One of my biggest troubles with the paper pile is remembering that I needed to respond to a letter or pay a bill, and then not being able to find it. Or worse, not remembering at all because it was “out of sight, out of mind.”
Bills, invitations, birth announcements, and other mail were getting lost in the midst of all the papers I should file. I needed a place for the incoming mail and papers that require a response.
The second principle for organizing paperwork is:
Papers requiring action should be kept in one easy-to-access location.
Several of you mentioned having an inbox and a set day to go through paperwork. (If you haven’t yet read the helpful comments, there were many good ideas.)
An inbox would be ideal, but I have no desk. I also have a little girl who wants to draw on every paper in sight.
A correspondence notebook is my solution to keep the mail organized. An old planner binder filled the need perfectly.
- Papers to take action on go in the front pocket.
- A clear zip pouch holds the checkbook and stamps.
- A pen has a place to go on the side.
- Stationary and extra envelopes are in the back pocket.
I like that it’s portable so I can take it with me. It doesn’t hold much, so I’ll have to keep up with the papers and not let them get out of hand. I’ll do mail and paperwork on Tuesdays, with a reminder on my calendar so I won’t forget.
I’m hoping to avoid having to say “Sorry I meant to send this to you earlier…”