There’s just no getting around it. Filing is boring. Which is why it piles up into mammoth unmanageable heaps and unsteady piles and threatens to take over your office.
Paperless is best where you can, but somethings you just can’t. Phone bills, utility bills, in some places those can be delivered electronically, but mostly they still come by mail.
When you must, you need a system. A nice low key system that doesn’t make you crazy.
Today I did nuisance filing dating back to October. A little embarrassing for someone who’s life work is helping people get organized, but I’m as human as the next non-filer. But I did it this morning in 45 minutes.
I have a file folder that sits on top of the filing cabinet. It gets all the bills as they’re paid, and other things like insurance statements and (rapidly dwindling) investment statements, none of which need to have anything done to them, but I do want to have them available if I need them.
When the folder inevitably gets full, I put ‘filing’ on the schedule, pick a time when I have the office to myself, crank up the music. Then I sort everything in to piles all over every flat surface. A very few things get put into chronological order. Everything else I assume I can sort them on the very off chance that I actually need one.
There’s always a few things that don’t yet have a home. I save those for last. I either decide they should go somewhere loosely related related or I pull out a nice new colored folder and make a brand new one. I try very hard to never let myself put anything back into that folder once I’m sorting. Really I do.
Poof. Six months worth of annoying paperwork done in 45 minutes.