long some unfinished items have been there.
  • Keep your Master List on top of your desk during the day, where you can see it. Don’t put it inside a file folder.

Making a Master List of your ongoing  jobs is only the first step. You will put the papers you want to keep in separate file folders. Remember, though, never put a piece of unfinished work inside a file folder without first noting it on your Master List. If it isn’t on the list, it will be forgotten.

Of course, if you need some help organizing your office, Seamless Moves is here to help.