clutter is something that is difficult to get a handle on. Between bills to pay, what you need to keep
for your business, what you need to keep for your kids’
school/activities/memories, important documents that you should always have,
calendars, schedules, chore charts, magazines, lists; there can be a lot of
love-hate relationship with paper. I
love all the pretty journals, I use an Erin Condren Life Planner there is
the teacher planner for homeschool. I am
a list maker, and these lists have been everywhere in the past. We also receive bills and other important
paperwork that we need to take care of.
be the same as me. Hating paper, but
also loving it. What should you do about
some easy ways to take care of paper clutter.
You may be convinced that you can never get rid of it all, and honestly
you can’t. There are some papers that
are going to constantly be coming into your life, and some you will need to
keep. But, there is a great many pieces
of paper that can go right into the recycling bin.
start with mail.
mail delivered almost every day. The
first thing you need to do is to make sure that you deal with the mail as soon
as it comes out of the mailbox. When you
immediately weed out the junk from the important, and get it in the correct
spot (recycling bin for junk, and either a file or to-be filed place for the
important), you relieve some of that stress from paper clutter.
time, however, there are instances when I grab the mail on my way out the door,
and set it on some shelves near the door…and it sits there. Or I will pile it on my management hub table,
and it will sit there for a while (see my kids aren’t the only ones that mess up my clean surfaces). There
it will sit until three days later when I finally stop to take care of it. And most of it is trash! Stuff that we don’t need at all! It just takes up space.
mail, immediately deal with it. If you
can’t immediately deal with it (like when I check my mail as I am on my way out
the door), wait to get the mail until you get home. It will take you 2 minutes to sort through
everything, and then it is done, you can move on without trying to remember if
x bill was in that pile.
bills. I plan to talk more about
financial paperwork in another post, but wanted to briefly touch on bills
here. Thankfully we live in a time when
there are a lot of automated bills.
Bills can be delivered to your e-mail, many banks offer services that
allow you to have bills delivered to your online banking, where you can then
pay for and file the bills right there.
likely still be some bills that you cannot automate or get through e-mail. We have water and sewer bills that are not
delivered through e-mail.
in the mail, you need to immediately put it in a spot where you will remember
to pay for it. The system that I use is
to put the bill in a pocket in my planner, and then write the date the bill is
due in the monthly calendar section.
That way I know that when I pay my bills, I know what needs to be paid
phone or e-mail, or you might write it on a wall or desk calendar. Whatever is your method for paying the bills
is fine, but making sure it is put somewhere where you remember and can
actively pay the bill is important.
receive in the mail, it is easy to scan those and digitally file them away so
that you can recycle the paper bill and get it out of your house. I have a compact HP printer that easily
allows me to scan bills as I receive them.
You could even do this if you live a more digital life. Immediately scan the bill and then pay
through online banking when it is due.
most paperwork comes from my kids. There
is always something that needs to be dealt with. Either new artwork, school work that the kids
have done that either needs to be filed for their portfolio, or thrown
out. If your kids go to public school I
have heard the amount of paperwork that comes home on a weekly and even daily
basis can be astronomical. Dealing with
that immediately is part of the solution.
the paperwork until later, it will pile up and be more overwhelming to deal
with. And, in the example of school work coming home in their backpacks, you may miss important dates if you wait around to go through it.
that you need to keep? What should you
do with that?
things. You can have an old fashioned
filing cabinet – which is what we have.
We keep important documents in file folders, so they are
accessible. There are some things you
just need to have the original for – things like your social security card,
birth certificates, marriage license, passport, wills and other estate
documents, life insurance policies. All
of these paper items need to be stored, hopefully in a safe and accessible
way. If you do not want to keep them in
your home, you could get a traditional safe deposit box at the bank.
you can decrease the amount of paper you bring into your home as well. You can cancel paper magazine subscriptions
and instead read them online (or at your local library for free!). Most newspapers have a website now where you
can see a few stories for free each month, or pay a fee for a digital
completely remove junk mail from your mailbox each week – you can try a service
such as DMA Choice which will help remove you from mailing lists for a small ($2) fee for 10