Each time I go into a home to help declutter, organize or help with space management I find that one of the greatest obstacles is proper paper management. Mail is thrown on the hallway table, kids' papers from school are all over the counter and there is a huge stack in the bedroom waiting to be looked through. It's an issue we all deal with at some point, so I wanted to tell you about a simple solution that we use to keep our paperwork under control in our home.
To set up your Sunday Basket, you will first need a basket. I stopped at our local Michaels and Target to give you examples of some of your options. Most of the baskets were in the $15-$$30 range. Michaels often has their baskets on sale, but you can also use a 40% off coupon. You could also go much cheaper and just get a plastic shoebox from Walmart for $0.96 (that is what I did for the examples in this post). The basket needs to be wide and tall enough to hold at least 3 file folders.
Here is what I found:
After you have picked out your basket, it is time to pick out some cute file folders. You can get these at most office supply or craft stores. You could also easily use plain file folders (and decorate them yourself if you wish).
On one folder you will write "To File," another "To Shred," and the last "Memory Box."
Place the folders inside your basket and get ready to see how easy it can be to deal with daily paperwork!
Every time you get handed a piece of paper, instead of setting it down somewhere random, place it inside your basket in front of the folders or throw it away immediately.
Every Sunday, for about 10 minutes, go through the papers that are in your basket. If you have a bill, pay it. If you have an invitation to a party, RSVP. You get the idea. For the bills you have just paid or the important mail that you need to file, place them in the "To File" folder. For the papers that have personal information but you don't need anymore, place in the "To Shred" folder. For kid artwork, photos, and special memory related items, place in the "Memory Box" folder. At the end of your 10 minutes, every paper should be placed in its proper location and you shouldn't have any more in front of your folders.
Once or twice a month, for an additional 10 minutes, take time to DO what the folders say to do. File the papers in the "To File" folder. Shred the papers in the "To Shred" folder and place your special papers filled with memories in a memory box like the one shown below (found at Michaels).
Although it may be hard to find 10 minutes each Sunday to sort through your papers it will be worth it! Enjoy the space you can now use that isn't covered with papers, enjoy the lack of stress from seeing papers everywhere and the enjoy the piece of mind you have knowing that all important papers are where they belong!