Paper clutter! One of the worst enemies of a productive and otherwise clutter-free household. It drives me crazy how quickly the mail piles up in our house! I have started making a point to address the mail each day, instead of waiting until it’s out of control.
Now, as soon as the mail comes in, I toss the trash, set aside the bills, and sort the magazines until I have a chance to read them.
I like to keep magazines by my bed so I can read before going to sleep. Also, I can never read a magazine while James is awake. (The basket is from West Elm).
As for the rest of the paper clutter in our home, it’s nothing a few file organizers and my trusty labeler can’t handle!
My principles for organizing the paper clutter are really simple. It’s just hard to get going sometimes, especially if its gotten really out of hand.
Don’t run out and buy any new organizing supplies until you’ve sorted through things so that you can better see what you need. You can go buy the pretty organizers later- think of it as your reward for all that hard work!
- Gather all the papers into one large surface area
- Sort into piles, putting like categories together
- Break the categories into subcategories for filing
- Create labels!
Here’s my process put into action with a few major categories in our house:
Here’s the whole big mess before I sorted through it.
Then I sorted and put post-it notes on top in anticipation for labeling.
And finally, using a file from The Container Store, I made labels for each section.
Is it just me but are coupons all the rage these days? I’m obsessed with Extreme Couponing- in the same way I’m fascinated by the Real Housewives. I don’t want to be them, but it’s fun to watch. I do like to save money though, but have been terrible at using coupons, despite my best efforts. It seems I’d checkout and the in the car on the way home remember I had a coupon or the one I wanted to use was expired, but now I’m determined to be more organized with my coupons.
This goes for all those discount codes the retailers offer too. Since those “30% off” or “save $50 for every $100” deals comes along every month, I don’t buy clothes without them at places like Express, Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor Loft.
I got a mini accordion file at The Container Store for receipts, coupons, and gift certificates. I keep the coupons I need for the week in the very back so I can find them easily. And I edit the folder every few weeks and trash the expired coupons or the receipts I no longer need. Long-term receipts I need to hold on to (like furniture or electronics) are moved to our household file drawer.
The file isn’t tiny, but it fits easily in my purse, so I keep it with me all the time.
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I created a file for documents pertaining to James before he was even born, but the papers still pile up as he grows. If I’m not ready to file things away yet, I’ll at least put everything in a basket together so that it’s contained until I can get to it.
Then I just sort it into his files, which I currently keep on his bathroom counter.
This file is from Target, but I added a piece of scrapbook paper to the inside and some stickers to make it more fun.
I hope sharing how we deal with some of the paper in our house helps you in your own home!