Tossing and Turning

"The real question is, why do you want it? What are you going to do with it? That's where you've got to start; otherwise you're going to waste a lot of money."

These are the words of Francis Carincross in her book 'The Company of the Future'. She tries to answer the question many of us have about saving paper.

Regardless of the fact that we have been talking about the 'paperless society' since the early 1970's, the truth of the matter is that there is more paper than ever before. In fact, a Xerox survey tells us we will have 50% more paper in 2005 than we had in 1995. And we don't know where it will go from there.

Letting go of paper
Letting go of paper is harder than it seems. Many companies have tried to go 'paperless' citing increased productivity and lower costs as the gain. However, employees are still ordering filing cabinets. Why? Because most of us have an emotional attachment to the paper. Even work-related papers.

I am talking about fond memories of papers relating to a project or person with whom you were associated. Or those marketing pieces you just can't throw away.

Then there is the concern that if the paper gets tossed, you will subsequently need it. Consider that most of us don't know what is inside our file cabinets to begin with. Is it really bringing you value? Would you lose your job if you didn't have many of those documents?

More than just a feeling
We fear that if it gets tossed we will somehow 'miss it' or 'suffer the consequences'. There are 18,000 pieces of paper in a full four-drawer file cabinet. We only use 20%. Re-read Frances Cairncross' words at the top of this page. If you can answer the questions honestly, you will probably start clearing out your filing cabinet, eliminate waste and clutter, save time and maintain only that which you actually use and need. Have you ever thought about a company-wide records retention policy and annual clean-out day?

It is one thing to organize and maintain a filing system, but the truth is that many of us put papers in files because we can't seem to make a decision about the document's true disposition. Outcome? Paper clutter. Time mismanagement. Money wasted. Frustration.

And don't forget those digital files. The keyword here is?delete.

Copyright 2001. Cynthia Kyriazis. All rights reserved.

Cynthia Kyriazis is an organizing and time management consultant, trainer, speaker, coach and author with over 20 years management experience in multi-unit corporations. Organize it, a division of Productivity Partners, Inc. is an organizational training firm she founded in 1995 and has been serving Fortune 500 clients ever since. Cynthia works with business and their employees to help improve performance and realize productivity gains.

Cynthia has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kansas City Star and the Legal Intelligencer. She currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), member of the Kansas City of the International Society for Performance Improvement ? (ISPI-KC) and consultant to the American Coaching Association.

In The News:


Tired of Endless Chores and To-Dos? Stop Running Around in Circles and Enjoy Life Again

Do you feel like you are running around in circles,... Read More

1-2-3 Sort

Article excerpted from the new book, "How to Do Space... Read More

It?s Spring Cleaning Time? Let?s Make Room For Abundance!

I gathered some things you can do this spring while... Read More

Organization and the Opposite Sex

In many of the companies I have worked in, there... Read More

Introducing the Power Hour Concept to Plough Through Mountainous Tasks

Have you ever been totally overwhelmed by a massive task... Read More

5 Easy Steps to Making Housework More Manageable

Sometimes the task of keeping a clean, tidy house just... Read More

Compartmentalize

The word "compartmentalize" means to separate into distinct parts. I... Read More

Organisation - Getting Back To Basics

If you look at any major organisation, there is this... Read More

Four Easy Steps to An Organized Closet

The National Association of Professional Organizers has dedicated January to... Read More

Without a Plan, You?re Doomed to Failure

"My job is an endless series of deadlines, I am... Read More

A Simple Effective Tool To Get And Stay Organized

Often we are in overwhelm because we are holding too... Read More

10 Minute Tricks to Help You Get Organized

Whoever thought you'd be able to get organized in just... Read More

The Balance of Balance

Life is about maintaining a balance of all aspects. At... Read More

10 Organizing Tips for Road Warrior Parents

Parenting is always a challenge, but particularly so if your... Read More

How To Organize Your Paperwork

Many people have a huge challenge coping with the incoming... Read More

Getting Things Done: A Guide To Next-Action Lists

Getting Things Done (GTD), is a productivity methodology designed by... Read More

The Psychology of Being Organized

Individuals who are organized in their personal lives most generally... Read More

Organizing Solutions for the Disorganized Entrepreneur

After more than 20 years as an entrepreneur and a... Read More

The Organized Move: Unpacking with a Plan

(This is the third in a series of three articles... Read More

A Personal Action Plan for Change

There are eight distinct steps to constructing and executing an... Read More

Does Your Storage Make Sense?

What do your storage spaces look like? Do you know... Read More

Kids Clutter: Organizing at Every Age

Our children are probably the biggest clutter creators we have... Read More

Spring Cleaning

Spring is such a refreshing time- we are filled with... Read More

10 Tips to Get Organized and Clutter-Free- Now!

1. THE LOVE IT OR LOSE IT PRINCIPLE: Every item... Read More

The Top 10 Habits of Organized People

Have you ever wondered how some people seem to have... Read More