Clutter Conquest Two: Paper, paper everywhere

September 8, 2008

It crawls in our mailboxes, out of our children’s backbacks, and colonizes on our kitchen counter.

It’s Paper.

  • Cutting off the supply Line

To reduce Paper Clutter, one means is to cut of the ways in which you receive paper. Begin by cutting off unnecessary catalog deliveries. Usually, a quick call or email to the catalog companies will cut off all deliveries as soon as two months. If credit card offers are the majority of your incoming paper, there are a few options:

Junk Mail is not the only incoming paper into our housome, and it is very unlikely that it is for your household as well. Other incoming sources of paper many include children’s school work, church flyers, coupons, etc. One method to cut out paper into your home is to place a small box (cardboard boxes are cheap and environmentally friendly) and sort through all paper that comes into your home daily or weekly. Typically, my two sons will bring home 10-15 sheets of paper each from school a week. Each Friday, I try to make it a point to go through their weekly paper pile. I keep a select few for mementos and scrapbook items, mail some to grandparents, and use the others as scratch paper.

Eliminate Unnessary Paper Waste

Not to sound a little Environmentally biased, I do think that one way to conquer paper is to cut out unnessary paper waste. I “repurpose” as much paper as possible into my scrapbooking, into making mini notepads, or as collage materials for my local church. Other ways to cut unnessary paper waste include recycling, and using non-paper methods (electronic).

Divide and Conquer what you have

Having reduced the amount of paper that comes into our homes and eliminated unnessary paper waste, the next portion of the Paper Conuest is to Divide and Conquer. Begin by getting a large cardboard box, storage tub, or milk crates and piling all your paper clutter into them. Grab some smaller boxes or even bags. Begin by quick sorting through all of the paper items. This first quick sort is to toss out anything that you are certain beyond all reason is trash. Don’t daly on this one – just sort through it quickly. Secondly, Repile all the paper back into the box/boxes. This is where true organization comes into play. Go through your paper mountain again, this time carefully evaulating each and every item. Ask yourself the following:
        1. Do I HAVE to keep this for Legal/Financial Purposes?
        2. Do I WANT to keep this for personal reasons?

If you answered yes to one of these questions, you place the paper items into a seperate box. Be your own critic here over the necessity of the paper items. When this sorting (The Dividing) is through, it is time to Conquer!

Conquer what you have decided to keep by immediatly taking the time to put it in a designated place (and no ,shoved up underneath your bed is not a good place). File it, place it into binder, mail them to family members – deal with (Conquer) your paper pile. If you do not have the needed tools to deal with it, make a POSTED date by which you will do it and place reminders to yourself everywhere to the point of annoyance.

Things to keep in mind

Try to reduce the amount of paper that comes into your house. Make efforts to recyle and/or reduce paper waste. Sort and Find a Home for the paper that comes into your house. By setting down basic guidlines, you will be able to prevent your home from becoming a permanent rest stop for paper.


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