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Paper Triage

 

paper management

 

We hear that philosophy, Only Handle It Once, OHIO, for paper all the time. But what if we thought of a new mantra for our paper strategy, paper triage.

 

What is paper triage?

Paper triage is when we sort the important from the trash. We make the first brutal decision of what to keep and what to eliminate. In this one step, we are taking paper from overwhelming to in control. We are making decisions about what is a priority or not.  Just like triage in the medical field, we are getting to what is most important first.  To be most effective with triage, we need to be honest about what we keep and why we keep it.  Empower yourself to make bold decisions and keep less.  Except for bills, many papers will come around again, such as electric rates, credit card offers, and information in general.

 

Resources for what to keep and what to toss.

If in doubt there are two great resources for what to keep.  On www.oprah.com, look at the ABCs of Important Papers by Julie Morgenstern (http://www.oprah.com/home/The-ABCs-of-Important-Papers).  This is a lengthy list of what to keep and for how long.  Also you can review on www.realsimple.com the five steps to simpler record keeping is a quick reference (http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/5-steps-to-simpler-record-keeping-10000000688976/index.html.)

 

Paper triage routines

Do you already do some sort of triage?  I hear from clients “I sorted my paper in the kitchen, but now what?  There are still piles!”   This is when we add admininstrative time to a weekly slot.  We commit to a time we can now really work on the paper, again by prioritizing.  Make a list of the tasks associated with each paper, then review and prioritize.  Establishing your command center with these slots, Action, Pay, Pending,  and File, give you another visual reminder of what your tasks will be during admin time.  If you need additional categories, Receipts, School and Church may help you too.

Best time to triage? Its really up to you! Can you do it right when you get the paper and work at your command center? Do you need time without distraction?  Set aside this time daily to prevent being overwhelmed.

When will you do your triage and get your paper under control?

 

Need new ideas for paper management?  Check out my pinterest board Paper, Paper, Everywhere.

10 organizing ideas for 2010

The beginning of a new decade brings big goals! Just thinking about one goal is a big step, but 10 goals are …. ?  What 10 areas are you focusing on to organize this year? Take one step at a time, organizing one room or thing at a time, and make a BIG difference in your life!

1.  Organizing your closet.   We put ourselves LAST in making a difference! Take time to organize your closet to feel ready to go in the morning and  confident.  Keep only the clothes that make you feel FABULOUS, no matter what the size tag is.  Once this is eliminated, order your clothes in a way that makes sense to you, by outfit or by pants, tops, etc. 

2.  Organize your bedroom.  Our space is intended to be serene and restful. Is it? This year make your bedroom your serenity zone with no paper, no clutter, and just items that are peaceful and promote great sleep.

3.  Organize your laundry room.   It make a big difference to get this chore done.  Having the right laundry sorter makes the difference.  Use a 3 compartment sorter for white, color and towels. Do one load a day, ask for help from your family, and keep it simple.

4. Organize your pantry.  Getting dinner done is about having the right ingredients.  Toss what is outdated (nothing is worse than food poisoning.)   Arrange like the grocery store.  Add a magnetic list to the frig so you can add what you need when you need it. Keep staples on hand to make dinner in 30 minutes. 

5. Organize your car.  Our cars are our offices!  Do the pump and dump (thanks Geralin www.metropolitanorganizing.com) and toss trash as you get gas.  Ask your kids to help you distribute what comes out of the car right away.  Create a landing strip for returns.

6. Organize your purse.  You can tell how organized a person is by their purse!  Have a command center for papers so you can empty these right away each day.  Keep items grouped together, use a wallet you can move to alternative purses, and place your cell phone and purse at an easy access spot in your home.

7. Organize your papers.  Create a command center to make your papers easy to access for action, easy to file for retrieval and easy to archive. Need help? See the tips of the season section!

8. Organize your kitchen.  We all want time together as a family. The magic of meal time is to gather to communicate and have fun. Organizing your kitchen makes this happen.

9. Organize your calendar.  Choose a calendar you love, either paper or technology.  Use it daily – refer to it, enter items right away, carry it all the time.  Once a week have your weekly planning time to get proactive!

10. Organize your time.  Life is about our priorities.   Think through what you are committed to and be sure you are able to fully commit.  There are zillions of options so live a meaningful and purposeful life by making decisions.

Take one idea and carry it through for one month! You will be amazed at the difference for yourself and your family.

Let me know your first step on organizing!