How to Organize Paperwork | Part 1: Getting Started
Of all the messages and emails I’ve received over the years, ideas for how to organize paperwork is by far one of the biggest requests. I get it! As much as our society has become paperless, getting a handle on paper clutter seems to be an uphill battle for all of us, myself included.
As I’ve worked to minimize and manage our paper clutter over the last year, it’s occurred to me that organizing paper(s) is much like any other organizing project in that it requires sorting and purging, corralling and labeling. However, conquering paper clutter also has some nuances that require a multi-faceted, very personalized approach (as well as some behavior modifications!) in order to truly “deal” with it.
When I tried to think of the very best way to share comprehensive information that would truly enable you all to tackle the paper situation in your home, a blog series presented itself as the most logical solution. So today, I am kicking off an 8-part Paperwork Organization series! Read on to find out how it’s going to work, what I’m going to share, and what you should do in order to start improving your paper situation right away!
What We’re Going to Cover
Friends…there is a lot to cover when talking about how to organize paperwork. From household papers and important documents to sensitive materials, kids projects, craft papers and more, I’ve got A LOT of tips, tricks and ideas to share with you. I know an 8-part blog series might seem like a lot, but I think breaking it down into manageable, focused chunks will be best and easiest (for you and for me!).
Here is what we’re going to cover in this 8-part blog series:
- Part 1 – Getting Started – YOU ARE HERE
- Part 2 – How to Declutter and Organize Paper
- Part 3 – Filing Strategies
- Part 4 – Organizing Craft Papers (including scrapbook paper, printer papers, craft/sewing patterns, etc)
- Part 5 – Organizing Important Documents
- Part 6 – Organizing Kids Paperwork (including school/sports paperwork, projects, photos, etc)
- Part 7 – Organizing Recipes, Coupons and Receipts
- Part 8 – Creating a System to Manage Incoming Paper
In Each “Lesson”
I will start by sharing a detailed step-by-step tutorial for how our family is organizing each category of paperwork (e.g., household, craft, kids, etc). Beyond showing the storage solutions we’re employing, I’ll also share my best tips for managing that area of paper clutter.
Although the systems I’ll be sharing are working great for our family, I also know that there is no one-sized-fits-all-solution to anything in the home. As such, each post will also feature a mini roundup of other on-topic solutions, tips, tricks and idea that I find around the blog-o-sphere. It is my hope that even if my specific solution doesn’t work for you, some of these other ideas might! Finally, I’ll close up each lesson with a list of my favorite organization products and supplies for that paperwork area, as well as a “homework assignment” of actionable steps to help you start making progress in your home right away.
With all the tips, tricks, and ideas packed into each post, I know you will be able to make some real progress on the paper situation in your own home!
Let’s Get Started
My goal with this “Getting Started” post is to simply officially launch the How to Organize Paperwork blog series. I also want those of you who are ready and willing to work on your paper clutter to get in the right “head space” before getting into the nitty gritty of this blog series. For now, take some time to reflect on these questions.
Look around your home and consider the following:
- How would you describe the paper situation in your home?
- How does the paper situation in your home make you feel?
- What place(s) do(es) paperwork tend to pile up?
- In what ways does paper flow into the home?
- In what ways does paper flow out of the home?
- What paperwork “categories” are in good shape? Why? What is working so well?
- What paperwork “categories” are in bad shape? Why? What isn’t working well? What problems need to be addressed?
- Do you have any paperwork systems setup? How are they working?
- If you had to find a specific paper/manual/flyer/document, could you?
Once you’ve given some thought to the status of paper clutter in your home, you’re now ready to dive right in to Part 2 – How to Declutter and Organize Paper where I’ll break down my tried-and-true steps and strategies for sorting, purging and organizing any paper in your home!
How to Organize Paperwork Blog Series
I am so excited to (finally!!!!) be kicking off this series that I know so many of you are waiting for. Oh! And if you want to dig in on paper clutter but just can’t right now, no worries! Just pin/bookmark these posts for later and dive in whenever you’re ready…I’ll be here waiting and ready to help!