Have you wondered how you can manage all the paper that comes into your home or office? It’s coming in at a rate faster than you can process. Parents have often said, “why do the teachers send so much home!” As an ADHD parent, it’s especially hard to pare down all the school work, information and extra-curricular paper work that comes in. Here’s some ways you can manage paper.
Keep less, trash more
Give yourself permission to trash, shred or recycle as much paper as possible. Keeping as little paper as possible gives you more options to find information on the school website or online. Find the information you need and bookmark these sites. If possible, use the “add to calendar” feature to automatically add dates and information. In addition, drag emails onto dates in the calendar feature of Outlook. Create folders in Dropbox and Evernote and access these online tools instead of keeping paper.
Create a collection point
Create one spot for a collection point for all the papers. It may seem overwhelming when you see these all together, but this keeps paper from being in every room. It also keeps important information from getting lost. A good start is a simple basket. Cull through this weekly to know which papers are in the basket and which you can toss.
For kids’ school art and special work, keep one basket per child. Drop items in every day and set aside a time weekly to go over what’s in the basket. There are lots of ways to treasure what’s precious and eliminate the rest.
Automate other papers
You may already be paying bills online. But there are more options to automate. You can add a utilities only credit card and pay a lump sum of utilities once a month. You can auto debit your utilities. You can have an online account for your medical explanation of benefits. The more you automate any paper, the better. It’s good to remember that most any paper that comes in your house by mail, will come again in 2 weeks!
Paper, just like laundry and your kid’s messy lunchbox, will be rough going all the time. It’s a matter of being as decisive and routine as possible, both of which are not an ADHD parent strong suit. However with practice, just like all other routines, paper management improves.
Join me on the quest to eliminate paper! Join my newsletter here!