Many of my clients and friends constantly ask me how to control the constant stream of paper coming into the home. When school starts again in the fall it seems to triple!
Here are a few solutions I have made habits in my home when it comes to tackling the paper beast!
1) When I go out to retrieve the mail I stop at my recycle/trash bin prior to coming back into the house and sort out what is junk so that it never comes through the door.
2) I found a large boot box and put it up on one of the main floor closet shelves to put my kids school papers in. This keeps the counters clear on a daily basis, if they need to refer back they know where the box is and then we clean out every few months and throw out what they don't need anymore.
3) Make specific home for things such as magazines or reading material. If you don't have time when you receive to read it place in it's home (box, bin, drawer). When this place gets too full, it's time to take 5 - 10 minutes to clean out what is probably outdated information or take the time to read it. The trick is to never get a larger container or another location for the item. I quickly page through magazines and rip out articles or pages that are of interest or referral and recycle the rest.
4) Update your filing system so that it works for you. This is key! I have tried many filing systems before I found one that works for me. Simple is usually best because you will be more apt to use it on a regular basis making it a habit. I have a bin on my step to the basement and bring papers down once a week and file. If I am really strapped for time I ask my kids if they want to make some money filing and someone usually wants to make a couple bucks!
Feel free to share any systems that work for you and don't be afraid to look around your house and think about spaces that be daily homes for paper items. It may fail, but keep trying eventually you will find a system that works with your life.
Enjoy the fall colors that are coming!
Help those in need if you are able.
"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin