This post was sponsored by Fellowes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I know we all have our own top priorities when it comes to Spring Cleaning…getting rid of clothes that we no longer wear, purging toys that the kids have outgrown, cleaning out the garage or basement. I’m willing to bet that you, like me, have forgotten about the most overlooked Spring Cleaning item around: cleaning out old documentation in your home!! For me, I started collecting all of our documents into a large plastic bin with hanging folders when we first got married. In that box I kept car titles, college transcripts, student loan documentations (ouch!) and more! Let’s walk through some tips on Spring Cleaning your home office and purging those unneeded documents with the help of my new Fellowes’ 12Cs Shredder.
This spring, when you’re doing your spring cleaning, why not adopt new home organizing habits to help you be more productive and more organized all year long? This way you’re spending less time dealing with your mess and more time doing what you enjoy most!
The number one thing you need to start doing in your home office is the get rid of that paper!
Have you heard of the FIRST Method?? It goes like this:
File It, Recycle, Shred, or Take Care of It.
Shred all documents that contain sensitive information using a shredder like Fellowes’ 12Cs that we just got. The 12Cs shreds up to 12 sheets at a time and has awesome SafeSense® technology that makes it safe for use at home with your kids or pets.
I started looking back at all our old documentation and, while it was interesting to review my tax returns from 2003…while I was in college…it also made me realize that I need to be better about purging old information and organizing it better so that I know what to shred without having to look through every single paper!
I started the very painful process of going through all my old documentation, sorting out sensitive information, documents that I didn’t need anymore, and just regular old trash. Then I got started with labeling my files logically.
It makes it really fun to reorganize when you have something pretty to work with, so I picked up some pretty labels, some fun mint and gold hanging folders, and a new filing folder and I got to work!!
After about 2 hours of looking through things, I had a nice full bin of shreds to discard. It was really a relief to see all the stuff that we got rid of and how easy it is to find our documents now!
Now here’s the most important thing to do after you get organized finally…work to STAY organized!
Set a routine and stay on top of your piles. I have my shredder in a very easy to reach space so that I have no reason to let sensitive docs and old bills pile up in my house. Once it’s paid or dealt with, in the shredder it goes. There’s no reason to put these things off and constantly be falling behind!
And if you have a REALLY big mess…set a certain amount of time and challenge yourself to get as much as you can done in that amount of time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your house won’t be organized in one either! So make your list, prioritize the worst of the worst areas, and get started!
I’m all organized now with a fun “Important Information” file ready to go at any point in time. I put my labels and extra tabs and folders directly into the bottom of my file so that I could easily add documentation and label it immediately. No more excuses for me to get behind again!
Here’s a few other things you’ll want to be sure to stay on top of:
- Look through your wallet and shred/throw out old receipts, coupons, and expired credit cards.
- If you have a junk bin, ensure that no mail or sensitive information is kept in there.
- Each year after you finish your annual taxes, make a point to throw out the oldest tax return you have on file (for example, I keep 5 years worth of returns, so when I add 2016 to this year’s files I will go ahead and shred 2011).
And most importantly, ensure that you have a good shredder on hand to protect your sensitive documentation. I suggest the Fellowes’ 12Cs Shredder at Walmart…I really liked how well it handled all my documentation and that fact that it has safety features built in!
What are your tips for Spring Cleaning? Share them in the comments below!