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Whether they’re shoved into a junk drawer or heaped into individual piles, many people find it simple to procrastinate and avoid the task of better organizing their bills, photocopied forms, and other paper docs. Unfortunately, paper documents and mail can easily crowd an otherwise productive workspace and make you feel overwhelmed.
But, you don’t have to be one in that number. While it may be tempting to rid yourself of the paperwork until it is necessary to surface from the depths of your at-home file cabinet, those paper piles still exist, even without your eyes on them, and need to be managed efficiently. If you're like most of us, you hate to throw out important documents, but you're probably also tired of them taking over your space – and your life. Here are some tips for getting your paper records in order and keeping them that way!
Create a sorting system.
One way to start the organizational process is to create an efficient filing system. While your system doesn't have to be complex or expensive, it's important to put as much thought into it as possible. Start with a few budget-friendly cube organizers, for instance, then label each bin accordingly. You can start with simple labels, like "bills," "legal documents," and so forth. You'll also want to track papers that need to be handled for the future, whether it'd be apartment community fees or upcoming school events, and keep them organized in an ongoing "To Do" folder or cube organizer. Whenever papers are ready to be stored for the long-term, they can go in a separate cube, too.
Keep hard copies of legal paperwork.
Speaking of the legal documents we mentioned above, it's imperative to keep track of all your birth certificates, passports, social security cards, leasing documents, and so forth. Most of the time you can completely eliminate these from the home space by keeping them safe and secure in a bank lockbox. If you prefer to keep them nearby, consider investing in an at-home safe. When stored in your apartment home, these papers must be stored in a waterproof and fireproof unit that can be easily grabbed in case of an emergency, like a tornado, flood, or fire. It can be costly to replace all of these documents, especially at once, so it's vital to take proper care of them.
Toss out junk mail and other useless papers.
Say goodbye to junk mail, like flyers, advertisements, and credit card offers. Just by looking at the envelope, you should be able to tell whether or not a paper document can be recycled immediately. If the envelope is addressed to "Current Resident," for example, this serves as a red flag that it needs to go ASAP instead of clogging up your at-home workspace. You might even want to shred it since it contains personal information. Remember, we live in the Digital Age, where many companies are going paperless and all your important documents can be found online with the swipe of a finger! So, eliminate the junk mail, and you'll feel instantly relieved knowing there are back-ups of everything you need online.