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Do you feel like you are drowning in paper? Everywhere you look, you see paper. On your dresser, on the nightstand, on the kitchen counter, on the end tables. It seems like it is multiplying and piling up everywhere! Do things constantly slip through the cracks? How long have you researched to find the best paper clutter solution?
Are you always losing paper? I feel your pain. I used to shuffle paper around and drive myself and my husband nuts. When I would bring home paper from doctor’s appointments, from work, and bring in the mail, I would pile it all on top of the dining room table or the island in the kitchen.
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When I would straighten up the house, I would relocate the paper to the top of the desk in my bedroom. Then when I would clean the bedroom, I would either relocate the pile yet again to a bin, or I would throw away the junk mail and make 5 million smaller piles out of the leftover paper. Then I would leave them on the desk forever until I finally felt like dealing with the pile of mess.
I probably touched each piece of paper about five or six times before I finally dealt with it. I was missing deadlines. I was losing papers. Every time my husband needed something from the paper pile, it would take me forever to find it. Talk about ridiculous!
That’s when I found Lisa Woodruff’s podcast and heard about the Sunday Basket method. What is the Sunday Basket? Basically, you get all of your paper from all of the house and cars organized in a file box or basket and go through it once a week and figure out which items need your attention that week.
Hence, SUNDAY basket. You don’t have to process the paper every Sunday. You do it on the day that works for you. You can do it every Friday if that is your day when you have a little extra time.
My Sunday Basket is a clear file box with hanging tabs. My categories are bills to pay, to file, miscellaneous, my husband’s file, my file, coupons, and receipts.
When I get an incoming paper, I immediately file it in my Sunday Basket. That way all of the paper is in one place. No more searching high and low and getting frustrated trying to find the paperwork.
Each Sunday afternoon, I go through the files. I see which items need my attention for that week and take them out of the Sunday Basket. Then I deal with all of the items for that week. I record receipts, pay bills, and file in my larger file box.
The larger file box holds things like mortgage, insurance, and tax information, etc. I take the items I plan to work on that week and put them in a small bag for work.
These items are taken care of when I am on my lunch break. I have notes for doctor’s office, medical offices to call, etc. I just dump it all in a bag and take it to work. I prefer to work on it during my lunch break so I don’t have to do it at home.
I am so busy at home with my daughter’s therapy, cleaning, cooking, feeding the baby, etc. Now I feel like when I am home, I can focus on more of the things that matter to me, like spending more time with my family and working on my daughter’s therapy.
I am so busy that I have realized time is precious. I would rather take care of the “boring” things when I am away from my family so I can spend more time doing better things when I am with my family.
I am absolutely OBSESSED with the Sunday Basket. I had so much trouble with the paper being all over the house. Now, it is in one place. It also helps me mark things off my to-do list. I no longer have to search all over the house to find pieces of paper. It helps me stay on top of things, so they don’t slip through the cracks.
I spent so much time trying to create a paper management system that suited my needs. I have tried so many methods and have failed miserably. The Sunday Basket is the only system that I have been able to implement and maintain.
It eases my anxiety about paper and makes me feel so much more organized. It is easy for my husband too. He doesn’t call me looking for paper anymore. He just looks in the Sunday Basket and finds the paper himself.
Before I can’t tell you how many times my husband called me looking for a piece of paper and I had to tell him I had no idea where the paper was and I would look when I get home.
Now, when I get an incoming paper, I deal with it immediately. I open the mail near the Sunday Basket. I immediately decide how to process the paper. Trash or file. It is SOO easy to maintain. I feel like a load has been taken off of my shoulders.
Is your paper clutter out of control? Do you have any other methods for dealing with paper clutter? Let me know in the comments below.