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Paper clutter

Cindy H.

From Flylady:

Dear Friends,

I have been studying the list of stressors and what I am finding is that building your routines and a basic weekly plan will help a long way in getting rid of some of these problems that we create for ourselves.

A couple of the major stressors in our lives are money and paperwork. Now I can't wave a magic wand and make more money come into your bank account, but I can give you to the tools to help you handle wisely what you do have.

In our basic weekly plan we have a couple of days (no not days; just a few minutes on Wednesday and Friday) set aside to pay your bills and put together a grocery list.

What you have told me is that you can't understand why you don't just pay your bills when you have the money. Well I understand why! It is called procrastination and lack of an appointed time to sit down and do them.

The bills are hiding in a hot spot on the dining table or floating around in the car or heaven forbid your bottomless pit of a purse. So in order to pay a bill you have to be able to find it.

Imagine that; knowing where your bills are, where your checkbook is, and how much money is in the bank, and then being able to find a stamp to mail the envelope.

If you had all of this in one place then that would be a stressor turned into a blesser.

Here is how you do this. When you bring the mail in the house; do not pile it on the dining room table. Open it up immediately; don't set it down thinking you will get to it later!

Then get rid of the junk mail and put your bills in one place. Then when Wednesday or Friday rolls around, you will know where they are and that is one less frustrating step that you have to take to pay them.

Flylady goes on to describe her "office in a bag" (that she will sell you, too, if you need one) ...

(this is me now)
I have used this system though and it really works. When I get my mail, I immediately recycle the junk mail or any mail that I open and do not need. I have a paper bag that sits on the floor by our kitchen table that gets the junk mail and newspapers (our town does single stream recycle).

Then I put the bills -- or other papers needing action -- on my desk in my office. At least then even if it becomes a hot spot, the bills are still in one place! I have envelopes, stamps etc. in one drawer of my desk. (of course I pay most everything online nowadays, too.) I also use a simple notebook to "log" my bills (one page per month), so I know what has come in, when it is due and I cross it off when it is paid. Since I'm a list person this appeals to my sense of order -- haha!

I also keep a paper bag under my office desk and toss all junk mail in. Papers with important info on gets shredded and then recycled.

any other ideas for dealing with paper clutter?

  Mary Replied:

I love the ideas from FlyLady. One thing that help me last year was to end the stream of catalogs I received. Each time I received a catalog that I didn't wish to receive, I called the company and had my name removed from their mailing list. It only takes a few minutes and now I receive a ton less junk mail. If your name is on the list for catalogs they will sell your name/address so you get more junk!

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