• Meg

Three things Thursday!

ohmerrrrgawt it's so hot...

Happy Independence day and all, but let's talk about the weather. It's really hot down here and the bloggers are melting...so I'll be focusing today's 3 things on my favorite summer activity, organizing paper in overly air-conditioned spaces.

So paper clutter is probably my number one client ask. We all have a continuing running faucet of paper. It comes into our homes from everywhere - door handle flyers, receipts from chik-fil-a (you know you love those nuggets), junk mail, kids "art" projects. It's everywhere. And if you don't have a proper system set up, you are bound to get bogged down by it.

1) O.H.I.O. - Only handle it once

Try to apply this method to as much paper as you can. If it's junk mail or something that you definitely do not need to save - send it directly to your recycle bin. If it's something that has a home, put it there directly and immediately (if you can).

2) I see your bag of paper

Something I see VERY often is bags of paper clutter. People like to use Kroger bags, reusable bags, and I even had one client who was partial to storing bills in zip-locks. Please do not put your paper clutter into a bag. Bags are mushy and soft. Your paper bits and bobs will fall into the depths of the bag and never be seen again. AND putting paper in bags does not hide them. But I do understand that O.H.I.O does not apply to every paper, and some must be saved to be dealt with at a later date. So if you MUST consolidate paper, I suggest a SHALLOW bin or basket. This is called a "tickler file". And no, I don't care for that term either. But that's what this bin is called in the Professional Organizer world. Things that cannot be disposed of or put away via the O.H.I.O. phase, and cannot be dealt with immediately, should be placed in the tickler file. Put an alarm on your smartphone at the same time every week to go through the bin, take action on action items, and distribute all paper to their homes.

3) Receipts

I don't know about you, but I keep every receipt that I have ever received. I own a small business, and am contemplating launching an additional business, and I need all the deductions I can use. But let's face it, receipts are gross, they are usually on inferior paper and are covered in BPA (which is very harmful to humans). So let's talk about ways to deal. I have 2 ways to keep on top of receipts:

1) I drive a lot and run quite a few errands on a daily basis, so my car would become overrun with receipts (picture receipt tumbleweeds rollings around in the back seat) if I didn't have a system to keep them in check. So I use a cute little pouch in my driver's side door cubby to jam every receipt that I receive. At the end of the week, I bring that little guy in and file all of my receipts. It works!

2) Any receipt not filed in my car door goes into my tickler file, and I file them all on Sunday with the rest of my "action items".