Step 3 of organizing all that paperwork!

Step 3: Sorting the keep pile into categories (active, current, long term storage, sentimental, receipts)

Now that you’ve done step 1 and step 2, and you’ve gotten rid of the shred and recycling piles, you are left with only the keep. This will likely be the hardest step for most people. Go through them and sort everything into one of five piles:

  1. Active (‘to do’ items like bills to pay, RSVPs, rebates, forms to fill out and mail back)

  2. Current (‘use for the near future’ like tax docs, sports calendars, paid bills from last 3 months)

  3. Long term storage (previous tax returns, medical records, warranties)

  4. Sentimental (old papers you wrote in college, kids artwork)

  5. Receipts

Keep in mind, you may now be in the mindset of tossing stuff and you need to create more shred/recycle piles. If so, that is awesome! Remember our mindset shift: “What do I need to keep?” instead of “What can we get rid of?”

Like I said, this one will be the most daunting one. For every 30 minutes you work, take a 5 minute break! Sorting everything in one night may not be possible and that’s fine! There is no need to rush through all of this! As long as you continue to make progress, you’re moving in the right direction!

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Organizing Champaign-Urbana

Professional organizer in Champaign-Urbana, with a philosophy of reduce, arrange, maintain.

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