Paperwork Blitz

Before we begin the weekly paperwork blitz habit, a little preparation is in order.

First, you need a filing system. It doesn't have to be elaborate. A binder with tabs, an expandable folder or a filing cabinet are all suitable. You will also need a notebook containing your journal, shopping list and your to-do list and a designated place to put your mail. All of these items should be located close together, preferably in proximity to a desk with a comfy chair. I have a desk with a locked file drawer with pocket folders in it for files, a smaller drawer containing a notebook, my phone number and address book, pens & pencils, a stapler, 3-hole punch, checkbook, envelopes and stamps. The top is bare, save my phone and in-box which serves as a sort of 3-D to-do list. All the mail goes in the box throughout the week. Hubby gets the mail and gives it a once-over discarding obvious junk and calling to my attention anything that looks super time-sensitive, such as anything from the government or anything in a pink envelope, which never actually happens anymore. Also, any receipts that are offering discounts for calling and reviewing your experience and any mail- in rebate offers you have received should go in your inbox. Overtop your desk should be a big bullitin board with a big calendar on it where the whole family can see.

Paperwork Blitz List

  1. Read all mail.
    1. Pay bills (either write checks, stamp and address them or use your bank's online billpay- my preference.)
    2. Fill out any RSVP slips.
    3. Make any necessary phone calls.
    4. Complete any rebate offers. (Make sure to make copies before you mail them out.)
    5. Activate any new cards you received and put new IDs in your purse, set aside those for hubby.
    6. Stick anything that requires someone else's attention on your bullitin board. Remember to mention it to them later.
    7. Sign anything that needs signing.
  2. Write down the date bills, RSVPs and rebates were sent and calls were made in your notebook. In the case of calls, write down the time, the name of the person you talked to and the service number.
  3. Update your calendar and to-do lists with any new information gathered from your mail-reading adventure.
  4. File all paid bills (write the date you paid them & check number on them), new insurance paperwork, or anything else of interest in your filing cabinet.
  5. Recycle all envelopes, shred anything with personal information that you don't need to keep.
  6. Check your notebook for to-dos from last week and attend to them. Write down in your notebook when and how you attended to them.
  7. Check your calendar for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions coming up in the next two to three weeks. Put greeting cards on your shopping list if you don't already have them. If you do, fill them out, address and stamp them.
  8. Think about anyone who has done you a good turn this week. Write them a thank you note, address and stamp it.
  9. Put all of your outgoing mail in your purse ready to drop off the next time you pass the post office. (unless you are lucky enough to have pick up at your house, then you can just drop it in the mailbox right now!)
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