Overwhelmed with Paper?back
Follow Major Mom's S.T.E.P.S.
If you're struggling with paper in your home or office you are not alone! Paper clutter ranks as one of the top complaints Major Mom Liberators tackle with clients. Paper management can be daunting and very overwhelming. So many people feel they are drowning in paper piles!
If you plan to embark on a solo mission to conquer paper we advise familiarizing yourself with the Major Mom Method, our three-phase approach to organizing your stuff, your papers, and your time. Once we fully evaluate the situation and the client's needs and develop the "big picture" plan, following the S.T.E.P.S. of the Major Mom Method™ is our secret weapon to conquering paper jobs.
Establish Homes and Systems
Put Everything Away
Start New Habits
A common mistake made right out of the gate is attempting to process paper piece-by-piece. Trying to Establish Homes & Systems for each individual piece of paper and Put Everything Away in folders, trays, or binders is much more difficult if you skip the first two S.T.E.P.S., Sort and Treasure.
GATHER ALL PAPERS: Whether your paper is located in one area or scattered throughout the house, the first step is to centralize all paper to one designated work zone. Go on a "paper hunt" opening every drawer, cabinet, closet, etc. to locate ALL scattered and hidden paper. Don't make any assumptions on where paper isn't! You'll be amazed at the amount of paper you'll find and where it came from.
PROCEED WITH THE STEPS...
SORT: When you have all your paper centralized begin the sorting process--placing like items together. The initial sort should be done at a quick pace; therefore, don't concern yourself with details. Think BIG picture categories to get the initial sort completed (you can do a fine sort later if necessary).
TREASURES: When the sorting process is finished you are ready for the treasure step. Now is when you determine what stays and what goes. Treasure your paper one pile at a time, and keep in mind your overall vision and goals when determining your true paper treasures.
ESTABLISH HOMES & SYSTEMS: Upon completion of the Treasure step, you are ready to Establish Homes & Systems--where things live and the flow of items. It is particularly important to consider which elements of past systems did not work for you and why. Consider digital filing systems to eliminate paper whenever possible.
PUT EVERYTHING AWAY: File folders, 3-ring binders, file cabinets, stacking trays and a variety of sorters are commonly used for organizing paper. Be sure to choose solutions that work best for you personally, as this will affect how sustainable your systems are. Use labels to eliminate uncertainty of where things are and where they should go.
START NEW HABITS: Implement new habits to insure that your paper remains organized. It is especially important to establish a routine for the day-to-day management of incoming paper, as well as specific routines required for the overall management and maintenance of your homes and systems (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and/or yearly).
Consider this little tidbit when determining which papers you keep: Statistics show that 80% of the papers you file will NEVER be looked at again!
Don't Do All the Work Yourself. Summer break brings less homework and school related activities for children, creating the perfect opportunity to get organized as a family. Use this summer to teach your children a life skill that will help them become successful, happy adults. Jump on it now so everyone can enjoy a streamlined summer and a smooth back-to-school season.
Need a jumpstart or ideas? Call Major Mom!
- Think of how you can reduce paper waste in your everyday life. Several easy options are:
- Read newspapers online
- Cancel magazine subscriptions
- Buy an electronic book (e.g. Kindle, Nook or iPad)
- Use your library card instead of buying books
- Use the back of printer mistakes as scrap paper
- Shred paper to make excellent packing material for shipping
- Make double-sided copies when printing
- Use dish towels and cloth napkins instead of paper alternatives
- Make wrapping paper out of old magazines and comic pages
- Try to buy products made from recycled paper