Put a positive spin on tax week by using the time to clear your space of paper clutter. Sorting can seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s an abbreviated approach to my usual ACP Sorting guideline to get you started:
Put two paper grocery bags on the floor by your desk/counter. Label bags: KEEP and GOES. Depending on how high the piles, you may want to use boxes instead of bags. Sort items into one of the above categories. Aim for 80% or more of the stuff to go. Continue this process until surface is cleared. It may require several trips to the recycle curb and that’s ok. No judgments here. Unless you are involved in a litigation, bankruptcy or other legal process, anything dated older than 6 months goes. If you are undecided about an item, put it in the KEEP bag temporarily. Next, go through the KEEP bag and take out anything that can be regifted or donated (calendars, stationery, office supplies). Keep only what is current and absolutely necessary to have on hand for your lifestyle. Then designate a place for each of your KEEP items i.e. a file folder, plastic bin. Make sure those containers are labeled and within easy access. Limit your surface display to three items only and resist the temptation to set anything else down on your now clear desk top.
EXTRA: Shift the energy by placing a stem or two of fresh flowers on your desk. A small plant works well, too. Use glass objects to reflect natural light and brighten your work area. Include a smile factor like a favorite card or small toy. Finally, let go of the fear factor. Most of our paper clutter comes from credit card and bank statements and receipts. With today’s online banking and digital records, there’s very little that can’t be replaced if need be. If you’re still unsure about purging paper, here’s a good guideline to help ease the letting go – Receipts: Which to Keep.