Keeping on top of paper clutter is a key step in keeping your home organised. Paper seems to grow very quickly and if you don’t stay on top of it, it can QUICKLY accumulate into hours or days of decluttering.
These steps will keep you keep the paper buildup at bay, and deal with the existing piles of paper clutter.
Sort the mail at the door
A lot of people tend to bring the mail in and leave it on the kitchen counter before they’ve even had time to sort through it. Unless the mail belongs to someone else, there is no point in putting it in a cubby.
Sort through it as you’re bringing it in. Divide your mail into three categories: bin, file and action. That way, once you’re done sorting the mail, you should be left with the action pile alone.
Being able to find documents or papers when you need them is very important. It’s easy to feel really disorganised if you’re looking for your birth certificate, for instance, or your kids birth certificate, and you have to sort through boxes of papers.
GET A FILING CABINET.
In this crazy busy world, this is how I’m able to pull any document out within a couple of minutes. File those papers away into categories.
One of my favorite filing systems is the freedom filer. I found out about this system through a YouTube channel I follow. You can see a YouTube review of the freedom filing system here. I’ve been using this system for nearly 5 years. It requires very little maintenance, which I really like.
If you prefer not to use a filing system, my paper purge cheatsheat will give you a quick reference guide for disposing of papers.
The following storage solutions can also be used to manage paper clutter. These should be used in addition to a filing cabinet, not instead of.
- Get a bookshelf
Bookshelves are great for storing your books,and you can get one that fits into your home decor and the space you’ve got available.
- Magazine files
These can be useful for storing those papers that are awaiting actions. There are all sorts of options on the market.
- Paper storage boxes
Switch to online statements
Bank statements, credit card statements, utility and phone bills are now all available online. All you need to do is opt-in for online statements. This will help to reduce some of the paper coming into your house.
If you do decide to go for online statements, you’ll need to implement a reminder system to help you stay on top of your bills so that you don’t miss payments. Or better yet, sign up for direct debits so that your payments are taken from your designated account automatically. This will save you so much time and effort, really!
This might be a good time to review your magazine subscriptions. Magazines can very easily pile up around the home and because they are glossy and look nice, sometimes we are loathe to throw them away.
Go through your current subscriptions and decide which ones you would like to keep. Sometimes we sign up for a subscription, and we forget to review or cancel them, even though we might no longer be interested in the subject of the magazine.
For those subscriptions you would definitely like to keep, is it possible to access current content in an online or electronic format? If this is an option for you, then you might consider switching to an online subscription instead.
If you do decide to continue receiving paper copies, decide on a system for limiting the number of copies you keep at home. You can give copies out to friends or offices such as your family doctor or dentist, or recycle them.
Sort through accumulated paper clutter
Once you’ve implemented a system for managing the paper coming into your home, it’s time to tackle the clutter that’s already built up around your home. You can tackle this gradually or do it all in one go.
All I can say is, keep at it and don’t give up until it’s all gone.
Get a shredder
Since you are getting rid of all those old papers and bills, it’s important to remain safe. In these days of identity theft, it is a very good idea to invest in a shredder to ensure that you do not compromise your details.
If you follow these tips, you will be able to find any single piece of paper you need in just a matter of minutes. Your home will be free of paper clutter, and you can focus on your next organising project without having to worry about paper clutter for years, if ever.
Do you have any additional tips/suggestions for managing paper clutter? What has worked for you? Leave a comment below
This post contains affiliate links and I will be rewarded a small commission in the event of a sale (at no extra cost to you).
Feature Photo by erichhh