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Organize + Energize: 4 Reasons People Let Paper Piles Form

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Are you the type that lets paper piles form around the home and then tackle them at the end of the month, if you tackle them at all? Most people will say they’re too busy to file papers. I think people would just rather continue to throw into their piles than to actually spend the time to deal with them. The whole process is too overwhelming for some. 

The reason most paper lands on the dining room table or scattered all over the home is there’s usually no system in place to deal with it.  If you don’t have systems in place, it’s time to create them and follow through with maintaining them. 

Here are the top 4 answers I get when a client tries to defend their piles. Which category best describes you? 

I have more important things to do than file.  I  will ask my clients what those things are that are more important at the moment and then it will turn into a conversation about how they function throughout the day. Think about how long it takes you to find a document when you need it.  If you filed it when you first touched it, it would be in the filing cabinet and you would locate it immediately! No time wasted.

Why file one paper when I can stack all of the filing and tackle all at once? The paper piles become a distraction. The more distractions you have in your home or office, the more apt you are you lose focus and reduce your productivity. 

I’m too busy to file right now. If you have the proper filing systems in place, it should take you less than 20 seconds to file a document.  If you have those piles that need to be filed away, I can guarantee you will be searching for something that’s in those files. If you have a few different piles of paper, now you don’t know which pile it’s in so you’ve just wasted a half an hour searching for a document. It’s going to take you probably a good hour to file those documents when it would have only initially taken you one minute to file it. 

I know exactly what’s in my piles. I am here to say, no you don’t. When going through piles with clients, they think they know what’s in them, but then they find something they’ve been looking for or forgot they had. You may know some things that are in the piles, but trust me, there’s more important information in there than you think. This includes money, credit cards, gift cards and uncashed checks.

Think about how you handle your mail or documents when you receive them. Think about how you function throughout the day. Are you creating more work for yourself?  Do you have a process to handle every piece of paper that arrives in your home or office? Do you have working organized systems in place? Take a moment to re-evaluate how you are functioning with your paper and go from being a piler to a filer. 

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE with Molly O’Brien.


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