Got paper clutter? Yea. Me too. Only I have come up to an easy system to organize paper clutter and keep it under control. Ready to tackle your paper clutter?
I received “The Home Decluttering Diet” free for review. You can see my full disclosure policy here.
Jenn, from the blog Clean & Scentsible, came out with a book called The Home Decluttering Diet. I was lucky to receive my copy, and I cannot tell you how excited I am to start my Home Decluttering Diet. Just as many weight-loss diets begin with a 30 day detox, so does this “decluttering diet”. Each day, for 30 days, you tackle one area of your home for 15 minutes. After the 30 day detox, the book takes you through each room of your home so you can really hone in on decluttering every space.
Guess what we’re decluttering on Day 1? Yep. Paperwork… Now, I’m not saying that I never have piles of paper sitting on my counters. I do. But I also have a system to keep those piles from completely taking over my house.
My System to Organize Paper Clutter
Enter (what I like to call) the inbox.
This tray houses all the piles of papers until I have a chance to deal with them; which I try to do once a week. Instead of mail, school flyers, magazines, and coupons scattered about, they all get put in one spot; keeping my surfaces “paper-pile free”.
You want to make sure your inbox is durable. I started out with a fabric-covered cardboard bin, and it quickly tore due to all the use. Here are some ideas for your inbox.
Sort Paperwork Into Categories
When I have a chance to sort through my “inbox”, I place the my paperwork into 4 separate categories:
Pretty self-explanatory, right? Flyers from companies you’re not interested in, junk mail, kids’ math tests (unless it’s a winner and deserves a spot on the fridge 🙂 )
Things to Deal with Now
… or within the next 48 hours. If my children come home with a permission slip for a school field trip, I probably need to sign it and return it to school rather quickly, so I file this in my “To Do Now” folder. Other items for this folder might include bills, coupons, etc.
Things to Deal With Soon
…within the next week or two. If my child comes home with a flyer to join the baseball team, but sign-ups don’t start for another couple weeks, I put that flyer in my “Soon” folder. While there’s no hurry to address these items, there is a deadline. Make sure to check this folder regularly so items aren’t missed.
Things to Deal With When There’s Time
I get magazines and catalogs that I really want to look through, but I don’t always have the time. These get put into my “When There’s Time” folder. There is no rush on the items in this folder. They could sit around for a year, and I wouldn’t be missing a deadline. It’s sort of an “at your leisure folder”.
To keep these folders all together, I purchased a hanging wall file to house my three categories. I found mine at Homegoods, but here are a few options for you. Just click on the image for details.
The trick is to keep up with the system.
- At least once a week, go through your inbox.
- File paperwork according to urgency.
- Remember to look through your “Now” and “Soon” folders regularly so you don’t forget to deal with the paperwork that’s in there. Things in your “Soon” folder quickly become items you need to deal with “Now”. If it’s helpful, keep your “Now” folder in a more obvious spot (perhaps next to your computer), so you remember to deal with those items over the next couple days.
Ready to declutter your house? You can find The Home Decluttering Diet on Amazon.
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