Dealing with paper clutter: a foolproof system

I don't remember how I came across the LifeClever guys' system for maintaining a tidy desk, (43Folders? Lifehacker?). It's nothing new really, but somehow it felt fresh and encouraging and worthy of passing along. I'm constantly battling paper clutter, what with the daily deluge of mail, school papers, coupons, flyers, order forms, permission slips, newsletters…

Much of what they suggest falls in the Getting Things Done camp, which is no surprise given its popularity among bloggers and tech-inclined. In fact, I wrote up a brief review of GTD back in January. What I most appreciated about the LifeClever approach, though, was its relative simplicity. As powerful and worthwhile as GTD is, I find myself getting overwhelmed by its scope. Because my life is so interrupted, it's difficult to take on a new "system" in its entirety. Even when the kids are occupied, I'm prone to be distracted by the odd Playmobil figure under my foot, or the phone call I only just remembered I had to make.

Baby steps, baby steps (the Flylady mantra) help me organize myself, bit by bit, year by year. The LifeClever article feels like a baby step — just start with your desk, then move on to the rest of your life.

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  1. Rob says

    #6 should be revised. If pens work, no need to throw them away! Instead donate them to back to the supply closet (if at work) or to the non-profits/schools/etc. that take office supply donations.

  2. says

    I loved the book and a colleague of mine completely renovated her life through it. It does, however, have a flaw. And boy do I fall into it’s clutches: If you don’t do the legwork right and then follow-up EVERY TIME, things get out of control anyway. It requires time to set things up to save time.

  3. hedra says

    fullproof: folders never fill up.
    fullproof: evidence that last night was another bad one for sleep? ;)

  4. says

    Interesting site, Thinking about buying a paper shredder to destroy sensitive documents in order to prevent identity theft? Do you already have a paper shredder in your home or office? There’s no doubt that paper shredders are mighty useful devices, but they warrant a big caution. If you have kids or pets, an article in the current edition of Pediatrics brings a frightening trend to light…

  5. says

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