This month I'm determined to get all of my paper clutter under control. (No, that picture below isn't taken by me. If it was, I think I'd have a bigger problem.) I need a system that will work for both Chris and me. Usually some of the things I come up with aren't doable for Chris. He's not quite as determined as I am to be organized, although he has come a long way in the last 7 years. I need to come up with organization systems that are simple enough to follow that he'll be willing to "join in". And as for the digital clutter, luckily we don't share a computer, so I can organize my digital clutter any way I want. But with that said, I'm not doing a very good job organizing it and it needs some help. Each Monday through the month of October I'll be sharing my journey with you. Hopefully you'll find use in the resources and tips I find along the way.
First things first... identify the issue at hand. I've been keeping track of all of the paper and digital clutter that's come my way over the last week. Here's what I've come up with so far.
Paper clutter entering my home:
- in the mail: bills, magazines, catalogs, store ads, store coupons, grocery coupons, credit card offers, statements, donation solicitations, local business ads, Netflix, newspaper subscription, community information, renewal offers/reminders for services, invitations, purchase receipts (that come in packages), greeting cards
- in my purse: receipts, shopping lists, business cards, coupons, appointment reminder cards, movie ticket stubs, invoices, due date reminders from the library
- from the internet (printed, of course): recipes, emails, e-gift card codes, calendars, articles, coupons, lists, invoices/statements/bills, applications, planners, home management binder pages
- from school (I don't have this issue anymore since I'm no longer in school, but most of my readers I'm sure do): calendars, teacher disclosure/syllabi, phone numbers and contact info, lunch menus, announcements, sport/club/after-school sign ups, homework, art work, graded work, newsletters, volunteer requests, field trip forms, book club order forms, etc.
- from shopping/products purchased: receipts, product manuals, store/restaurant experience surveys, advertisements, bounce-back coupons (that they so strategically place in your bag so that maybe you'll come back in 10 days to buy more...thanks Bath & Body Works)
- other: chore lists, to-do lists, calendars/planners, phone messages, shopping lists, inventory lists, paper pads/post-it notes, magazine clippings/articles
Digital clutter entering my computer (both being saved on my PC and stored on the internet):
- printables from blogs (PDF files)
- Word documents created by me
- education resources from blogs (PDF files)
- etsy documents created by me
- RSS feeds
- blog articles of interest
- internet bookmarks
- blog files for The Nest Effect
- financial files
- scanned files (PDF)
- resume/placement file documents (PDF)
- email messages (I have 5 different email accounts I check regularly): personal emails, account alerts, coupons, ads, reminders, statements/bills, daily deals, junk email, etsy sales, reader emails, comment alerts, company sponsors, purchase receipts, etc.
- PC junk files (preinstalled, from surfing the internet, spyware, etc.)
identify paper clutter printable :: black or color
identify digital clutter printable :: black or color