We have created a series to comprehensively address “all things paperwork.” Over the next few months, we will offer actionable solutions to your paperwork challenges. Here is Part 1!
The Problem of Paperwork
pa·per·work | \ˈpā-pər-wərk\ : routine clerical or record-keeping work often incidental to a more important task ~Merriam Webster
- It’s always coming in
- It’s messy
- It’s time-consuming
- It’s important (sometimes)
- It’s physically frustrating for some-hard to read without glasses, it can cut your finger and dry out your skin!
No wonder we put off dealing with it! Let’s face it, paperwork is tedious, time-consuming, and boring. It is also necessary to run your life effectively.
I feel like I’m in detention when I must do paperwork, but I’m trying to change my dislike to gratitude. The fact that I have paperwork means I own things or people have trusted me enough to give me credit to purchase large ticket items over time. I get to live in a country where the taxes I pay, create paperwork, but also keep me safe and comfortable. I own nice things that have paperwork attached to them.
Changing one’s attitude may help jump-start what needs to be done. Just think how good you will feel when it’s been processed. Okay…but what should you do if you’ve got piles everywhere and don’t know where to begin?
No matter what your organizing style, the solution is time. Effectively processing paperwork takes time and energy. Professional Organizers know that paperwork projects are usually the most time-consuming. If you constantly procrastinate and put off dealing with your paperwork, make an appointment with yourself, preferably during normal business hours, so that, if needed, you can reach businesses or other entities related to your papers. Being unable to complete necessary actions associated with paperwork is frustrating and adds more work later. The feeling of accomplishment is limited if the tasks can’t be completed.
If you absolutely can’t or won’t keep this appointment, enlist assistance. This person or company needs to be trustworthy as papers often contain sensitive information.
What is the most efficient way to manage paperwork? The solution is not the same for everyone.
Filers vs. Stackers:
Filers like everything put away and out of sight. They like clear, pristine surfaces. Most folks would consider them organized. This may or may not be true, depending on how easily they can locate specific papers when needed and what is inside all that beautiful storage infrastructure.
Stackers feel the need to keep most everything in sight or it is lost to them. They have varying degrees of cluttered spaces that may or may not be functioning well for them and those that share space with them.
Many of us are a combination of the two. We have a pretty good filing system for most things but sometimes new paperwork stacks up and starts to clutter our spaces. We don’t (or don’t like to) file everything all the time. This is fine as long as you’re not losing anything important, or the clutter isn’t causing you unhappiness.
So the first steps are to decide what you think your paperwork organizing style is, set aside time, and enlist assistance if necessary. In our next blog, we’ll dive deeper into storage solutions that work for everyone.