Paper clutter can quickly derail your organizing efforts. Learn how organizing paper clutter can totally change your space.
Organizing Paper Clutter Gone Rogue
Junk mail, school work, instruction booklets, important documents, forms – it’s amazing how in this digital age, there is so much paper still cluttering up our lives.
If you find that there is more paper clutter in your home than you know what to do with, there are ways to tackle the piles, get more organized, and get rid of the mess while hanging on to the essential items.
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Here are our best tips for organizing paper clutter that will help you take control of the surfaces in your home. Get those important papers stashed away and still be able to put your hands on what you need when you need it.
How to Organize Paper Clutter
Invest in a Couple of Bins
Start by placing a couple of bins in the area that tends to collect paper the most. One can be for items that aren’t urgent or that you aren’t sure whether you need. In one, toss the junk mail, random completed schoolwork, and other odds and ends that make their way into the house. In another, put urgent bills, forms that need to be completed, and other papers that need to be addressed promptly.
Clean Out Weekly
Once a week, go through the boxes and deal with the must-do items, file away things that need to be kept, and recycle or throw away the trash. Schedule this into your weekly cleanup and make it a must-do weekly chore.
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Spring Clean Your Filing Box
Once or twice a year, go through your larger filing system, which should be kept in a fireproof storage box, and clean out outdated and unnecessary items.
If you’re like me, you might have decades of bank statements, loan documents from your first car, or warranty info for the appliances that are still in the apartment you moved out of twenty years ago.
Be honest with yourself as you clean out your file storage and throw away everything that you truly will never need again.
Scan items that you want to remember but don’t need to keep. This is a great way to hang on to instruction booklets, school papers, and other things that you won’t need the hard copy again, but might want to look back on down the road.
You should also make digital copies of other important papers like loan documents, car titles, and other things that you keep in your fire-safe filing box, just in case of emergency or disaster.
Limit Space for Schoolwork
Have one box for each child’s schoolwork that you’d like to keep as a souvenir. Be sure to make scans of these items, as well, then clean things out periodically to make sure that there is room for the items from the next school year that you’d like to keep.
Nostalgia can be a powerful factor in collecting unnecessary paper. While there is no harm in keeping around a few favorite items from each school year, you don’t want your closet to be overwhelmed with every kindergarten worksheet or elementary art project.
Don’t Forget to Shred
As you’re organizing paper clutter, be sure to shred any documents that have sensitive information. In this day and age, identity theft happens more often than we’d like to think. So it’s important to protect things like your birthdate, social security number, license numbers, credit card information, and other identifying information.
The Joy of Organizing Paper Clutter
Once you have paper clutter under control it’s a lot easier to keep your space neat and tidy. Some people switch to all electronic bills and others stand at their outside trashcan and discard junk mail before ever bringing it inside. No matter what works best for you, there’s no doubt that organizing paper clutter will breathe fresh life into your home.