Controlling Paper Clutter

controlling-paper-clutterIs paper clutter taking over your entire house? Are there piles of bills every week that you have no time to keep up with? Controlling paper clutter is one habit that you can begin so that you have more control over your life. You will feel caught up and fresh and light. It’s worth doing.

Here are my secrets to how I stay on top of paper clutter:

  • Get a filing cabinet or a copy paper box if you have no money for a file. (You can cover the copy paper box with lovely fabric to match your decor if you’re into that sort of thing.) Put dividers into your filing cabinet, with a label for each kind of bill.
  • Sort all your stacks of papers into piles on the floor in front of you. All the telephone bills go in one pile, all the Visa bills in another, dentist stuff in another.
  • Catch up on all your filing.
  • Now every time a new paper comes through the door, deal with it right away. Throw it in the trash, pay the bill, or file the paper. Since there are only a few, if you get into the habit of doing it immediately, you will always stay on top of it.
  • If you have no money to pay a bill, clip it to your bulletin board and pay it as soon as you can. If you have a paper that is the schedule for your children’s basketball games, clip that to the bulletin board or post it on your fridge. It helps to transfer the dates onto your calendar so you don’t miss the practices and games.
  • If you have no time to sort mail when you bring it inside, put the mail in one pile and deal with it as soon as you can, like right after dinner. If there is a designated time to deal with it, it will get done. I just remember back when I was a teacher, I would come home and need to lie down for a few minutes before I could do anything else. So just deal with the pile as soon as you get some rest and food in your stomach. You could even set out a basket for incoming mail on your counter so that the stack doesn’t look so hideous until you can deal with it.
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4 Responses to “Controlling Paper Clutter”

  1. Ah yes, paper clutter…the never ending battle! We have an area on our counter that is designated for incoming mail and “stuff” and I don’t know how many times I threw the clutter into a kitchen drawer when we had company come over! HAHA! The only thing is the clutter is still in the drawer when I fish it back out and it didn’t organize itself 🙁 You have some great tips to control the clutter and when I have used some of your tips in the past, I feel so much better!

    • Susan says:

      It’s so easy to just throw stuff into a drawer. I think the key is to go through the junk drawer periodically to put things where they actually belong. Yes, I’ve also cleaned up fast for guests, and then stuff was thrown into the wrong place! 🙂

  2. I’m pretty sure paper multiplies while we’re sleeping. 😉 I’m pretty good about tossing the trash, and tossing fliers after putting the info on my calendar, but I still end up with little piles of mail for the child who doesn’t live here, worksheets I printed for “someday”, and things I really ought to file, but they go in the bottom file, and I’m too lazy to move the top file and all the stuff on TOP of the top file! 😛

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