In 2013, Accidentally Green is getting back to the basics one step at a time. On Fridays, I’ll announce a challenge for the week – something to help you make small but healthy changes. The tasks also will help you reduce, reuse, or recycle something in your life.
Last January I confessed that managing paperwork – and paper clutter – was an ongoing struggle for me. Like laundry and dirty dishes, as soon as I think I have it under control, then it starts piling up again.
I am ready to take action. But the tasks seem so daunting and I admit that I’m pretty intimidated. I’m going to face my fears, though – and this January, the Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Challenges will involve paperwork. Since it’s the beginning of a new year, we’ll start with important paperwork.
Once I started living on my own almost fifteen years ago, I’ve filed my important paperwork in separate categories. It may take me months between organizing, but at least I know my papers are in one spot. Then, when I need to access something, I know where I should be able to find it.
Five years ago we got rid of our (broken) filing cabinet. Huge mistake. Since then, my papers have gotten tremendously disorganized. In the past year, I’ve repurposed a sturdy box and use it to keep my file folders of paperwork.
Since 2012 has come and gone, I’ve gathered all the filed paperwork and have stored it in a huge cardboard Bankers Box. (Fortunately, since switching to electronic bills and payments a couple years ago, I’ve noticed a sizable reduction in papers.) In fact, I keep our important documents from the past seven to ten years in this Bankers Box.
This week’s Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Challenge
This week’s challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to file all of your important papers from 2012. Gather all of your paid bills, receipts, etc. If you’re feeling ambitious, separate them into different categories – utilities, house, automobile, insurance, etc. If that’s too overwhelming for you, don’t worry about this step. Put all of your paperwork in a box. Write 2012 on the box and store it in a safe place.
Once you’ve completed the challenge, please share your experience. What was your paperwork like beforehand? How long did it take to gather everything? How do you feel now that everything is filed away? If you take any photos of the process, please share on Facebook!