Dreaded mounds of paper can occur 
at any time…

Paper Pile

It happens to anyone regardless of race, age, educational background or financial status. How do they get there, why do they keep growing, and how do I to get rid of them? Let’s call in a paper exterminator!

Hello, Paper Exterminator at your service!

First, let’s dissect the paper pile to find out exactly what we are dealing with…

  1. Financial items requiring action.
  2. Bills to be paid.
  3. Invoices and receipts to file, some to throw away.
  4. Other people’s paper piles.
  5. Ideas to consider in our businesses or personal life, others to throw away.
  6. Adventures to experience some day, a few to throw away.
  7. Things we have no idea what to do with, and objects to throw away.
  8. Pictures to put in a picture box and ones to throw away.
  9. Coupons for saving money, many to throw away.

Yes, you are correct, the majority of your paper piles consist of stuff to throw away. So, let’s dig deeper and see why your paper pile looks so monstrous at times and what can be done to conquer the clutter.

  1. Financial papers: These papers often remain in the pile and on the To Do list when they require funds which are not accessible. Create a file called “Financial Action Items.” Proceed to do everything required up until the payment, so that you are ready to secure closure when the funds are available.
  2. Bills to pay: IF you do not have the money needed to take care of obligations as soon as they come in, those papers logically go into the pile along with a heaviness in your spirit of failure and defeat. But let’s stop right there. Make a file called “Bills to Pay” and on the folder write: “Am I working towards changing my financial position?” If so, write “YES,” along with, “My self-worth is not based on whether or not I can pay my bills.” IF you find you have the money and still don’t pay the bills on time ask yourself, “Why?” Often times it stems from the fear of not having enough. In this case, ask yourself two questions: Is this an item I need? Does it prevent me from creating an emergency savings? If you don’t need it or it is preventing you from saving, cancel the service immediately. IF this is something you do need switch your thoughts from yourself to the providers and ask would you expect payment when it is due or whenever the client felt like it?
  3. Invoices / Receipts: The world of online buying and banking has thankfully made a reduction in the invoices and receipt pile. However, the switch to paperless is often difficult bringing with it a feeling of loss of control. And yet, what control is there in piles of papers? On your computer make files for each month. Drop into each appropriate month the bills, receipts and invoices that you receive for that month. Do the same thing for the physical papers. When you receive your bank statement, summarize your spending online with a spreadsheet or on the physical bank statement and if the item is on your statement and you don’t see that you are going to return the item throw the receipt or invoice away. Aim to go paperless in as many ways as possible. Check with your accountant to see if proof of the item being deducted from your account is adequate.
  4. Other people’s paper piles: Give them back when at all possible. Otherwise, follow the same rule as yours.
  5. Ideas To Consider: Creating an Ideas box and throw the items in there. When it starts to overflow go through it and toss the least important ones.
  6. Adventures To Experience: Same as the Ideas To Consider.
  7. How Did This Get In Here? When you don’t know where to put it The Salvation Army is a great place to store stuff.
  8. Picture: The digital age is certainly a blessing. Take the time to go through and categorize photos, delete the not-so-great shots and periodically change up your display of cherished loved ones and places. Create a Photo Box and toss photos in.
  9. Coupon Craze: Yes, a coupon will save you money and at the same time it will cost you money. We exchange part of ourselves everyday for the things we love. What is your time worth? By all means clip those coupons you regularly use. Put them either in a filing system or in a box. Before going shopping or out to eat see if their is a coupon for the activity or item. A penny saved is a penny earned as long as it didn’t cost you two pennies to save the one.
  10. Stuff To Throw: Not only does your paper pile have things to toss, if you looked around your house you would also find objects that are taking up physical space with no added benefit in return. Give yourself permission to get rid of anything that diminishes the quality of your life.

Reminder about life: In life we are daily bombarded with pests such as: decisions, tasks, and papers. Oftentimes they grow out of proportion under the false identity of busyness. Busyness is not a fact, it is a place in our mind where worry has the upper hand. We live a certain number of days and then we die. When passing on, our paper pile will either be picked up by someone else, gone through, or thrown in the trash. Don’t sweat the small stuff, exterminate today.

Live the life you choose,

Sharon L. Nash