Paper Can Get Out of Control
We almost all deal with clutter on a regular basis. The kids leave their shoes and backpacks strewn around the house. There are toys here, there and everywhere. Even adults accumulate a fair amount of clutter like items on the dining rooms table for a big craft project or equipment all over the garage for the soccer team that your husband coaches. I bet your car hasn’t been parked in the garage for six months! And we haven’t even discussed paper scattered throughout the house yet.
One of the biggest aspects of clutter includes paper: work that the kids bring home from school is certainly part of the clutter. Include in that category items that came in the mail which have not been sorted yet. You have tax papers in the Spring, and good old fashioned newspapers, not to mention the piles of unsolicited catalogues.
It’s Time to get Your Papers Under Control
The first thing to take a look at is paper items that are in plain sight like yesterday’s mail. Get that off the kitchen counter. Sort it and shred any sensitive documents . Keep bills and other important papers in a file folder and recycle the rest. As far as bills go, there will be much less mail if you arrange for your recurring bills to be paid online. Check with your bank, it’s quite easy to get started.
Use a file cabinet to keep folders to separate each category of paper like bills, taxes etc. and consider using a scanner to download documents onto your computer. Then you can have virtual file folders and shred the hard copies.
Magazines and catalogues have a tendency to build up. You are either waiting for a time when you have a spare moment to peruse them or you are saving them for a particular article or idea. Be brutal. Toss magazines and catalogues after a month. If there is an article you like, clip it and either save it in a folder in the file cabinet or scan it into your computer.
Save the children’s school papers in folders labeled for each child and each year: Susie, first grade, for example. At the end of the school year, store the folders away in sturdy plastic bins in the attic.
It might take some time to get your papers organized, but the time spent will be worthwhile when you sit down to do your taxes or pay bills. And what a joy to see an uncluttered home!
Editor’s Note: We originally published this article in December 2015. We have edited it for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.