Going through and decluttering your filing cabinet can be a nightmare when it has been neglected for a long time. So I have written a set of guidelinesÂ below that I use to declutter my files and to avoidÂ paperwork buildup in the first place.
- Don’t file anything you don’t need to keep.Â By “need” I mean absolutely shouldÂ keep. Don’t allow anxietyÂ to forceÂ you to keep documents that aren’t really important.Â Only keep tax papers for the government prescribed length of time then declutter them.
- Switch to as many digital documents (bills, newsletters, school notes etc) as possible so the paper has less chance to invade your home and to build up.
- Once a bill is paid, and the next statement comes through that confirms that, declutter the previous statement.
- Pay bills by cheque or bank deposit so you have a permanent digital bank record of the transaction. This way you can be secure in decluttering paper statements.
- Scan documents you declutter if you feel the need, rather than being worrying that you shouldn’t have parted with them.
- Every time you file a paper under it’s specific label check that file to see if there is an older document that could be decluttered.
- Use the smallest document/file holder necessary for your needs. This way you are forced to declutter it regularly or there won’t be room to add to it.
I hope you find this list of guidelines useful and that you will end up with a big reduction of paper in your file drawers and ultimately reduce the number of drawers you need.