Paperwork and phone calls

marie26February 5, 2005

I am not working right now but I was always on top of paperwork, etc. at work. So, why do I have so much trouble doing this at home? It's really simple things such as sending in medical forms or calling companies to initiate something and then calling them back because most of them don't seem to get it right on the first call. Is this only me?

How do you handle this? Do you just do it or set aside a time of the week to get it done? I just don't know why I hate doing these things?

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Amen- organized with paperwork at work but not at home. I'm there with you. Of course, for me, part of the problem is DH. He saves everything as everyone has heard thousands of times. Papers papers everywhere...

I handle paper in several ways- same with phone calls.

I keep a bucket/drawer thingy that I throw all my bills in and all paperwork I need to deal with at any given time in the near future. I don't think about it until payday. Every two weeks I sit down and pay bills, file papers, answer hand written letters, mail birthday cards etc. It takes me about two hours in the evening to do this all at once. Basically it goes like this:
pull everything out of drawer.
open envelopes and toss garbage on floor.
sort as I open envelopes- bills, bank statements to record..
Pay bills, take care of any other paperwork-- letter writing, cards, etc.
record everything on quicken.

On phone calls I just keep a running list of things to do and as I get time between three kids, my schedule etc I make calls. If it is a complaint type issue-- the company hasn't done something right-- then I stick with it and raise heck until I get satisfaction or take the loss on the chin.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2005 at 12:24AM
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Thanks for writing about this--if nothing else, it got me to get a few things done, myself. :) Paperwork is something I only seem to keep on top of for short periods of time!

1) It helps me to keep "action" papers (as you describe) separate from "to-be-filed" papers. Saves time and aggravation looking for things, when you want to get started.

2) FYI, Flylady works paperwork into her weekly routine; see link below and scroll down to see Wednesdays and Fridays in her Basic Weekly Plan. But I don't quite get it, and even emailed her with questions! What she has on Wednesday makes sense to me because it's paperwork that helps prepare for Errand Day on Thursday. But why split it up and have more that will need to be mailed Friday?

My main question, though, was how to deal with backlog. I wondered if she meant us to work on paper backlog only on Desk Days, or every day during the 15-minute declutter. Didn't really get an answer.

3) Another board I was on, we committed to taking care of 10 pieces of paper a day. Didn't matter if it was filing, tossing junk mail, or filling out insurance papers. It worked pretty well--if I could just remember to do it!

4) Someone told me they did the day's paperwork *that day,* every single day, to prevent more backlog. Then on Desk Day they worked primarily on the old stuff, about an hour.

Hope this helps,

Here is a link that might be useful: Flylady's paperwork routines

    Bookmark   February 6, 2005 at 3:48PM
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I take care of paperwork the day I get it in that I put it where it belongs. If it just needs to be filed it gets filed the day I get it. If it needs to be acted on in a more time consuming manner (pay a bill, record in quicken, etc) then I stick it in my bill drawer thing. This keeps the backlog down.

Then again- I follow my routine of taking care of all papers every two weeks.

If I had a backlog of paper I would probably make this a priority to take care of over most other things. I say that because if anything happens to you then your family will be struggling to find things and know what you have on hand for finances etc. I would really set aside a large chunk of time and get this taken care of asap.

I know the whole idea of baby steps. I find however that many times babysteps do not set a habit and as you take babysteps you get further behind in the clutter and work.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2005 at 8:59PM
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I stink at this. At work AND at home. At work I'm better, but still not great.

Paperwork actually I've gotten better at. I do the kids' paperwork for school IMMEDIATELY.

I nearly had the wimwams tonight because DH wanted us NOT to send the report cards back tomorrow; he wanted to photocopy them so we can apply to new schools. Then I remembered our scanner, so I asked him if we could do it at home. Thank goodness he did it right away!

If the school paperwork sits for more than 1 day, it doesn't get done at all. Or, it runs that risk.

Other paperwork, I don't do so quickly. Some of it is that I file insurance claims from work, which means I carry the receipts around in my backpack for a while before I finally get around to it.

But phone calls kill me. Because they're for home, but I have to do them at work. I do NOT mix the two well at all. When I'm at work, I cannot remember to do stuff for home.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2005 at 9:39PM
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