How to declutter paper at home with a 4 step system and organization tips.
Do you feel overwhelmed by paper clutter? Then, is time to tackle the piles of papers that have taken over your home, once and for all.
Having paper clutter at home and the workplace can, not only annoy you but also keep you from having a less stressful environment and doing your tasks effectively.
It can also increase the chances of losing important bills and documents in a pile of mess. If you have decided to declutter your stuff then you may be facing a huge paper clutter that seems impossible to clean up and organize.
Fortunately, decluttering and organizing your papers just got easier with the effective tips you are going to find below.
Please note that this post might contain affiliate links. It means that if you buy through my links I will receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you.
- 1 How to Eliminate Paper At Home
- 2 How to Organize The Papers You Are Keeping (5 Organization Solutions)
- 3 Keep It Tidy!
How to Eliminate Paper At Home
If you have several piles of papers lying around your place, you may feel overwhelmed to even get started. As a result, you may tend to procrastinate and waste time thinking about how to declutter your home papers when all you really have to do is to get started.
Simply take a deep breath and focus on one pile at a time. Once you have chosen your first pile, scan the papers one by one. You don’t have to think hard on what to do with them. Simply seeing the contents of each paper in the pile should give you a clear idea of where to put them.
I find that what works best for me is getting rid of all the papers I no longer need or want. I don’t start organizing yet, just decluttering. Once I have all the papers I’m going to keep I start with the organization.
A. Have 4 Containers Ready
It is important to be prepared to dispose of papers you don’t REALLY need. Clear the clutter there and then. If you are dealing with big piles of paper, make smaller piles to avoid getting overwhelmed. And if the task is too big, break it into small chunks of time. Allocate 15 or 20 minutes (or more if you have the time) each day until the task is done.
To help you with this task have 4 boxes ready and label them trash, recycle, destroy/shred, and file. Go through your papers and place every piece of paper in the corresponding box. In case you are not sure what papers to keep or not, read the guidelines below.
- Place papers, that for any reason, can’t be recycled in the trash box.
- Put old magazines, junk, useless or non-important papers that can be recycled into the recycle box.
- Non-important documents that have personal information need to be destroyed first, so these will go into the destroy/shred box.
- Lastly, place the important documents (the ones you need to keep) in the file box.
TIP: Are you holding into some papers for emotional reasons? Maybe papers from your school days or from your kid’s school? Or things like cards, wedding invitations, special notes, etc? If you can’t bear to part with them why not make a scrapbook or place them in a photo album?
B. How to Know What Papers to Keep or Toss
Ultimately you know your papers better than anyone else and it is up to you to decide what to keep or not. It is better to use your judgment than throwing something you might need in the future just because you read it somewhere.
Having said that, there is a general rule of 7 years for tax return documentation but, in some cases, people will need to dig deeper than that. If you are in any doubt consulting a tax expert before disposing of such documents is the way to go.
Keep forever. Records such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, Social Security cards, and military discharge papers should be kept indefinitely. Also, hold on to any defined-benefit plan documents, estate-planning documents, life-insurance policies, and an inventory of what’s inside your bank safe deposit box.Source
For other types of papers such as receipts, bank statements, and other documents click here.
From now on, you need to keep on top of the papers/mail you receive if you want your home to be an uncluttered free zone. Put every paper in its place as soon as you get it: trash, recycle, shredder, or file. It should be that simple! And if you want to prevent catalogs and magazines from cluttering your place just unsubscribe.
How to Organize The Papers You Are Keeping (5 Organization Solutions)
Now that you have finally cleared all the unnecessary papers is time to organize them.
1. Consider Using a Labeled Filing System
A labeled filing system can help you organize your stuff. You can use labels based on aspects of your life such as job, family, business, recreation, etc.
If you prefer to have a filing system that is dedicated to your job or business then, you can use a labeling system that is based on priority.
You can try having files with labels “today”, “this week”, “this month”, and “this year”. Another alternative to using labels is to use color codes.
✅ Great file organizers to keep papers in order.
2. Take Photos of Your Papers
Most of the time, you don’t need to have physical papers. You simply need the information written on them. If this is the case, just take photos of your papers with your phone camera.
You can even use scanning apps such as CamScanner for more ease. This can help keep your desk (and your fridge) clean and clear.
3. Opt For Digital Copies of Your Bills
You can minimize the number of papers you have to keep and go through with digital billing. Instead of physical billing statements, you can ask your service providers to send you digital copies of statements.
This will not only help prevent paper clutters but also help save the environment. Once you have made the transition, you can say goodbye to paper bills that do nothing but clutter your place.
4. Easy Way To Keep Papers Organized Online
If you have already made the transition from using paper to digital documents then you would want them to be easily accessible and organized. Cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox usually does the job.
These services let you store digital copies of your documents online but also organize them by letting you create folders and naming them accordingly. Since the documents are stored online, you can access them anywhere you go.
You won’t have to worry about security because reputable cloud storage services use advanced data encryption that can keep your files and information safe.
5. Compile Papers with Binders
To keep your existing papers from forming clutters on your worktops, consolidate them with binders. They can keep your forms, bills, and other papers sorted.
You can get the most out of using binders by keeping them in an accessible location. Binders also come in different sizes, shapes, and colors so you can choose the ones that suit your organizing needs.
✅ Binders to keep your papers organized:
✅ Related decluttering tips for your home:
- Brilliant organization tips for your pantry (especially those with deep shelves).
- Need help decluttering your home? Check these awesome home decluttering and organization tips.
- Tips and ideas to declutter toys fast
- 12 clever ways to organize baby clothes without a closet.
Keep It Tidy!
Paper clutters in your place can make your disorganize and make doing your daily tasks hard. Hence, disposing of papers should be done on a regular basis. In the long run, preventing clutter can serve you well. With the tips discussed here, you can declutter paper and keep your home organized and tidy all the time.
What’s your best tip to declutter paper?