Battling the Paper Pileup


Bills. Coupons. Notes. Cards. Flyers. Junk. It all piles up quickly, and you add to it daily. That endless pile of paper cluttering up your counter space. It’s time to do something about it! Here are some tips to keep the paper mountain to a minimum—but remember, consistency is key with any organization tactic. Pick what works for you and stick to it daily.

Sign up for online bill pay and email statements. You’d be surprised how much clutter you’ll eliminate with this. You’ll be nicer to the environment, too.

Create one large communal calendar for the family on a wall in your home. Log doctor appointments, birthdays, homework due dates, sports events, and business trips on the calendar. Once you’ve logged it – toss the corresponding piece of paper. Here’s a chalkboard calendar design you can try:

If you really have a lot of mail and paperwork to keep track of, consider investing in a filing cabinet. Create two folders for each month or each quarter labeled: TO DO and PAID. Toss the TO DO items once they’re moved to PAID and do this each month or quarter. It would also be a great place to file receipts, bank statements, taxes, insurance paperwork, etc. If you’re keeping important documents in your filing cabinet, label a folder PERSONAL, and make sure you have a lock on the cabinet to keep these items safe.

If a filing cabinet isn’t your style, make paper organization a design tactic in your office. Use magazine holders or decorative boxes to store paperwork and turn available shelf space into functional organization.

Magazines, newspapers and catalogs can really take up a lot of space. Once you receive one, go through it and pull out the things you’ll actually try (recipes, crafts, workouts, etc.) and file them away in labeled binders. Recycle what’s left!

Coupons are like magazines; they pile up and gather dust. Pick up a wallet sized coupon organizer and keep it in your car. Have sections for your favorite retailers and when you get new coupons, filter them in and rotate the expired ones out.

If filing massive amounts of paperwork makes you want to cringe, try tackling the job when you’re watching TV or a movie. It’s easy to get mindless tasks done when you’re not swamped with other important things to do. Do you have other tips to share? Drop them in the comments!