Get organized! Pro tips to help you organize your family’s papers, part 1
By Aimee Heckel
Paper can be a problem.
In fact, 23 percent of adults say they have paid bills late because they lost them, according to a Harris Interactive poll.
Unorganized papers can cost you big, in time and late fees, says Joanna Monahan, professional organizer with the Colorado-based company Major Mom.
Every month, we talk to Monahan to get useful tips on how you can better organize your house and family life. For March, she recommends tackling your papers.
Paper is the No. 1 frustration for Major Mom clients, Monahan says. And it’s significantly more time-consuming to organize than objects. (Just think about a box full of T-shirts compared with that same box of papers, Monahan says.)
Here are Monahan’s professional tips to help you organize your family’s papers:
1. Picture it. Get a vision: How should your paper management system look, feel and function? Where will you pay bills? Where will you store important papers? Often, papers are unorganized because there is not a designated place for them.
2. Create a plan. Create a paper management plan that matches your vision, needs, budget, room size, learning style, organization preferences and even whether you are right- or left-handed.
3. Sort your papers into categories. Think about big picture categories; too many small categories gets overwhelming, Monahan says. For example, categories might include finances, home, business, family, recycle/shred, action, reference.
4. Then, if you want, sort deeper. This “fine sort” may break down as follows:
- Financial: investments, loans, bills.
- Home: maintenance, mortgage, decor ideas, vendors.
- Business: prospects, clients, vendors, marketing.
- Family: by person, school, work, medical, activities.
- Personal: recipes, travel, health.
Use stacking trays to help organize the different topics, like these simple, front-loading stackable trays on Amazon.com.
Office Depot also sells stackable file trays: $14.99 for a pack of six. Pair your purchase with these Office Depot coupons — and get an additional 4 percent Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com. Read more articles about Office Depot here.
Read more Major Mom tips on organizing your papers on Thursday!
Save money on other purchases for your family with these babies and kids coupons.
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