How to Tackle Paperwork

claire_keelingMeet my friend Claire Keeling! If you are in St. Louis, chances are you’ve seen her on Great Day St. Louis. She’s a mom entrepreneur, the founder of Sort It Out Consulting. She’s an organization and efficiency expert (we all need more of that, right?) So we are quite pleased to be partnering with Claire to bring you regular tips in the home and life organization. Here’s what she has to say about tackling all the paperwork that manages to clutter your kitchen counter and other living spaces.

One of the first steps to tackling papers at home is to begin utilizing an Inbox. Most people think of Inboxes as just being a work thing, but incoming papers need somewhere to land at home, before you sort through them. My favorite is the Pandan Single Box from The Container Store. This box is a real gem because of two things; first, it is large enough to hold your child’s artwork and second, it has a lid. How many times have you invited friends over, and then did the “sweep” of your paper piles into a large box or laundry basket? Well, you won’t have to do that with this Inbox because you simply collect your incoming mail and papers and put the lid on when people come over. The proper placement of the Inbox is by your main entry door so that the papers go straight into the Inbox. Make sure to have your kids empty out their backpacks daily into the Inbox, which you will need to sort through on a regular basis.


  1. Genius! Paper is a huge problem in our house. Prob because the mail is my hubby’s “thing”.

  2. Cherry.Nuts says:

    Yes, need some advice, have to conquer the paper moutain in my study room!!

    Btw, I’d like to recommend a recent movie here- ”the YES movie ” made by Louis Lautman filled with motivated stories of young entrepreneurs.

  3. I will add to that another tip that has been really effective in my house… never let the junk in. I take junk mail straight to the dumpster/trash! As soon as I get in, I put new mail on the stove, which means I can’t start dinner without sorting through it. Bills get put in a pile. Junk gets tossed… well, those two categories pretty much cover all the mail I get.

    … except an occasional postcard from @johnhaydon! 🙂

  4. Zen Mommy says:

    ok Ria, I’m sending you a Hallmark once a week for a month. and btw, i do the same… i get our mail and go right over to the trash can to sort. 😉

    Love the tips on staying on top of incoming papers into a home!!! For work and home stuff that ends up in my office, i have three standing files on my desk (labeled only in my head.) Here’s what goes in them:
    1- Bills to Pay
    2- Things to File
    3- Things I’m Passionate About

    Guess which is my favorite?

    Can’t wait to meet you in person Claire! I have heard so much about the work you do and of course I’ve seen you on Great Day a ba-zillion times and you always have great tips.

  5. Is the Pandan Single Box recyclable? I usually like to put all my bills in in box, but then eventually throw the whole thing out. 😉