Let me start by saying, a Collection Center is not a replacement for your Action Center. Your Action Center or Tickler File is essential to establish good paper flow. A Collection Center is an extension of the Action Center. Because many papers never action, they just need a little time for adoring or decision making.
What is a Collection Center*?
A “temporary” limited storage solution for items.
What types of items?
- kids school papers + art work
- incoming mail**
- ongoing project details
**Only if you cannot process your mail into your Action Center immediately.
What does it look like?
- hanging clipboards
- crystal bowl
- metal bucket
Pretty much any container that fits your style and the location. No need to use a boring inbox when a beautiful crystal bowl would work
Where is it located?
- where kids empty backpacks
- where unopened mail sits
- where project management happens
Yes. Create as many as you need.
What are the guidelines for use?
- Set a purge time frame : How long can an item stay in this location?
Until the next masterpiece comes along? OR 1 day? OR For the duration of the project?
- Define allowed items: What papers or items are acceptable for this Collection Center?
Is it only artwork + completed homework? OR Only unopened mail? OR Only this projects specific items?
- Define next action: Where does this item live for a life time?
Will it be recycled? Placed in a Smile Box? OR Moved to the Action Center? OR Filed in Everday?
- Define responsible parties: Who is responsible for adding and purging the contents?
Kids add. Mom purges. OR Whoever gets the mail. Or The project manager.
A Collection Center in my house.
- Set a purge time frame : One Week.
- Define allowed items: The crap :) that my guy pulls out of his pockets and puts everywhere but here.
- Define next action: Reviewed and mostly tossed.
- Define responsible parties: I put it in. I clear it out once a week, when I have his attention to review the contents.
What Brings You Joy?™