60 Days Notice – Tackling the Monster Box

Help My Home:: 60 Days Notice - Tackling the Monster Box
“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” – Dave Ramsey


Paper generally arrives in one of three ways

  • Mail
  • Stowaways from purse, pocket
  • Purchases and their packaging

It comes in many forms

  • Legal documents
  • Reference Material
  • Entertainment
  • Junk
  • Sentimental

And ends up in several places

  • Inbox
  • Recycle/garbage
  • Filing cabinet
  • Shred bin
  • Desk top, dressers, kitchen table, floor, pockets, purse, etc.

Keeping up with incoming papers is hard enough, but catching up when you started out behind is daunting!

The Monster Box

In an effort to contain our home’s paper mess while we focused on other projects, I created “The Monster Box.” It was the city of refuge for every paper that entered our apartment, and it was a mess. Since we’re not going to move “unnecessary” things, I needed to tackle this box in an efficient, effective way, and think about some new paper-handling habits in the process.

“High Level” Sort

To make the catch-up less daunting, sort all papers into three general piles: Shred, keep, and recycle.
Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 1.46.14 PM Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 1.19.08 PM Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 1.54.25 PM

Next: Stop

Yes, stop. Corralling every paper in the home and then working through it piece by piece is a HUGE task! There will be plenty of time later for more detailed organization, but for now, take a deep breath, apply some lotion (that much paper will suck the water right out of your hands), and take out the recycling.


Remember that years of neglect can’t be made up for in one afternoon. Make progress, pat yourself on the back, and take a much-deserved break! (This also allows your brain to subconsciously contemplate the next steps.)


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