It’s amazing how many people I come in contact with who are overwhelmed by the amount of paper in their lives.
Paper is an equal opportunity stressor. It doesn’t care who you are, how much money you make, where you live or your level of education. Only those individuals who’ve created a foolproof system for dealing with paper inflow and outflow are winning the war against paper stress. The rest are waging a daily battle against the paper monster.
One thing I’ve noticed over the past eight years of helping individuals overcome their paper overwhelm is that people who contact me to help them tame their paper monsters are quick to ask about what papers they can eliminate. We inherently know, or at least hope, we don’t need to keep all of this paper, but we’re typically not taught, in school or by our parents, how to establish an efficient filing system.
If you’ve worked with me on creating a filing system, you know the first step in that process is determining what you’re not going to let into your new system. The vast majority, some say up to 80%, of what we file is never accessed again. Why keep it then, allowing it to take up valuable file drawer real estate?
This decision making process, as you work to tame the paper monster, typically yields a lot of paper set aside for recycling or shredding. After getting a handle on this process, my clients are often surprised by how little paper they actually end up keeping and filing away. You don’t need more file drawers, you just need to keep less paper!
My favorite filing system is called Freedom Filer. It’s my favorite because it seems to work universally for my clients and allows me to support them in creating custom tailored filing systems. This system is also great because of the guidance it provides with respect to decision making. For instance, have you ever:
• Wondered how many of those insurance declaration pages you need to keep around?
• Been curious about what to do with your EOBs and medical bills?
• Wanted to better understand what to file for tax purposes and for how long?
By making better, more informed decisions, I think you too will be surprised by how little paper you actually end up filing. Let’s face it, who really wants more filing drawers?
What’s your favorite tip for keeping the paper monster in check?
Note: S.O.S. is an affiliate of Freedom Filer and if you email me, I can send you a discount code for 15% off of your Freedom Filer purchase. Click here to link to the Freedom Filer site, where you can learn more about this fantastic product. Need some support taming your paper monsters? Contact me and I’ll support you in the taming process.