Clear the Paper Clutter Pt. 2

A Hygge-lism How To

You have attacked your paper clutter collection, it’s organized, accessible, safe and under control.  Yet everyday, more paper seems to find its way to your kitchen counters, table tops and every other open surface available.

Photo by Mike on

You got it under control, now let’s keep it under control with a few tips and tricks.

One of the biggest culprits of paper clutter is junk mail, and just the daily mail in general.  You get home from work, you grab the stack of mail on your way in and you toss it onto a counter to be dealt with later.  This is where you will need to make your first adjustment.  

Begin with a simple Act Now Mindset.

Open your mail next to your paper shredder – Have an area designated for incoming mail, in that area should be your paper shredder and a basket for items that require a response or action from you.  As you open your mail, immediately shred the junk and the empty envelopes. Items such as bills, RSVP requests and return service requested goes into the basket, to be taken care of that evening or that coming weekend.

School Artwork, Awards, Test Results – As children grow, these items tend to change.  In the early years though, nary a day will go by that they won’t come home with a piece or two of artwork.  If you display the artwork, limit it to just a few pieces at a time, then as a new one arrives take an old one down, snap a picture of it and then send it packing.  The same method can be applied for test results and awards. Report cards on the other hand should be scanned and saved prior to disposal.

Replacement Papers – These are items that get renewed periodically.  When new insurance policy or registration cards show up, or you get your license renewed immediately discard the old one.  This will actually become something that you look forward to; smile while you shred that old insurance policy or card and enjoy the sound of the old driver’s licenses and credit cards as they get crunched into tiny little squares.

Once you get a handle on the incoming paper clutter and you get used to the act now response to it.  Then it is time to focus on cutting back on it so that you don’t need to apply so much time to dealing with it.

Photo by Markus Spiske on

Embrace Paperless – I can’t name a business that doesn’t offer paperless statements or paperless bill paying off the top of my head, and even if I could, I guarantee it would only be one or two at the most.  Embrace paperless opportunities, scepticism about the internet security surrounding your water bill should be the least of your worries. All of your billing information is being stored on the internet at that company regardless of whether or not you receive a bill through email or snail mail.

Re-evaluate Subscriptions – It’s time to get honest with yourself.  Take a look at all of your magazine subscriptions and evaluate their importance.  If you love it, read it and can’t get it digitally on your tablet, then keep it. If otherwise, save yourself some money by canceling it, save yourself some time by not having to deal with it and save yourself some peace of mind by not having it add to your paper clutter.

Sweep, Sort and Purge – Make a regular habit of doing a quick sweep of your home to collect papers that have slipped through the cracks.  Occasionally sort through the paperwork that you do have filed away, to ensure it is still relevant. Then purge anything and everything that is no longer necessary…ah the glorious sound of a hungry shredder. 

Instill these quick and easy methods and enjoy a paper clutter free environment.  Kick your feet up onto a paperless coffee table, enjoy a quick snack on a paperless kitchen counter and place your coffee down next to your laptop on your paper free desk, on a coaster of course.

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