How to Organize Paperwork
Updated: Sep 19, 2022
This particular blog post is now outdated.
Paperwork. Ugh, am I right?! I could certainly digitize some of the paperwork I’ve chosen to keep but it’s not worth the time for me just yet. However, I do choose the paperless option when available like receipts or filling the gas tank.
Here are the general steps I take to organize paperwork.
Steps to Organize Paperwork
Gather all paperwork
Categorize into bins/boxes/piles labeled for trash, shred or keep
Declutter your trash and shred piles
Organize your keep pile by category (insurance, certificates, etc.)
Consider digitizing any paperwork you can
Separate paperwork into categories using file folders and file into bin(s)
Consider separating life documents and important documents into a fireproof, waterproof container
I centralize my file bin and life docs bag near my desk as I process household paperwork at my desk. This simplifies the process for me so I can immediately file paperwork when I'm done with it.
Paperwork Organization Supplies
Simplifying Household Paperwork
By eliminating steps, creating a habit to put paperwork in the same spot each time (my desk instead of the counter, car, my purse, etc.), and centralizing supplies (file bin and shredder) next to my desk, I simplified household paperwork processing.
My Old Process
My old process held too many steps for keeping up with inbound paper. First, I made notes of how paper came into our home and found three sources: online and printed at home, the mailbox, and activities like sports, music, etc.
Next, I paid attention to the path the sources took once the paper came into our home.
Lastly, I simplified the steps. Instead of putting the paperwork in various places, I now either put it on my desk or in the trash.
I also moved the shredder to my desk to make that easier too.
How Long Does it Take to Declutter Paperwork?
I wonder sometimes if I will declutter paperwork forever. It’s has taken me 2 years to get to this organize with household paperwork.
On YouTube, I have shared a few iterations of decluttering and organizing paperwork.
The first time I decluttered paperwork the gathered pile felt like a mountain. Nowadays, it’s a bit more manageable.
In my latest paperwork organization and declutter, I reduced our paperwork to fit our life docs bag and the desktop file bin. It all fits in the cabinet by my desk and I share the details and declutter in this video:
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