If you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen. Schedule time in your calendar to sort paper clutter and honor that commitment with yourself. Also, set a deadline and stick with it. Any time you feel like putting it off or pushing back that deadline, remind yourself that it’s important to you to get rid of this clutter and when it is out of your way, you will have time and space for the things you really enjoy.
I will work on my clutter every Monday and Friday afternoon from 3-5 and will be clutter free by April 26.
Establish a system.
What am I getting rid of? What do I need to keep? Where am I going to keep it? What am I going to do with incoming papers? Ask yourself these questions and set up a system that works for you.
I am going to work on one box/stack of papers at a time. First, I am going to recycle what I don’t need to keep, shredding anything that has sensitive information on it. I don’t need to keep anything that I can find on my computer or the internet, such as old magazines or notes/essays from school. I’ll divide the papers I’m keeping into different folders in my filing cabinet, creating new folders as I go along. I will tackle new mail as it comes in.
Purge as you go.
As you wrap up for the day, make note of where you left off, tidy the area, and take out anything that’s ready to be disposed of.
All of my paper clutter is stored under my work desk/table. I will have more and more leg room as I go through my papers, taking the refuse down to my building’s recycling bin every Monday before trash day.
Let your spouse know that you’re finally dealing with your mess and update him/her on your progress. Find an accountability partner that also needs to de-clutter and take turns supporting each other. Consider hiring a professional organizer that won’t accept any of your excuses for holding on to your high school burn book (that one goes in the shredder by the way) or organic chemistry lab notes.
I’ve let my hubby know that I’m getting rid of my paper clutter. Does anyone want to join me in spring cleaning? I’m happy to offer mutual support!
Make it fun. Listen to music while you work. Reminisce on happy memories as you go through old letters and pictures. And give yourself something to look forward in addition to the free space and clean environment you’ll have.
I’m going to get myself a new office gadget (TBD) once I’ve cleared the clutter from my work space.