If your wallet is overflowing with receipts or your desk drawers don’t close all the way because they are crammed with paperwork, it’s time you seriously reevaluate your paper situation. Drowning in the paper is not the place you want to be!
Paperwork can be a nuisance and a significant cause of clutter on the countertop and in your daily lives. It can also be the cause of stress and hindrance to work productivity. And well, things can get chaotic between receipts, bills, mail, and other important documents before you realise it.
How to Organise Important Documents At Home?
Paper clutter accumulates quickly and can be overwhelming if you don’t deal with it smartly and daily. We are here to guide you to take things under control once and for all! Our organisational tips and clever tricks will make your life easier, no matter where your paper mess is, be it the kitchen, home office or even your bedroom.
Follow these convenient and practical steps to organise, store, and get rid of your paper clutter for good.
Go Paperless for Bills and Legal Documents
The first step we recommend is to go paperless. If your legal documents like marriage certificates, birth certificates, medical reports and bank statements can be stored online, go for it. Always have a backup, though! Once you go paperless, you can print out any document when needed without the hassle of paper.
Most banks and major utility companies offer to stop receiving statements and notifications in the mail. All you have to do is ask. Once you go paperless, trust us, you won’t look back.
To step further and make your life more convenient, you can skip the hand-written checks and pay your bills online. It’s a genius tip to help you pay bills on time and manage your budget. You can also set reminders on your phone and pay through your phone on the go. That’s a win-win situation!
Declutter All Your Paperwork
Declutter your home from all the paperwork once and for all! It sounds like a tedious job, and it sure is, but it’s also advantageous and satisfying. Once you declutter, you feel like you can accomplish anything!
First, gather every piece of paper in your house. Check the junk drawers, kitchen cabinets and even under the bed. Don’t forget the crumpled take-out menus, instruction manuals, and neighbourhood flyers. Now sort everything into three piles recycle, scan and store.
Divide essential documents like tax returns, medical files, insurance papers, and leases into the scan pile to be scanned onto your computer for safekeeping. Keep any memorable photos or sentimental cards you simply can’t part with, then recycle everything else!
Rent Personal Storage Units
Yes, you can rent a storage unit for anything as small as documents and paperwork. If you aren’t sure about the safety of your essential and personal documents at home, then renting a storage unit with STORED is an excellent option.
STORED provides hassle-free, affordable storage services, including 24/7 secure storage units with dual security locks on all doors all over London. It’s one of the safest London storage options out there!
Furthermore, the purpose of storage units is to let you store your belongings for the long-term and short-term as required, so you pay only for what’s needed. It’s not only safe to rent a storage unit to store your paperwork but also cost-effective.
Give the Shredder A Try
Gather all the paperwork that has your personal information, like your social security number, phone number, address, postal code or bank account number and shred it. Any paper with sensitive information should not be tossed out with the recycling or in the bin. It’s simply not safe when frauds are happening more frequently than ever.
A shredder will help protect your privacy, and also, it’s pretty fun! Additionally, it eliminates all the paper that falls into the pesky category of the “can’t throw it away but have no place for it”.
Let’s be honest, some of us love collecting old magazines, newspapers and digests for nostalgia or crafting. If we are being real, you can find most essays, blogs and documents online to read and do you really think you will reread all those magazines?
Recycle anything you haven’t used in some time, be it your favourite magazine or digest. Remember, recycling will not only decrease your clutter exponentially, but it’s also good for the environment. While at it, unsubscribe from all the magazines you’re no longer interested in.
However, if you are having a hard time letting go of your favourites, you can cut out the cover of your favourite article or magazine and frame it. It will allow you to cherish it and let go of clutter simultaneously. It’s a double-win situation!
Discard Paper Everyday
Once you have gotten your paperwork issue all under control, this trick will help you maintain it. Right after bringing mail into your house, toss everything you are confident you don’t need, like coupons, junk mail and flyers. Or you can place a bin by the door and throw it away immediately!
Then whenever you’re on the way out the door, grab the bag from the bin and dump the paper in the recycling bin. It’s as simple as that! It can double as practical kitchen storage ideas if you store your mail on your kitchen counter.
Create a Practical Filing System
A filing system may sound ancient to some of you digital freaks, but it’s a fool-proof organisational trick. You can incorporate many types of filing systems, depending on your convenience. But they should be logically organised, easy to access, and spacious enough to store new documents over time.
If you already have filing equipment, consider using it instead of getting a new one just to buy one. Keep in mind your available space and organise your files accordingly. E.g. if you have open drawers, metal file rails work great. If you have tons of closet space, go for portable file boxes and bins.
Or, if you want easy access, desk organisers will work perfectly for your needs. Next, divide all your papers into categories. Be as specific with the labels as possible! Make sure you cover all the bases like home, rentals, medical, work, kids, personal, memorabilia, legal, creative etc.
Don’t Overfill Folders
After coming up with a filing system that works best for you, it’s time to remember this vital trick. If you have a large number of files in one folder or a large number of subfolders in one main folder, break them into smaller groups.
For instance, you can try dividing a folder named “Work” into subfolders called Work2021, Work2022, and so forth.
The idea is to keep every file in a folder or subfolder rather than have one massive list of files.
If you wish to go one step further, you can choose to divide files solely by date or even colour code them. Try a few techniques to see what’s more convenient for you.
It will allow you to keep track of your documents and tasks easily. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself by the sheer size of folders once you get back to them. Also, it will keep clutter at bay.
Store Papers In One Place Only
For any organisational solution to be effective, you have to be consistent and voluntarily make it easier for you. The key to making the most of your filing or organisation system is to store it in a place that makes sense.
Keep your everyday paperwork in plain sight for quick access. Place new magazines and coffee books on your coffee table, stationery on your desk, and sentimental pieces like cards and souvenirs in pretty yet functional boxes or baskets to display on shelves.
Always remember, you will often appreciate your mementoes if they’re not tucked away somewhere deep in your wardrobe. Lastly, keep all your craft supplies like printer paper, chart paper, notebooks, and sticky notes in one area to keep your home and office clutter-free.
Use the Calendar
Using a calendar is one of the most affordable and effective ways to organise documents for a clutter-free life. Gone are the days when you had to save event flyers and invitations! You can simply record all your upcoming activities on a digital calendar and synchronise it with your partner’s phone to stay updated.
A digital calendar is ideal, but if you want to reduce your use of devices and have a simple approach, buy a wall or a desk calendar. It can also add to the aesthetics of your bedroom!
If you wish to share your whereabouts and activities with your partner or family, hang the calendar in a common place so everyone can keep track of it. It’s one of the cheapest organisation solutions!
Make Use of Photographs
Even in this digital age, some of us still hang on to our childhood photographs and photos of memorable moments in our lives when digital cameras weren’t a thing. However, letting your precious memories sit in dusty boxes isn’t ideal.
If you have a bunch of printed photos hidden away, give them a new life by shifting them into an album. You can also purchase fun, quirky or classic frames and display them on a wall. Or hang them on a corkboard so you can enjoy them every day.
This organisational solution can be included in bedroom storage ideas and wardrobe storage ideas as you will get more space in your wardrobe and bedroom to store other items. Once the photographs are displayed, you can also choose to keep the free space vacant as a fresh breather.
Divide Current Work from Completed Work
To have a more organisational balance between your documents and tasks, separate your current work from the completed work. It will make your chores and appointments less daunting and more manageable. The key is to keep it simple!
Arrange your ongoing appointment on your work desk until the task is completed. You can easily monitor your current jobs and get to them on time. Then, once the chores are done, transfer them to the files of the same category. At periodic intervals, move files to their designated place once you are done with them.
The Final Word
For any organisational system to be successful for you, it must also be convenient. It depends on your personal preference, the nature of your work, and your lifestyle. Although there’s not one ultimate solution to document organisation, you will benefit by using some of these tips by customising them to your liking.
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