It’s been a while, but I’m back with another Messy to Minimal episode this week! We’ve gone through the living room, the bathroom & the kitchen so far & today we will be tackling the horror that is paper clutter. This was a topic that as requested to me on Twitter & I don’t blame you! Paperwork can become a chaotic mess if you let it & organizing it all becomes a tedious job nobody wants. I’ll be sharing with you ways I keep the paper clutter to a minimum & stay organized.
The Shredder Is Your Best Friend
I strongly recommend everyone invest in a high quality shredder at some point. This device is a god send when it comes to junk mail & paper documents with private information. You don’t just want to be discarding these papers all willy nilly. Identity theft is a real thing & you want to be smart when decluttering such paperwork. I usually keep a shred bin in my office & once that’s filled to the brim, I’ll spend a few minutes shredding those items. Some examples include junk mail with our address on it, old bank statements that are already recorded, any paperwork that is years old & is no longer needed.
Digitize What You Can
If anything seems important, you can always digitize it on a hard drive or computer. Just be sure you keep your digital footprint organized as well. Although digital clutter is more masked than physical clutter, it can still use up space & memory on your devices. If you want to learn more about digital decluttering, click this post or this post as a reference. A few things I keep digitized are photos, old college papers I use as reference for my resume, to-do lists & bank statements.
Store Paperwork in File Folders
I’m still a bit old school when it comes to paperwork too. So, I actually keep hardcopies of a lot of important documents as well. I have the mindset of having both digital & hardcopy is good because you just never know. To keep things in one place & organized, I store these items in zip up file folders. I tend to label each section accordingly & write the year on the front with sharpie. I tend to go through these folders regularly & if I come across something outdated or unneeded, I just shred it.
Stay On Top of It
What I mean by this is, go through & organize your paperwork & paper clutter on a regular basis. Set aside time to go through that junk mail & coupons & determine what’s important or what’s not. I think paper clutter can become overwhelming when you haven’t gone through it in a while. I just picture a desk with piles & piles of papers & believe me, I know that overwhelming feeling that sight can bring. So, stay on top of everything & go through a little at a time routinely.
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I can’t tell you how much junk mail both digitally & snail mail I receive. Not only is it a waste of paper but it makes getting the mail seem far more daunting than it needs to be. Place all your bills on autopay & unsubscribe from unwanted emails & catalogs. We’ve even had times where we get mail from the previous owners of our house. It’s a bit out of the way, but all you have to do is go to your local post office & inform them the person is no longer at said address.
Hopefully these tips & reminders help you keep your paper clutter downsized & tidy. Let me know in the comments ways you reduce paper clutter in your homes.