Once you develop a system for managing your paper influx it makes it easy to keep on top of clutter. Here are some good habits to keep your files in check and your Masterton Home as tidy as when you first moved in.
#1 Have a central inbox
Make sure you designate one specific place for all incoming paper—mail, receipts, flyers, newsletters, magazines and anything else. A single stack of papers is a lot more manageable than having several piles popping up around the house. When going through your central inbox keep a recycling bin close by so you can get rid of any unnecessary waste right away. Get in the habit of moving things from the inbox to the action pile at least every few days.
#2 Make an action file or pile
If you use an in-tray, get one with three levels so you can sort them into sections—immediate, later, pending. If you work better with files use this same idea in your filing cabinet. Have a filing system for papers that don’t need to be actioned but just archived.
Immediate includes anything that needs to be completed in the next week, for example bills to pay, permission slips to sign, RSVP’s to parties.
Later includes anything which needs to be done in the next few months for example, travel brochures, a catalogue with something you want to buy, a refinance offer from your lending company. Once a week have a look through this pile and see what needs to be moved to the immediate pile and what could possibly be recycled.
Pending includes anything that can’t be acted upon as yet, for example, your rego papers before you’ve had your car inspected.
All other papers can be filed in archives. Once every few months move these papers to your permanent archive folders.
#3 Use floating shelves to make use of vertical space
You can install these above your desk in your study or media space to give you more file storage space. An array of nice boxes and baskets can house everything from stationary to mail. An attractive lidded box on a shelf is the perfect place to store any of your child’s schoolwork and artwork that you can’t fit on the fridge.
#4 Create individual files
Set up individual files for coupons, receipts, instruction booklets and warranties. Store lift outs, inspirations, information and recipes from magazines in categorised folders, accordion files or scrapbooks.
#5 Set up a ‘lost property’ system
Set up lost property space in the most used space of the home. Assign each family member their own basket and put any items they have left around the house into their basket. Set up rules around when their ‘lost property’ needs to be claimed – does the basket get emptied when it’s full? Or does the family have a set day to clean them out?
If you’d like some inspiration on setting up your home office then why not come and visit one of our display homes today.