If you have a paper clutter problem at home, it’s because you don’t have a system in place for dealing with paper the moment it enters your home. Here’s how to deal with paper clutter once and for all.
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The problem with paper
I know we’ve all been there. Piles of paper on the kitchen counter. Unopened mail right by the door. Kids drawings and schedules from kids’ club. Doctor’s visits paperwork. Bills. It can seem overwhelming if it doesn’t have a home!
But you don’t have to drown in paper clutter. You just need to set up systems so that when a piece of paper enters you home, instead of getting piled up on the coffee table, it has a automated flow.
Dealing with your paper clutter will greatly increase your productivity!
Systems you might need
First, you need to identify the type of paper clutter that is causing the problem. What kinds of paper are finding their way into your home?
- school papers
- homeschool papers
- kids papers from church or clubs
- Christmas cards
- medical paperwork
- business-related paper
Each category will need its own system. Don’t overthink the word system! It just refers to an automated workflow that doesn’t take mental energy to figure out each time because you set it once, then put it into action.
So, for example – your bill paper clutter system might simply look like this:
- Paper bill comes in the mail
- Bring it in the house and immediately file it in the bill folder on the desk
- During your designated time for dealing with finances (remember, you’ve scheduled it into your 168 hours on your weekly planner!), grab that file folder and pay all the bills at once.
For receipts, it might look like this: (this is what we do)
- Paper receipt comes in the door with you
- Enter it into YNAB
- File the receipt (if needed for taxes) or throw it away
Now it’s your turn to identify the categories of paper clutter that are causing stress in your home. Then, create a simple system that will take the mental work out of dealing with the paper. Now, follow your system.