Are you fed up with balancing the constant stream of bills, mail, and school notices that arrive at your door?
From bills to mail to school notes and everything in between, the mountain of paper that threatens to take over your kitchen is a far more manageable beast than you might assume. Here’s how to tame the paper monster in your kitchen.
You might be shocked to learn that paper clutter is one of the most common organising difficulties I’m asked about and that it’s also one of the most straightforward to organise.
While no one likes to waste valuable family time filing papers, no one wants to be saddled with late fines or missed appointments as a result of not filing properly. The key is to build up a straightforward system.
Listed below are our top recommendations…
Set Admin To One
- Place the obvious bills in a tray that will be left out on your desk for easy access. Don’t even bother opening the envelopes.
- If you receive any junk mail, unimportant correspondence, or papers, put them in the recycle bin (or shred it) as soon as possible. Don’t even think about putting it on a benchtop.
- Check it out to make sure it’s not junk mail, and then throw it away.
- Open any other critical notices you receive (that aren’t invoices) and determine how quickly you need to take action in response to them.
- The majority of tasks can be put off until the 1st or 15th of the next month. If this is the case, place them in the bills tray and deal with them on the dates specified.
- Otherwise, if they require immediate attention, place them in a separate ‘Needs Attention’ tray on the tabletop where they will be visible.
Consolidation Of Calendar Dates
Keep track of important dates and responsibilities in a family calendar (either on paper or on your computer), into which you add doctor’s appointments, school activities, a meeting with your qualified medical malpractice attorneys and the dates of birthday parties and other family celebrations are entered.
After the information has been entered into the calendar, delete the notes. Make every effort to go digital as much as possible. Almost every bill may now be issued to you electronically, which saves you time and money. Create a new folder in your email software called ‘Bills – Invoices’ to hold all of those bill or invoice emails. You should instantly move any bills you get into this folder and not bother looking at them again until later.
Make sure to empty this folder on the first and fifteenth of each month. As soon as you’ve paid the bill, you can archive the email in your email system as you see fit.
Following payment of your paper bills, you can shred them in your home shredder. In the event that you are not comfortable doing so, place them in a cardboard accordion folder that has been divided by month.
If you haven’t needed the bills from that particular month in the previous year, it’s probably fine to trash them at the end of the year (but first check that past bills are available online and that you don’t need them for ATO records).
Here’s one more bit of guidance. Although it may be difficult to hear, paying bills is something that is difficult for two people to accomplish on an equal basis when they are in a relationship. It is preferable if you can come to an agreement as a couple on who will be in charge of the majority of the bill-paying activities. Nothing will fall between the gaps in this manner. If you wish to divide the work, determine that one person will be in charge of the first half of the year and the other will be in charge of the second half of the year, for example.
Use 10 Minutes If You Have It
Even if you only have a small amount of time. Remove everything from your desk and find a set of attractive trays to place on it. Make your way through the mountain of mail that is currently piled up on your desk, sorting the bills and any other critical messages according to the system I’ve mentioned. There’s a good chance that the remainder should be destined for your shredder or recycle bin.
These tips should help you to stay on top of your personal administration duties. It can quickly get out of control, however, following the above should keep you in line. Do you have any other tips? Please share them below.