Create a Command Center to get control of your paper | Families
Image source: www.cleanandscentsible.com via Pinterest
One great way to get control over your mail and incoming papers like the kids’ school papers is to make a command center. That may sound like a daunting task but by gathering a few supplies you can easily set up your own system.
Start by pick a place for your command center. A centralized location such as your kitchen can be a good choice. You will need four basic things:
- a basket or bin to act as a temporary holding spot for mail and papers
- an action file
- a trash can and a shredder.
Many people also add a family calendar to their command center to help keep everything on track.
As soon as you come in from the mailbox or as kids come home from school, do a quick paper sort. If you absolutely can’t, put the mail in the temporary holding spot, but plan a time to deal with it SOON and do this daily. Be sure to involve kids particularly in opening the mail. They can open envelopes for you to go through the rest of the papers. Any junk mail goes in directly into the trash/recycling bin or the shredder immediately.
You will end up with two categories of papers:
- File - reference items such as insurance EOBs
- Act on it – papers that you need to do something with it but not necessarily right at that moment, i.e. pay a bill, rsvp to an invitation, to be read (personal note, newsletter).
The File papers should be placed in a folder or basket for items that need to be filed in more permanent location such as your filing cabinet.
The Act On It papers will go in your action files. Now be sure that your action file is not a permanent home for papers but where they rest until you can act on them. Your action files can have categories such as To Pay, To Respond, To Read, and To File.
Your Action File can be a desktop or wall mounted file box. It can be as simple or as complex as you’d like it to be and there are many varieties out there to match your décor. To see some examples, visit my Command Center Pinterest page, http://pinterest.com/awillis506/command-center/ .
Andi Willis is a Professional Organizer and the owner of Good Life Organizing based in Perry, GA. She is a home organizing expert who loves to help people find creative solutions to organize their homes and simplify their lives. Andi can help you get past the clutter and get on with your life!