Conquering the Chaos: Getting a Grip on Paper Clutter in the Home
We recently welcomed Lisa K. Woodruff, Springer alumni parent, to present a parent program on organizing the paper clutter at home. The paperless environment doesn’t seem to have happened yet! Lisa is the author of “How ADHD Affects Home Organization” and the owner of Organize 365. During the program “Taming the Clutter,” Lisa shared her tips on how to manage the various types of paper that come into our homes, ranging from the vital to the trivial. Did you know that we spend an average of 55 minutes per day looking for stuff? Eighty percent of what is in our file cabinet at home we don’t need!
Here are some pointers from Lisa for the 20 percent of documents in our file cabinet that are important.
Buy four large binders and plastic page protectors and use them as follows:
- Binder #1 is for Medical Information – so all medical documents will go into a plastic page protector and into the binder. This is helpful in case of an ER visit with your child or even your spouse. You can also track vaccination records and any chronic medical conditions.
- Binder #2 is for Financial Records. Bank accounts, records of 401K accounts or other retirement plans, payroll information, passwords for online banking and bill paying. Insurance policies, student loans, mortgage information, taxes and car loans – anything pertaining to money.
- Binder #3 is for Household Reference - there might be warranties for appliances, receipts for when the water heater was replaced.
- Binder #4 is labeled Household Operations and might have the names and numbers of painters, plumbers and people to call to do various repairs You might record when the gutters were cleaned out and the grass was fertilized.
- A fifth binder could be the School Records Binder, containing school records for your student who is receiving help at school. That binder should contain original signed copies of evaluations, 504 plans or IEPs. Documentation will be ready for your meetings at the school or for requesting accommodations on high-stakes tests.
Visit Lisa’s website for free podcasts with more helpful tips on managing our time and daily obligations.