How can I Manage Paper Clutter?

Lauren Romano

Paper clutter can take over your home, and before you know it, it has more space in the house than you do. In the battle against the clutter, it is all about managing it before it can accumulate in the first place. Before you panic, there are ways that you can manage the paper clutter and keep it organized for good.

Recycling junk mail, such as sales flyers, can help manage paper clutter,.
Recycling junk mail, such as sales flyers, can help manage paper clutter,.

The first step to managing paper clutter is to go through every paper that you currently have in your home. Throw out, shred, or recycle the papers that you do not need, and for the papers that you need to keep, categorize them into individual folders. For example, put tax papers in one folder and your utility bills in another. Using a few expandable file jackets will work well, especially if you have limited space.

Throwing out expired coupons can help manage paper clutter.
Throwing out expired coupons can help manage paper clutter.

One way to stop paper clutter is to prevent it from coming to the house in the first place. There are many sites where, for free or for a fee, you can get your name taken off of lists that send you junk mail. Considering how many sites there are to choose from, it is a matter of which one you think works best for you. In addition, you can cancel your catalogs yourself and stop paper bills from coming to your home. All it takes is a visit to the company’s website to opt out of getting paper mail so you can receive electronic mail only.

When you pick up your mail, immediately put the junk mail into recycling. The rest of your mail pile will look less intimidating to sort through. Next, go through the rest of your mail instead of putting it on the counter to accumulate for a few days. Not only will it help to keep the paper clutter controlled, but you will easily know where all of your necessary papers are without having to search for them.

A way that you can keep your newly organized papers from turning into clutter is to go through them once every two months. Throw out any receipts that you no longer need, any coupons that are expired or any other papers that you know you can discard. If you go through them frequently, it will save you from being overwhelmed and prevent the clutter from getting out of hand again.

When you buy or sign your name to anything that requires that you put down your address, be aware of what you are agreeing to. In some cases, you are allowing that company to send mail to your home other than the item or information that you initially requested. Carefully read over what you are signing so you can avoid having unwanted mail show up on your doorstep.

Managing your paper clutter is not only better for keeping your home organized, it is a great way to contribute to saving the environment. Taking simple steps can prevent paper waste from accumulating and can keep you from getting overwhelmed. The sooner you start getting the paper waste under control, the less amount of time it will have to accumulate and be a nuisance.

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Discussion Comments


Absurdly simple. Just go through every one of the thousands and thousands of papers my elderly parents have saved! Wonderful idea. They'll be long dead before I get through half of it, and it sure will be an enjoyable way to spend my middle years, but if that's what it takes...

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