Clutter can do a number on your brain, so it’s best to organise and sort it all. The StoneGable Blog recommends a 10-folder system that gets all your papers in order so that you’re never left wondering where you put that piece of paper.
You’ll need to buy 10 folders and label them. Seven folders will be named after the days of the week. The remaining three folders are labelled ‘To-do”, “File” and “Important”.”
Sunday-Saturday: Put any paper needed on a particular day into that day’s folder. Whether it’s something this week or an appointment a month later, if you know the day of the week that you will need it, put it in that day’s folder. Every evening, inspect the next day’s file to ensure you are good to go.
To-do: This folder contains any paper that needs action from you. If you need to fill information, sign some documents or any interaction with the actual paper itself, put it here. Note that you don’t use this folder as a reminder for to-do items. For example, a bill doesn’t go here; it goes into the folder for the day you will pay it or into the Important folder.
Important: Some papers needs immediate attention. “Important” has a time-based context in this folder system.
File: In this, put all the papers which you will need some day but not any time soon. For example, the warranty card for the new refrigerator. Once a week, clean out the “File” folder and neatly file away all the papers in it.
StoneGable says that this method is successful if you follow the sorting diligently. It’s not the end in itself, it takes you there. The 10-folder method is meant to keep your paper clutter organised till you actually file it away in a safe place. Use a strong file holder to keep all the folders together.
Of course, this is only if you want to stick with paper. If you’re finally ready to go digital and ditch paper, here’s how to make the transition.
Conquering Paper Clutter [The StoneGable Blog]