31 Days of Pinterest Projects - Day 22 - Paper Clutter Tips

Today I'm going to share three main tips that I have for reducing paper clutter around the home.

First, I'm a pile-r. And I like to keep everything out in clear view so I don't forget about it. But then all our flat surfaces end up littered with paperwork. And I hate that.

{imagine a photo of a countertop covered with papers}

And then I read and discussed this book by Marcia Ramsland last year with some other ladies from Oak Grove Mennonite Church {my husband's home church}.

Let me just say that this book is crammed full of great organizational tips and secrets, written by a professional organizer. I learned all kinds of stuff! {Like why hanging file folders have a crease about 1/3 of the way down....who knew?}

Anyways...one of the main take-aways I got from reading this book was to keep a file box out on your kitchen counter or main household work area to contain all of your piles and to keep important paperwork in one spot.

Marcia recommends using 5 folders for sorting your mail right when it comes in the door: 1. Calendar, 2. Holding, 3. To Do, 4. To Decide and 5. My Interests. The key is to only touch each piece of mail one time. I think what Marcia recommends is great, but I don't really have issues with not opening mail.

So I chose to adapt this system slightly for all my paperwork. I have the following folders:
1. Personal - To File
2. Personal - Action
3. Business - To File
4. Business - Action
5. Events {this is where I keep wedding invitations until the day of the wedding, that kind of thing}
6. Coupons/Menus
7. Emily {this is where I'm keeping some formula coupons for my nephew}

Since I've implemented this system, I have noticed the following:
1. our counters are cleaner
2. I'm more up-to-date on the filing {since I MUST file when the "To File" folders get too bulky}
3. I no longer have that "freak out" moment the day of a wedding or other important event when I can't remember where the directions are. {and that "freak out" moment was definitely customary in our household before this}

Second, I like to keep all of our supplies for paying bills in one spot - in a colorful accordion file from Target a while back. It is nice to have one designated spot for our bills so they don't get lost in the shuffle and aren't sitting out. As they arrive in the mail, I walk directly in the house and promptly slide them into the accordion file.

I have compartments inside for:
1. bills
2. stamps and return address labels
3. envelopes
4. a blank calendar for each month with the companies and amounts due marked on their due dates - as we pay the bills we check them off on the calendars

Everything we need to sit down and pay the bills is right inside.

Third, I like to keep important receipts in a small coupon organizer - another colorful find from Target.

I divide them inside by store: I have one for Kroger, one for Walmart, one for Target, one for Lowe's and the back section is for purchases from a variety of stores that we rarely shop at.

I clean the receipt organizer out about once a year.

How do you organize your paperwork? What is one thing you can work on this week to eliminate some paper clutter in your home?


Lindsey and T.D. said...

Ok I so need this. My house is full of paper everywhere!

Lindsey and T.D. said...

Ok I so need this. My house is full of paper everywhere!

Jenny Kropf said...

I just got this book last month and have a filing system on my counter also-I love it!

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