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Managing Paperwork at Home

piled papers on a desk
  The man who is prepared has his battle half fought. ~ Miguel de Cervantes

If managing paperwork seems like a never-ending task for you, try these four tips below to help keep things under control.

Pick a Central Location

1. Decide on a location where you will routinely take care of all of your paperwork, usually your home office. If you don't have a home office, then try to find a location that works for you, be it in your bedroom or a kitchen corner. I keep my address list and "to do" list on my PC, so I keep my paperwork area next to my computer. If you don't use a PC or you have a portable notebook computer, then you will have more flexibility in where to set things up.

Managing Kids and Paperwork

2. If you are a parent with small children, choose a place where you can process the mail and bills while the kids play. When our children were little I had a spare room that was half play room and half office space with a child proof gate in the doorway. I kept special toys, including a little play kitchen and table, in the play room / office to keep the kids entertained so I could get office work done. They would be busy taking my food order and making me breakfast of plastic eggs and bacon while I was busy writing out checks.

Have All The Right Stuff

3. Keep your designated paperwork area well stocked with everything you need to process the paperwork. Some things you may need in your work space may be:

  • Stamps
  • File folders
  • Pens and Pencils
  • Post It notes
  • Birthday, Thank You and other special occasion cards
  • Staples and Stapler
  • Shredder
  • Envelopes
  • Scissors
  • Paper Clips
  • Phone book
  • Filing Cabinets
  • Calculator
  • Postage scale
  • Your Appointment Calendar
  • Your "To Do" list
  • Recycle bin if you live in an area where you can recycle paper
  • Trash bin
  • Phone

Processing The Daily Mail

4. Whenever you bring in the mail, take it to your central paperwork location. This prevent those piles of half opened, half read and half processed pieces of mail from developing all over your house. Make sure all family members who may bring in the mail know where the designated spot is for incoming papers - be they from work, school or the mailbox.

  Tip: Keep a recycling box near where you open you daily mail, and dispose of any junk mail right after you open it. That way it won't get stacked up around the house, covering up bills and important papers.