plan #1 – deal with paperwork

November is in full swing and the aforementioned plans have kicked into gear! The first plan will simultaneously reduce stress and tidy things up. Yes, I shall be taming the paper monster.

I have a love/hate relationship with paperwork. Basically, I love virtually everything made of paper and hate the work of dealing with it. Obviously, this creates some problems, which manifest in the form of piles and piles and piles of papers that need my attention.

It’s not as bad as it used to be, though! Over the years, I have implemented some strategies that have helped me deal with paper. I have a decent filing system, thanks to Freedom Filer. (Prior to using it, I kept everything; it really did give me the freedom to know when and how throw stuff away.) Flylady taught me about using an Office in a Bag to corral bills and important things so I can grab the bag and deal with stuff on the go. (Somehow it’s easier to pay bills when I’m at the office, since that’s where I pay bills for a living!) I’ve adapted that concept to having separate bags for specific contexts: a church bag, a Girl Scouts bag, etc. The papers are often still “piled” into the bags, but at least it helps clear off flat surfaces. The killer, though, is actually making sure that all papers go to their final destinations instead of just being piled until such time as I feel like dealing with them.

Well, look out, papers! The time is NOW. Since November is the beginning of the rest of my life, I have decided that my new life will not involve being taunted by unprocessed paperwork. The plan for today went something like this:

  • Step one: Collect all the loose papers in the house.
  • Step two: Be very glad that David made the bed this morning. (Wonder about the three white pillows. Why three? Decide to deal with those later.)
  • Step three: Let the sorting begin!

paperwork

No, this is not all of it… not by a long shot! But it was a good start. I didn’t finish sorting, but in order to make the bed a proper sleeping surface, I managed to clear everything into a temporary file box with the following categories: To Pay, To Do ASAP, Calendar, Projects, My Interests (I read a book that suggested a file called this, and I loved it because it is so vague and all-encompassing), and To File. As a bonus for my hard work, I rediscovered six small checks that need to be deposited and discovered that my car registration expired at the end of September. (Oops!)

Still, I’m feeling proud. The paper monster is on its way out. Hasta la vista, paper!

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