Everyone hates to file papers and we all have piles of them on our desks, tables, and any other flat surface around. No one likes to deal with all the papers that we still have even in our modern “paperless” society. Today I offer an easy, simple system that is not overwhelming and will have you binging Netflix in no time. The best part of this solution is that it’s only two steps!!
Even as a professional organizer, my ADHD gets in the way of keeping my attention on sorting papers for any significant length of time. As everyone knows, dealing with papers is boring. It becomes overwhelming so we give up and give in to the piles. So, out of necessity, I created this quick and easy system for dealing with the paper piles.
Step 1: Get 2 containers – boxes, plastic bins, baskets etc. to hold your papers. They can be pretty or they can be from the liquor store. The look of the container is up to you.
Step 2: Answer one yes or no question for each paper: “Does this paper have anything to do with my money, property, legal identification, or taxes?” If the answer is yes, it goes in box #1. If the answer if no, then it goes into box #2.
That’s it, you’re done filing! Even if you never do anything else with either box, you will be able to find any important paper that you need, when you need it. Most papers that we think we need to keep are rarely, if ever, referenced again.
If you need to find an important legal document, receipt or tax info you only have to look in Box #1. You don’t need to be distracted by all the non-legal or non-financial papers to find what you need. Your stress level is greatly reduced or even eliminated. If there is ever an emergency, storm, fire, or other need to evacuate quickly, you just have to grab Box #1.
Now, a lot of people would just not feel completely comfortable with this simple system. If you fall into this category, then take the next step. Get a 3-ring binder and some sheet protectors. Place all of the most critical documents – your birth certificates, passports, Social Security cards, marriage and divorce documents, property deeds, college transcripts, etc. and put them into the page protectors in the binder. Keep this binder in or near Box #1 and let all household members know about it and where it is. Believe me, this will save you so much time and stress when you need to locate these documents.
I know that this system works well as I just completed the process of getting both my Real ID and my passport. It was so much easier knowing where all of the documents were and that they were all together.
Now that you paper piles are tackled, grab some ice cream and enjoy your favorite show or activity. Guilt free. Now you are organized…at least with your papers!
Here are simple ways to put the sanity back into the process of packing for a trip:
Stay true to yourself and you will always look fabulous! It doesn’t make sense to go on vacation to reduce stress and then pack in such a way as to cause you more stress. Pack well and enjoy your trip.
Life happens to everyone and that tagline, “Life comes at you fast” sure is true.
So how does one stay organized and sane during a season of diverted focus?
Some examples are planning for a wedding, birth, trip, or other big occasion, upcoming surgery, caretaking of a family member dealing with an illness or recovery process, or any host of other major life events.
Here are some things that I learned while preparing for my husband’s back surgery that may be helpful to others:
Be kind to yourself.
Everything will NOT get done during this time. Accept it and do the best you can.
I often rely on the wise words of Art Williams, “All you can do is all you can do, but all you can do is enough.”
Prioritize each day.
Or even each hour. What absolutely HAS to get done?
Focus on those action items.
Make sure that critical bills get paid.
Set up automatic payments, pay ahead, or make special arrangements.
Make routine payments as easy as possible so you don’t have to worry about them.
You are dealing with enough; you certainly don’t need the added stress of a sudden episode of unexpected chaos or service interruption.
Family and friends DO want to help; let them.
When people ask if they can help, say yes.
Give them a specific task you need to get done that you know they can handle.
Let them stock your freezer and pantry. Maybe they can mow your yard.
Allow them to bless you with their help, and anything that they do frees up
your time and energy.
Get plenty of rest.
It is amazing what a 20 minute nap can do.
Just resting your eyes from all of the visual stimuli in our world helps.
Embrace moments of quiet.
Make time for fun and laughter.
Get away from the situation at hand, even if it is only for a short while.
Allow yourself to get your mind off of it and have some fun.
It will not be wasted time; it will work wonders for your mood and energy level.
When all else fails, have a good cry and a bowl of ice cream.