View Full Version : Holy cow; I totally figured out how to sort out my papers!

01-20-09, 03:33 PM
Old process: Piles of keep, toss, take back to work. Okay. But then I have a huge pile of "keep"...and it just sits there, overwhelming me with its mass until I re-hide it in the file box.

New process: Keep, and then...does it have a home and can I put it there? Yes/no. The yes pile was overwhelmingly larger than the no, and I am left with the "no" pile until I have my next epiphany.

01-20-09, 05:04 PM
Glad you found something that's working for you. I won't discourage it by adding my utter failure in this area, so keep up the good work!

01-20-09, 05:10 PM
Glad you found something that's working for you. I won't discourage it by adding my utter failure in this area, so keep up the good work!

I'm just hoping I stay this excited about sorting papers later :rolleyes:

And there is no way you can be an utter failure. As long as you always know where *one* piece of paper is, you've got something, right? (I think I'm learning from Sari Solden.) :)

01-20-09, 05:21 PM
I got the coolest label maker at work! inspiring.

01-20-09, 06:41 PM
Reading the posts, I thought of something I want to share just in case it might help someone.

Many years ago, I was listening on the radio to a filing expert. Here was her advice:

Do not spend your time trying to file in precise categories with a file for each individual subject. Use this just for the items you may need to refer to often.

Most papers you never need again but you must keep them in case the need arises where you find yourself needing one.

Instead of a lot of detailed files, put your papers in broad general categories. You can find them by going through the saved papers in that category. The big thing is that you know pretty much absolutely where they are and can then retrieve when necessary.

It works very well for me. This is what I have done for the last 30 years or so and much of what sanity I have left is a result of finding this method. There is no panic when I need a receipt of something I bought five years ago. I know right where I need to go to find it.

As per her instructions, I keep my important papers in my file cabinet. The rest I keep in boxes in broad categories. Receipts, banking, general papers etc. When the box gets full, I place them in Kraft envelopes and date them. I always know where the papers are and up to now have always been able to find any paper I needed. Give me a rough date and I can find any receipt at will. I look in the envelopes from around the date and lo and behold, there it is.

A small variation which which has worked very well for me is to put my product instruction papers, manuals etc in large Kraft envelopes (10x13) and write on the envelope what I put in. I may have a list of 30 or 40 items written on the face of the envelope but I know in just which envelope my needed instructions are. Makes may life so much easier. It is so nice to be able to place my hands on the owners papers of the widget I bought ten years ago. Again, the nicest part is no panic.

Not quite on topic but I did want to share. Who knows, it might help someone.

There, sharing mode off. If you like this method, use and enjoy. If not, let it go to wherever you send discarded ideas.


01-20-09, 08:51 PM
No, it's definitely on topic. I started doing something similar at work. We have a storage closet full of craft supplies, puppets, (I'm a children's librarian) was getting to be a huge mess. So I bought a bunch of transparent boxes and Day-Glo office paper. With the paper (an entire sheet), I wrote a title for the box and made a bullet list of the contents, which I taped to the front of the box. The titles are things like "Soft Stuff," "Mess," etc. It's made a huge difference in me finding stuff.

01-25-09, 02:29 PM
Love the idea for instruction manuals/warranties!!! My husband will never let me throw them out, but that'd get 'em out of my filing cabinet. :D

02-04-09, 11:41 AM
One thing I find helpful is color coded envelelopes. I put bills which need to be paid in red (to attract my attention), stuff which needs to be filed away goes into green and stuff which needs to be reviewed goes into the yellow envelope. I have a visual spatial impairment, so the color coding makes them so much easier to find. I'd actually paid bills late because I couldn't find them and they were in different places (basket by the entrance to my apt, desk at home, desk at work, briefcase). I keep the envelopes in my briefcase so they're all in one spot.