A golf ball is placed on a tee, so that the ball is in a position that it can be struck cleanly. Teeing up is a step that is taken so the next step is easier. Effective organizing systems need to be, not only a series of stages, but a series of stages that are each “teed up” for each subsequent stage.
For example, if your system for organizing the ugly mail is hiding it in a pretty basket, you have not teed up the next stage well. Your next stage will be more like hitting the ball out of the ruff. Action files, including bills-to-pay, should be vertical, visible, and minimal. These elements provide a well teed up next stage, that you can drive down the fairway.
Perhaps you have donate items located in several different rooms, in several different containers- shopping bags, boxes, trash bags or no container at all. Getting all these items to Goodwill is like hitting your ball out of a sand trap. You may accomplish it, but it is unlikely that you will accomplish it well. Dedicate one area, perhaps a shelf in your garage, to JUST items for donation. That way, when this area fills up, you have just one spot to grab donations from. This singular location near your car, leaves the next stage well teed up.
As always, the key to staying organized is CIRCULATION PREVENTS ACCUMULATION. Items can advance more reliably from one stage to the next, when those stages are well teed up. It’s not enough to have a place for everything, there has to be a plan for movement. If this plan for movement is not working smoothly enough, then it is time to look at how well each stage is teed up.