Advantage of Sue's summer special offer:
Book a session with Sue between 21st July and 31st August and get a special
summer bargain - a 3 hour decluttering session for only £120 (usual
price £150). Phone Sue on 020-7616-9465 or email
to reserve your session.
After running no more clutter for over 6 years, I know that most people
struggle with their paperwork. Piles of papers accumulate all over the
house, in the bathroom, shoved under the bed and cluttering up kitchen
surfaces. Assorted carrier bags and cardboard boxes are crammed full of
junk mail, magazines, unopened bank statements and a random selection
of important documents.
If this sounds like you, your daily life will be full of unnecessary frustrations.
It will take you forever to locate a receipt for your faulty watch or
the latest prescription for your glasses. I know it's tempting to keep
putting it off but the longer the procrastination goes on the more daunting
the task will be.
Phase one - Decluttering
In this newsletter I'm going to look at the decluttering phase of paperwork
and in the next (due out September) I will tackle phase two - getting
papers organised including storage and filing.
The decluttering phase is all about what to keep and what to get rid of.
You can't fine tune your papers until you've cleared all the dross that
is getting in the way.
- Be realistic
- you will need to commit both time and energy to tackling your paperwork.
- Go through
your place and gather up all your homeless papers including magazines,
newspapers. money off coupons, and unopened mail. Take them to one spot
- ideally to an office if you have one. If not find somewhere you have
room to spread out.
- Do a quick
sort of newspapers and magazines - recycle all the dated stuff (decent
magazines can go to friends or doctor's waiting rooms) and make a reading
pile of those you genuinely want to look at. Don't buy any more until
this pile is cleared. In a couple of weeks see if the pile has gone
down. If not perhaps you're not being honest about how much time you're
really got to plough through old Sunday supplements.
action. Find a container like a box or a filing tray for anything
you come across that needs immediate action like unpaid bills. Keep
this in a prominent place and set aside time in your diary to deal with
this as soon as possible.
down all the key categories like household bills, health, car, pensions
etc. for paperwork you want to keep. There will also be more fun areas
like holidays, places to go and other interests.
are several ways you can proceed now - if you have an existing filing
cabinet (with space!) you can file as you go. If not just write out
the category headings and either use boxes (plastic or cardboard or
old filing trays if you have them) or simply use the floor or even the
bed to spread out the labels. Now do a broad sweep and put the papers
you want to keep in the appropriate category. At the end of the session
gather all the papers for each category into a folder, box file, whatever
you have to hand and label them clearly.
at this stage, we're focusing on wide categories, not on detail. You'll
fine-tune your filing and sort out storage for your papers in the next
phase - more details in the next newsletter. So for now...
you don't want to keep. Get a receptacle or bag for each of the
following - shredding, recycling and bin for non-paper rubbish you come
- Once you're
finished you'll end up with a much lighter load and at least know where
your gas bills are! Don't be frustrated that things aren't yet in perfect
order - it's a process and you're on your way.
now ready for the organising phase - but you'll have to wait for the
next newsletter. For a sneak preview, have a look at the paperwork section,
Chapter 6, in my book no
more clutter or Chapter 12 in Hoarder
If you have
found a book or website that has inspired you or have a tip to share I'd
love to hear from you. Do drop me an email with your experience (here)
Don't forget, there is no shame in needing help with your paperwork -
it is tough and time-consuming so do take advantage of my summer offer
and finally get to grips with it.
Hopefully we'll have a great summer but do use the less fantastic summer
days to carve out some decluttering time
Is it global
warming, or is it a traditional English summer in a new outfit? This summer
has seen tropical-style cloudbursts in the south of England. One day last
week more rain fell in London than in the whole of an average July! Check
out my July/August
tip for what to do the next time going outside isn't an option.
summer! And if it's your winter, enjoy that too.
no more clutter
14A New Quebec St.
London, W1H 7RS,
Have a great
sort out this spring!