Saturday, 19 September 2009


I got thinking about paperwork and managing the mounds of paper that we all seem to collect from every part of our life when I read the latest post at Magneto Bold Too.

Even though it's just me and the cat at home it sometimes feels as though paper just accumulates even when I don't give it permission to do so (and I dread to think how much more paper would pile up if there was a whole family living here!) Despite having signed up for a "no junk mail" thing at the Royal Mail, I still get paper I don't want shoved through my door. I've tried cutting down as much as possible by reading bank statements online or paying for most of my bills through direct debit.

However, my biggest issue with the paper that I do collect is the fact that I don't deal with it properly when it comes in to the house. Like many people I have a recycling box and so this is naturally the most appropriate place for my oodles of paper! Do I put it in there though? No is the short answer because what I do when I come in from work is feed the cat and that takes place in the kitchen....which means that all my paper ends up on the kitchen surfaces until I get fed up with it and sort it out!!

The silly thing is that most of it could be dealt with there and then, but once I've put it down I tend to forget about it until it gets in the way! So, it is all about changing the habits of a lifetime and keeping on top of the paper that I pick up from here there and everywhere!! I have to physically remind myself to deal with the paper there and then - I am sure that it would help to have the recycling bin in the kitchen, but there is just no room in the kitchen for anything else. (it does have the shredder in it though!) and so the recycling bin is in the cupboard under the stairs which is not ideal but it is easy to get to.

The other thing that helps with keeping paper is not giving yourself the opportunity to collect it all!! I have a two drawer filing cabinet that up until last weekend was just chock full of paper both new and old. I decided to put it to better use by storing my craft paper as that was piling up too!! ;-) So, I ruthlessly boiled the two drawer cabinet's worth of paper right down to a small concertina folder - because the folder can't hold that much I just cannot keep the levels of paper that I used to. I mean, for goodness sake, I found paperwork relating to my first flatshare which was about 13-15 years ago!!!

Unfortunately it is harder to crack the habit of leaving paper in the kitchen, perhaps I do need to get a small basket where I can just chuck paper and then check that on a weekly basis or something. Anything that is really important like the visa bill that arrived this week along with the car tax demand (!) tends to get stuck to the fridge so that it is in my face every time I get some milk for a cup of tea!! But ultimately I need to be aware of simply handling it all better in the first place - crack that and I've cracked it all.

What do YOU do to keep on top of your paper mountain!?


Sunny said...

I am no help. We have papers EVERYWHERE in our house. I'm thinking that burning it in the backyard is our only option at this point. Or build a new wing on the house.

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

seems everyone that commented on my post has it together.

So glad to have a fellow paper drop on the the counter and forget about friend.

I am thinking we both need a maid.

Named Sven.

Who forgets to dress...

Kirby3131 said...

My kitchen is a catch all for paper, too - but then again, my house is a paper explosion. I am really quite good about getting the bills all on my office desk. I usually write the check and get it to the front table by the door with a mail date on it (that way I don't mail too soon or too late)

I file the paperwork from bills in my filing cabinet. This I can also do quite easily.

The post-it notes, envelopes, junk mail, catalogs, things I've printed & other assorted paper items are on chairs, coffeetables, kitchen counters, computer desks and the list goes on.

I go through and toss about once a month, but I'm with you - it really needs to stop before it gets on every flat surface in my home.


Alice Teh said...

When you said that the paper "just accumulates even when I don't give it permission to do so" I was laughing and nodding in agreement. I face the same problem too.

I just "hide" all of them for the time being until I'm ready to tackle them... I have a filing system in place.