Today's mission, as part of the Declutter 365 missions, is to declutter files from your file cabinet, and make it an annual occurrence.
This mission is designed to be done while working on the Organize Home Filing System Challenge here on the site, which is part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenges.
I've placed this mission within the Declutter Calendar to fall as the second day of decluttering your file cabinet, file box, or binders used for filing in your house for the reason that no matter how much you clear out of your home filing system now, later on you'll need to clear out more.
That's just the nature of paper clutter. Some papers you keep in your filing cabinet that are important now become unimportant with time, such as copies of old bills or bank statements, or information about events that have now passed, or papers about property you no longer own.
In addition, with time you also receive new papers that are important to keep, such as your most recent bank statements, or the title to the new car you purchased. If you keep everything that has become obsolete in your filing cabinet, instead of clearing it out, you'll eventually run out of room for the new stuff.
Today I want you to realize that clearing out your file cabinets the first time, thoroughly, may take you a while, but from now on you'll regularly clear out these files, on an annual basis, so you've always got room for the currently important stuff.
If you follow along with the Declutter 365 missions each year, as many people do, so that they can maintain the clutter free environment of their home once they've got it that way, this mission reoccurs annually, and therefore you can use the Declutter 365 calendar and my reminders to help you remember to do this task.
However, since many of the files I suggest clearing out, annually, are those labeled from older years, another good time to do this task is around the beginning of the calendar year.
Others like to do it right after finishing their taxes for the year, as a way of clearing out old material after that big task is completed.
You choose which time seems best to you, just start doing it sometime, annually, from now on.
Generally, when doing this mission, you'll be looking for older files, such as ones with dates on them, like your paid bill stubs file or old tax return files, that have passed the date you need to keep them, so you can grab the entire file and get rid of all its contents.
(Remember, the documents within these types of files are typically things you want to shred instead of just throwing them into the recycling bin.)
To help you with this task, refresh your knowledge of how long to keep various types of papers with this article, so you can feel confident that you're getting rid of the right old papers.
In addition, check out the general mission on getting rid of file clutter here for general details of decluttering the paper in your home files..
I hope this mission has inspired you to declutter excess paper clutter from your file cabinets or binders regularly.
When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.
I've got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!
Photo courtesy of LizMarie_AK, from Flickr Creative Commons
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!