5 Paper-Related Items to Edit from Your Home Command Center

By Dawn Link, CPO®

We all have some form of a command center or central hub in our homes. It could be the desk area in your kitchen, or a corner in your dining room, or on your desk in the home office. Regardless of where it is located I am sure there are items that you can edit out of that space, especially in terms of paper clutter. Here are few categories to get you started.

1. Paper and Electronic Bills – How long do you need to keep your paid bills? Well, it depends. If any of your paid bills are used as a tax deduction, it needs to be kept for as long as your accountant tells you to keep your taxes. Some people like to keep bills for a calendar year and then when January rolls around, they will purge their files and start new. Some don’t keep any at all. Some scan their bills and store them electronically, again keeping them based on their accountant’s advice. It really comes down to the space you have allotted to store your important papers. The ah-ha moment here to take away is that when you clear old papers from your files, you make space for present day bills. Don’t go buy another file cabinet just so you don’t have to edit your papers! read more

“Do I need to keep this paper?” Six questions to ask yourself

From time to time, we all ask ourselves, “Do I really need to keep this paper?”  Here are six questions, based on Judith Kohlberg’s “Gathering Guidelines,” to help you make that decision.

  • Do I know or understand this already?
  • Am I still interested in knowing this?
  • Is a better, fresher version of this likely to come in the next three months?
  • If I will use this info, will I need it before it goes out of date?
  • Can I deal with any regret I may have if I throw it away?
  • Can I get this information someplace else?
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    Making Something out of Something Else

    You’ve probably head the saying “making something out of nothing.” Usually, this sentiment is offered when someone is making a bigger deal out of something than necessary.  However, when it comes to organizing, I say, “make something out of something else.”  It can be a very effective creative philosophy to hold when attempting to organize your office, home, or life in general.

    For instance, you know that shoe holder that hangs over your closet door but rarely holds shoes?  Why not think outside the box and use it instead to organize your paperwork, or kids’ toys and books, or office/craft supplies? read more