Avoiding the Paper Pile-Up

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Do you suffer from a paper pile up in your home? Junk mail, old magazines, newspaper clippings, circulars, etc.

Stay tuned for some strategies to rid your home of the paper clutter.

Step One

Discard! Discard! Discard!

Junk mail and catalogs are like door-to-door salespeople. Occasionally, you’re interested in what they are selling, but more often than not, you are annoyed at the intrusion. The difference is that you can be as rude as you like to junk mail and catalogs, but it just keeps coming. If you have piles of unopened mail offers, solicitations and catalogs, dump them. Don’t even give it a second thought, because you know you’ll always get more.

However, for those magazines and catalogs you insist on keeping, buy a beautiful basket or bin to keep next to your bed side or sofa. Just make sure to throw out old issues as new ones arrive.

Step Two

Designate a box, bin or basket for the balance of the incoming mail. Corral the mail in one spot until you’re ready to deal with it.

Step Three

Read it and route it.

Set up individual baskets or bins for each member of your family. Short on counter space? Plastic wall pockets provide wonderful “off-the counter” storage.

Step Four

Set up a central command station with a large calendar and bulletin board. A large paper calendar with multiple pages is preferable. This will allow you to make notes on future months and record birthdays in advance.

Magnetic bulletin boards are great. Throw out old invitations and paperwork after noting them on the calendar, but If it’s something you want to hang on to, stick it on bulletin board.

Step Five

Create a simple system for storing bills, such as a folder or envelope labeled “bills to be paid”. When you receive bills, save only the bill and payment envelope. Throw away the outer envelope and advertising inserts to avoid build-up of paper clutter.

Step Six

Set up a filing system for your important documents. Insurance papers, warranties, titles, tax information, etc. should be stored here.

As you file something, flip through the folder to see if something else can be thrown out. Once a year, purge old folders and papers from your filing cabinet.

Beware of the paper clutter you create. Keep your home clutter-free by making a conscious decision to surround yourself with only the things you love and use.