o you share a desk with a spouse or a roommate? Does every piece of paper in the world end up on top of your keyboard? What do you do if half of the mess on your desk doesn’t belong to you? Give the offending party this website address and ask them to do their 15 minutes a day to help you clean it up. Okay, that might not work so let’s try something else.
My husband doesn’t have a desk so all papers, checks and receipts are fair game for being tossed onto the computer keyboard. This isn’t a bad thing unless I actually need to get to the keyboard to do some work. We eliminated the problem by creating an InBox on the end of the desk. Every day when we get home all of the paperwork we have accumulated during the day and the mail gets put in the InBox. Two to three days a week I go through the InBox and enter all of the receipts in our accounting software, scan them, open the mail, pay bills and shred as much as possible. I use the same categories when going through the mail as I gave you for clearing your desk. All items are either DO (enter into accounting system and shred or pay bill), DELEGATE (give to someone else to do), FILE (put away in a permanent or temporary file) and of course TRASH.
Make sure you read receipts carefully before processing because some stores require you to have the original receipt in order to return an item. After I post the charge in our accounting software I put the original store receipts for items we purchased in a yellow folder for 30 days. This folder stays in the InBox and I check it each week. If we didn’t have to get the receipts back out to use to return an item in the 30, 60 or 90 day window of time the store accepts returns, I scan the receipts and shred them.
This system works great but you have to keep up on it every few days. You may have to check it just once a week or maybe even three times a week to keep it down to 15 minutes of time to sort through and process it all.
Your Daily 15 - Keep sorting the items that you took off your desk from my post called Clear Your Desk. Create an InBox and create a file folder for store receipts. My folder is called Things We Bought. If you have someone who either shares the desk with you or brings home paperwork, teach them about the InBox. You want to have one place in your home or office where incoming paper ends up.
Let me know if you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you.