How to End Paper Clutter Without Getting Overwhelmed

How to end paper clutter without getting overwhelmed with pastel colored pencils on white background

Raise your hand right now if there’s a pile or two (or 5!) of papers on your kitchen counter.  

I’ll fess up that my hand is in the air, waving around with no shame about my one paper pile.  

Why?  Because paper is present in 100% of homes.  

We all have it and we all have too much of it!

From take out menus to kid paperwork to junk mail, there’s a ton of paper floating around our homes!  

And I’ll even go as far to as that it’s pretty much the number one reason why people call me to help them.  

They feel as if they’re buried under a mountain of paperwork and they don’t know what to do.

Extreme, Almost Tv-Worthy Paper Cluttering Situation

Once client I worked with had simply run out of room in her home due to the amount of paper she had.  It wasn’t just paperwork either.  

It was magazines, catalogs, newsletters, receipts, class schedules, and any other kind of paper you could think of too.

In fact every surface was covered with papers.  

Every. Single. Surface.  

The dining room table was covered in a sea of paper piles, the stacks spilling into each other to form one impenetrable mountain.  

Each dining room chair had a tall stack of paperwork on it.  Same with the china buffet.  

The corners of the room had stacks of paper, magazines and catalogs towering in them.

Literally every room in her house was a similar story.  

Every flat surface, just covered.  

To sit meant moving a stack of papers out of the way.

She was at a loss at how to begin and was feeling completely trapped by all of the paper!  

She knew she didn’t need or even want it all, but she didn’t even know what to do first.

You’re Not Alone

Now this is probably the most extreme case of paper cluttering I’ve ever encountered, but this situation is very common!

I can’t tell you how many times folks admit to me that they are pretty organized, buuuuut they just don’t know what to do with paper clutter.  

Newp, they have no idea.  

They’re overwhelmed by all of it.  

Or afraid of tossing something they’ll need later.

Why is Paper so Overwhelming?

Paper clutter is relentless!  

New paper arrives pretty much everyday: in the mail, from work, and from your kids and family members.  

No wonder it’s such an issue!

What’s more, many people have simply given up on trying to figure out what to do with it all in their homes.  

Papers accumulate quickly- first in piles on counter tops, then those piles get shoved into drawers, cabinets, closets and maybe even boxes.

But piling is not a solution at all!  

It’s time to get those papers out of the piles into a filing system.

Wait a minute, Christina, filing systems are so boring!  And I’m not even sure what to put in a filing “system.”  Help!

How to De-Clutter Paper in Your Home

Well, you’re in the right place!  I’m gonna to tell it to you straight.  

After all, that’s why you’re still reading, right?

My goal with every client I work with is for them to love living in their home and for their home to meet their needs as close to 100% as possible.

I don’t want them changing how they live because of clutter.  

Instead, I want them to have friends over and not be embarrassed by their stacks of paper clutter.  

I want them to spend more time with their kids instead of frantically searching for the piece of paper they swore was “right in this pile, somewhere.”  

I want all of this for them because I know what it feels like to be free of clutter and all the emotions that come with it!

This is what I did to help my client finally get free of the paper that was holding her hostage in her own home…

3 Steps to Ending Paper Clutter

Step 1: Stop the influx

That’s right.  

You gotta stop bringing in so much paper to deal with in the first place.  

Otherwise, you’ll never be able to get off of the hamster wheel of dealing with tons of paper and mail day after day.

This is where a lot of people go wrong and they skip this step.  

Don’t make the same mistake and continue to let unneeded papers get past the threshold into your home.

This’ll be the quickest step of all, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this’ll be an easy task.

Now that you have less paper coming into your home, it’s time to shift your focus to the piles…

Step 2: Go through the back log

Get rid of anything you don’t need, is outdated or available online (yoga schedules, take out menus, etc.).

This is also another place that people get tripped up.  

But that’s because they’re trying to tackle the paperwork without any guidance on how to make decisions about what to keep.

This step will take the most amount of time.  

It’s going to be tedious.  

Keep at it, but even once you’re through this step, you’re still not done!

Step 3: Categorize and File

Put the remaining papers into semi-broad categories like Utilities, Car, Education, etc.

Then place the categories into labeled file folders, and finally into your filing cabinet or filing box.

Once you’ve completed these three steps, then you’re well on your way to having less paper clutter!  

And that’s something wonderful to celebrate!

I truly hope that breaking down the process into 3 easy steps gives you a good general guide to follow.  

However, if you’re like most people, you’re going to need a detailed roadmap.  And I’ve got just the thing for you!

The Ultimate Solution

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Inside Conquer Your Paper Clutter, I do a deep dive into this 3 step process outlined above and break it down into six smaller, more bite sized lessons.  

Breaking it down this way makes it an easy process to manage and it’s like having a Professional Organizer working right with you!

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There are over 60 pages of detailed guidance with checklists to help you along every step of the way and keep you on track to see this project through!

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I know that organizing papers is difficult and a task that nobody wants to do, so that’s why I created this guide to make it easy peasy!

But I also know that you can do this!  Isn’t it time for you to finally be free of the paper piles and get control of your life?  

Together now, yes!


One Comment

  1. I think a lot of people struggle with the amount of paper that accumulates in their homes. I went paperless billing a few years ago and I have never looked back

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