- Paperwork- it's called an action file, I think it came originally from one of those organizing TV shows. Get a standing file holder, or something that will fit 4-5 files about the same. (link to amazon, so you can see what I mean. and yes, it's an affiliate link.) Label files thusly: ASAP- immediate action required (bills, RSVP's, permission slips, etc.) To Be Filed- papers to keep that don't fit into above. I have others, these should be changed to subjects that suit your needs. Mine are return to office, for things that need to go away but not necessarily be filed (pictures, child artwork, etc.) and coupons/rebates (so the inserts have a place to live until I clip them!) Figure out where your paper clutter comes from.
- Use drop areas. This is similar to the baskets I talked about last week. Others call them prep zones, drop zones. The basic idea- make a dedicated area for each family member. If needed, this could include basket/containers, a hook (for backpacks, purses) or it could be as simple as a shelf. Everything the person uses (phone, keys, homework, briefcase, you get the idea) goes in their area. This way everyone knows where their stuff is, and when its left laying around it has a place to go home to.
- Can't get started with organizing and cleaning? Company coming over? (oh, no! I have been there.) Try this trick: pick the largest horizontal surface in the room, and put the things on it away, and dust it off. In the dining room, the table; the kitchen, the counters; you get it. The eye goes towards these surfaces automatically, and keeping them decluttered and clean*ish* can make the whole room look better.
I hope these ideas can get you started. Please comment or share your links if you have any tips of your own.