The third week in April is always Organize Your Files Week. Probably has something to do with the mess we make getting our last minute tax returns done. Now that its time to get those piles back into ship shape you are lost for where to start. Fear no more, help is here.Eileen Roth, author of "Organizing for Dummies," recommends these quick checklists to get organized.

Use W-A-S-T-E to decide whether something's worth keeping:

  • W -- Worthwhile. If the item isn't worth saving, toss it. If it is, move on to the next four questions.
  • A -- Again. Will you use this item more than once?
  • S -- Somewhere else. Can you find it somewhere else or borrow it if you need it?
  • T -- Toss. Will anything happen if you throw it out? If you need it for tax or legal reasons, for example, keep it.
  • E -- Entire. Do you need the whole thing, the complete catalog, for example, when you only want to order from one page? If not, keep what you need and toss the rest.

Use R-E-M-O-V-E to clear off your desk:

  • R -- Reduce all the distractions on your desktop, such as knickknacks or this morning's mail. Put them on top of a file cabinet or bookcase instead.
  • E -- Everyday use. Only keep things you use often on top of your desk.
  • M -- Move items to the preferred side, whether you're a "righty" or "lefty." Put the phones, pens, pencils and pads within easy reach. Put the telephone on the opposite side so you can write with your preferred hand.
  • O -- Organize like items together so you can find them easily.
  • V -- View your time. Keep an organizer and clock on your desk.
  • E -- Empty the center. Clear off space in the middle of your desk so you can work on the project at hand.

Use R-A-P-I-D Response to sort mail and create stacks for each category:

  • R -- Read. Magazines, newsletters, etc.
  • A -- Attend. Notices and invitations for seminars, workshops, meetings.
  • P -- Pay. Bills.
  • I -- Important. All unknown incoming mail that needs sorting.
  • D -- Dump. Mail you know you won't read or need.