Take Command!   Create a Paperwork Landing Pad

Do you need a go-to spot for paper management of papers that are incoming? As a professional organizer servicing the Utah County area, I find the organizing service most often requested by my residential clients is a workable paper management center. A place for them to stay atop incoming and outgoing family centered information. Saved papers and memorabilia come into our homes daily and need a place to “land” so they can be easily retrieved and dealt with.

Here in Utah we have larger families (4 individuals) with many of our children involved in after-school clubs, sports, and other activities. The amount of “stuff” brought home and needing an organized “rest stop” is often doubled. If YOUR kitchen counter is cluttered with family schedules, school papers, mail, or invitations; I suggest you assign a small file box as the “family file” to help clean up that chaos. The family management center is a place for your incoming paper to “live” until it’s completed. This works ideally for busy families needing to organize life’s activities. Here’s how to get started:  

First, divide and conquer your paper problems. Sort the paper that commonly clutters up your kitchen counter. Think of paper processing as an airport runway where there is room for landing and take-off but no room for parking! When I work with clients, I have a list of 20 possible file categories (sorting options) of which they choose up to 10 that best fit their family’s paper needs. Without my master list, I would suggest you gather your stacks and sort through them. Paper management is easier if you will actually touch each paper in your current paper piles and decide what the next action is for the paper you are holding in your hand. The  only possibilities are the following:

  1. Read
  2. Act   (This includes actions such as bills pay, errands, discuss, etc. but for now do not subdivide. That comes after the first sort.)
  3. File
  4. Toss   (These go immediately into the shredder or trash.)
     8 pg No More Paper Piles kit

8 pg No More Paper Piles kit

Family disorder costs us in terms of our time, energy, money, relationships, and effectiveness. Pay attention to the traffic patterns and current habits of your family members and find a place in YOUR home for a center that can truly be central to what is happening. In most homes this is the kitchen space. Plan on half a day to get your family’s incoming papers requiring further action whipped into shape. Once you have completed the paper management part within a family management center you will feel you are once again in command.

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If you would like to talk with Vicki about her spending a few hours helping you set up the necessary systems for successful paper management and a family management center click here. Be sure to include a phone number for her to reach you.

6 Responses to “Paper Management for Incoming Papers”

  1. Sam Cadden Says:

    I’ve used all sorts of paper. I need your help! I’m even good at shredding.

  2. james Says:

    Lovely just what I was looking for. Papers are going to be the death of me. Your tips are helpful. I will give it a try once again.

  3. Cesar Sanpedro Says:

    I struggle with my papers. I love your idea of a system to manage my data storage that mimics my paper storage system. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Börse K. Says:

    I love the idea of taking command of my incomming papers. I will give it a strong shot. Thanks.

  5. Jodi Herr Says:

    I have used the FAT formula. Much like your RAFT formula without the R. I think I like adding the R. Thanks.

  6. Dina Says:

    I personally like the analogy of the airport runway concerning papers. That helps me. Appreciation for excellent information and facts.

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