Put your rain boots on. Get ready to slush through the paper piles in your office. It's time to create a paper free path from the door to your desk. Follow these 5 ways to file away and put paper in its place!

1. Have an inbox.

Your inbox is the box, container, basket, manila envelope or file to capture the mail and to-dos that blow into your office. Try this: Place a small box in a place that makes sense for incoming paper. For example, put it next to your computer nook in your kitchen, on the desktop in your cube or in a tray attached to your office door. Use a small box to inspire you to clear it out every one to two weeks. But even if you don't clear it out, having paper in a container will serve you better than having trails across the floor.

2. Keep junk out.

Place a recycling bin and/or a shredder right next to your inbox. Make it so easy to get rid of paper that you simply put sheets into your bin or shred them right away. Before a piece of junk mail sneaks into your inbox, discard it immediately. Train your assistants to do the same. What to do with unnecessary catalogs? Tear off the contact information from them (and from junk mail too) and place in a remove file. At least every six months call these numbers and remove your name from each list. Tell the companies not to pass your name on to anyone else.

3. Examine your paper.

What kind of paper is in your space? Do you see stacks of receipts, bills or to do lists? Let the paper itself define what files you set up, not the other way around. Setting up a lot of files that are too specific (like one file for each sheet of paper) will make them hard to use. For example, you're an entrepreneur and you have client files in piles on the floor. You may need to dedicate an entire drawer to clients. Set up hanging folders with the letters of the alphabet on them; then file away. Place a box at the top of the cabinet to collect "to be filed" client folders.

4. Move out magazines.

OK. Not all of them… just the ones that have been sitting in piles for months or years. First of all, keep the number of current magazines you have in the house at any one time to three or fewer. When the new edition comes in the mail, recycle the old one or pass it along to a friend. What to do with all of those great articles, recipes and gift ideas you see inside of magazines? Ear mark those pages. Then tear them out and put them in a binder or folder. You can have a "To Read" folder, for example. Then when you know you'll be hopping on a plane, you can grab your folder and read all those articles you wanted to get to one day. The other option? Retrieve them online when you want them rather than having paper stack up.

5. Set (and stick to) a filing schedule.

To keep paper in its place, when will you consistently file? Once a week? Once a month? The choice is yours. Pick a time and frequency that works and then stick to it for 30 days. If filing never makes it to the top of your list, hire someone to do it for you. Or, if you're tackling paper at home, make it someone's chore. (Not everyone hates filing. Young kids, for example, can have fun with sorting and filing.) If your bills and receipts sit in a bin for a year, use tax time to file them away. Tuck away the old and make room for the new.

If you implement just one of these 5 tips per week over the next 5 weeks, pretty soon you will no longer have to wade through piles to get to your office. Which tip will you set up this week? With some initial effort, you can develop simple systems to put paper away and keep it in its place all year.

Resources
*How to Drastically Reduce Junk Mail (for US residents)*

Send a request with your name and address to each of the following:

MAIL PREFERENCE SERVICE, Direct Marketing Association, PO Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008

National Demographics & Lifestyles, List Order Dept, 1621 18th Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO 80202 (This company identifies things you like and sells your contact info to various companies.)

*Your name may have also made it on to one of these mail order places.*

ADVO, Inc.,6955 Mowry Ave., Newark, CA 94560

Donnelly Marketing, Database Operations, 416 South Bell, Ames, IA 50010

Metro Mail, List Maintenance, 901 West Bond, Lincoln, NE 68521

Author's Bio: 

And are you ready to learn more about how to turn your goals like getting organized into reality?

Then "[N]aked Desk" author Sue Brenner invites you to visit www.suebrenner.com to get access to her free success tele-seminars.