Paperwork. Yuck.

July 5, 2010 at 9:58 AM Leave a comment

By Shara Lawrence-Weiss

When you mention paperwork to a left brained individual the response might be, “Yeah. Okay. Part of life.” Mention paperwork to a right brainer, however, and you’ll see their face scrunch into a jumbled mess as they scoff, “Paperwork? Yuck.”

Many mompreneurs are creative, right brained women who struggle to balance family, home and paperwork – myself included. Here are a few tips to assist you:

Open the mail immediately

Pick up the mail and as soon as you get home, open and sort. Don’t leave the mail in the car or stack it on the counter. Soon enough you’ll have a small mountain to go through which is far more stressful than dealing with each day’s mail, as it comes in.

Toss and recycle

Don’t need a piece of mail? Toss/Recycle it. Don’t save it. This just takes up space in your office or kitchen – for no good reason.

Reuse your mail

Can you figure out a way to make a craft with your mail? Turn the paperwork into a collage or lesson of some kind. You could even come up with a lesson about waste management, demonstrating with the un-needed pieces of paper that fill up your mailbox each day.

Filing

Do you have a filing system of some kind? This can be a life saver. Here are a few ideas:

  • Get a filing cabinet to keep your items neatly organized and easy to locate. You might find a cheap one at a yard sale, thrift shop or at a recycle location like Treasures 4 Teachers.
  • Keep all important documents in an organizational box (check your local office supply store for options). This way, you’ll be assured that all paperwork will quickly be found in one central location (upon the death of a spouse, moving, etc).
  • Can’t afford a filing cabinet? Use a milk crate from the grocery store. Purchase file folders from Costco or Sam’s Club (bulk is cheaper). Whallah!
  • Be sure to keep track of simple pieces of paperwork, too. Don’t open your social security card mail and forget where you left it. File it right that minute. Don’t open your AAA card mail and leave that on the kitchen counter to be covered in toys, dishes or splashed with water. Place that in your glove box immediately and be done with it.
  • Many families like the 3-ring binder or folder option: create one 3-ring binder (or folder) for each person in the family (pets, too). Keep their needed paperwork inside, labeled and stored up high (closet, bookshelf, etc). When you need paperwork for one particular family member you’ll know exactly where to go.
  • If you do allow your paperwork to pile up, make a point to go through the pile every week. Set aside time to sort, toss/recycle, answer or file. Just like housework, paperwork is much easier to control if you address the issues quickly and often.

If all else fails and you simply cannot get organized, call a friend, family member or organization assistant to help you. There’s big business in paperwork now!

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Entry filed under: Parent Tips. Tags: , , .

Family P.J. Reading Party 4th of July 2010

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