As part of the Life Well Lived Getting Getting Organized panel, I was asked how I organize paperwork both online and off.
I’ve been working on simplifying my office and home for better organization and piece of mind for some time now. Who hasn’t, right? When I have lots of papers lying around, I get overwhelmed. I hate not knowing what to do with things, so I try to come up with systems to make life easier.
Here are my 3 tips for managing physical and digital clutter:
- Only keep what you need. This is a big one. I know that if I don’t throw things away, I end up with a big pile of papers (or emails!) that I don’t know what to do with. Once I finally go through them, I just end up tossing or deleting them. Save yourself the trouble and recycle or shred unnecessary papers (or delete emails) when you get them. You know you’re not going to do anything with them anyway.
- Use digital storage and limit physical storage. I live in a big old house with almost no closet space. I also prefer a minimalist design style. On the personal side, I only file things like receipts for my health savings account (HSA) or handbooks and from my son’s school. While I do have paper files for my business, I keep them contained to one filing cabinet. I have all my personal or business digital files stored on Dropbox so that I have access to them at all times.
- Have a place for everything. We pay all our bills online and sign up for electronic statements whenever we can. This cuts down on paper quite a bit. When I do get mail or papers from the school, I make sure I have a place for everything, usually in the designated files I mentioned above. If I don’t, they get taken care of or tossed. Period.
How do you manage physical and digital clutter?
Go on over to BlogHer and read Ten Ways to Organize Your Papers – Online and Offline for even more tips. And be sure to enter the Life Well Lived Moments Sweepstakes for a chance to win an iPod Touch a $50 iTunes gift certificate to go with it. All you have to do is comment about your favorite example of a Life Well Lived Moment when you were alone.