Paper clutter can be overwhelming. Often, everything important gets lost among useless documents. You get intimidated and think things need to be perfect – so you do nothing.
Those stacks of documents are nagging at you and causing unnecessary stress. Tackle your paper today and give yourself peace of mind.
There are five big mistakes you are probably making:
1. In an emergency, you panic, because important documents aren’t together
Solution: A household management binder
Keep the information you access most close at hand. A household management binder is a stress-free way to make sure you have the info needed in an emergency. It’s also a great way to keep housesitters and babysitters prepared for any situation.
Some things to include:
- Info on your children’s school and activities
- Pet routines
- Insurance information
- Medical histories
- Contact information for neighbours, handymen, babysitters, and family members
- Takeout menus
Don’t want to set this up yourself? Get the Household Management Binder printables
2. Getting rid of paper clutter scares you, so you keep everything too long
Solution: Long-term & short-term file storage
Have distinct bins for long-term and short-term papers. Keeping things separate removes the fear that you will get rid of something you need. One day a year, go through and toss unneeded short-term items and file the long-term items away.
3. Your receipts are everywhere, and you can never find them
Solution: A simple spot for receipts
This doesn’t need to be perfect, but shoving them in your purse doesn’t count. Simple is better. A kleenex box tucked in your car or entryway is all you need. Shove receipts inside and by the time the box gets full, the receipts are probably ready for the trash.
4. Your sentimental items are at risk of getting lost or ruined
Solution: A dedicated system so you know your precious items will be safe
Kids’ artwork, class photos, and handmade cards can get mixed in with other items. A temporary bin for these memories can help. Once a year, go through the box and place the items in their long-term homes.
5. You have so many piles of paper, you no longer see them
Solution: Go vertical
Vertical is visual, but horizontal is hidden. Piling isn’t filing, so stop doing it! Our brains tend to tune piles out over time. Before you know it, they are everywhere. Command centres and wall files are a great way to keep important papers close at hand.
If you haven’t already, go paperless. Sign up to receive statements electronically. Use email receipts when you can and stash them in a folder in your inbox.
Use a reference bin, or as Dawn from a Minimal Mom calls it, a “Time Will Tell Box.” Stash catalogues, articles you want to read, coupons you may use, and other items that don’t fit elsewhere. When the box gets full, recycle anything left inside.
Need more inspiration? Rewatch some previous paper clutter videos:
Paper Clutter: 5 Systems to Eliminate the Piles for Good
How to Organize Paper with a Binder System
Organize and Declutter Paper with Me