Getting Organized – Paper Clutter

Paper ~ it’s everywhere … newspapers, junk mail, catalogs, magazines, sales papers, bills … and all too soon, school papers ! Piles and Piles of paper ! They’re everywhere – the desk, the coffee table, the kitchen counter.

As with most organizing jobs, I like to try to break it down into smaller tasks. It is a plan that serves me well in many situations. Depending on how long you have been accumulating your piles, you might want to attack one stack at a time. In dealing with paper clutter, you’ll find that the recycle bin and the shredder are your friends.

First I would start sorting things into smaller piles ~ recycle, shred and file stacks. Quickly look through the stack pulling out all the business envelopes. Many of these will be either shredded or filed. Next recycle the newspapers, sale ads and magazines. Try to be relentless, the next magazine or catalog will arrive before you know it. If you’re tempted to save a magazine for a specific article or recipe, remember that most publications are available online and you can probably find it quicker and easier that way than if you saved the actual magazine. This first step usually shortens the stack considerably.

Next I would open all the envelopes. Sort through them and put all the bills aside. Start shredding all those “you’ve been pre-approved” offers, including any of the return envelopes that have a bar code.  That bar code could contain information that could be used to steal your identity. Identity theft is a horrible crime that seems to be on the rise, many people’s lives have been financially ruined. Taking the time now to go through and shred your documents will potentially save you from having to go through this horrible ordeal.

Next I would file all the papers you need to save. I’ll share my ideas and my favorite filing system in a future post. 🙂

Lastly, you may want to look into going “paperless”. Most companies offer and even encourage this billing option. Many banks offer “paperless”  statements and free online bill pay. This option can save you time (filing) and money (postage stamps). I would also suggest “opting out” of getting offers and catalogs. I figure the less paper that comes into your house; the less you have to organize … right?

It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you can find that certain piece of paper when you need at a moments notice.

Let Tracy Helps You get your stacks of paper clutter under control 🙂



photo by: cogdogblog

6 thoughts on “Getting Organized – Paper Clutter

    1. Tracy Post author

      Thanks, Julie
      I think keeping your paperwork organized is one of life’s ongoing jobs, kinda like laundry.
      The key is to stay on top of it.

  1. Cher

    A funny side note is when company comes and you haven’t gone through your pile(s) what do we do? We stash it under the bed until they leave ;). Great article Tracy. Something we all deal with and sometimes gets overwhelming.

    1. Tracy Post author

      So true, Cher … the trick is to not forget it there 🙂
      As a frantic, last minute tactic, I’ve put it in a box in the garage …
      any other “true confessions” stories out there ?

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