Friday, January 20, 2012


Pin It Thanks for joining us again as we conclude with part 3 in a 3 part series on organization. See last week's post here.

The action that can make the biggest impact in the organization of your home is to reduce your paper clutter.

Mail. There is no reason to receive credit card statements, bank statements, or bills in the mail anymore. Fix this. Set up online banking and bill pay. Sign up to be removed from junk mail lists. Keep a recycling bin handy and sort your mail out immediately—time yourself, but it can’t take more than 2 minutes to get rid of all the junk. Recycle, throw away or shred every envelop as soon as you open it an remove the desirable contents.

Other incoming paper. Stop coming home from events with paper. Decide before you leave if you really need this piece of paper. If you don’t read your newspaper, admit it to yourself and stop getting it. If you do not log every purchase you make, stop saving receipts for anything but major purchases and items you might return, or at least throw them away as soon as you’ve checked them against your online (that’s right, online) statement.

Kids. Let’s be honest; most of your paper clutter is coming from your kids. Take a digital picture of every art project (or let Johnny do it himself—good opportunity to teach some basic camera skills) and then either mail the project to Grandma or store it in a folder or bin. If you or your kid don’t pull it out again during the school year, toss it. You still have all the digital pictures you can make into a book on a photo site. As far as all those sheets coming home from school and all the other activities, you need to do the same thing as with the mail. Take a look and figure out if you need this sheet of paper, or if the information can quickly be transferred to your calendar. If you need to save it, deposit the paper into whatever strategy you’ve decided works best for you; usually a folder or binder. Now comes the hard part; no matter how organized all those papers are, they will never stay that way unless you suck it up and every so often and go through and get rid of them. (I do advocate recycling the majority of your paper and any other items you decide to purge if the items are recyclable. Try IKEA for odd items you may think can't be recycled.)

You want to be organized; it's a natural desire. Organization just comes a bit more naturally to some than others. You may be a person who has to work a little harder, but organizational behaviors can be learned. The most important concepts I have tried to apply to my own life are mostly contained in this post. Ask me for any more help you may need.


  1. This is great! There are a few payments that we have to make that doesn't allow for paperless for some!!! And I am making that photobook of my kids' crafts this year. I have a folder on the desktop to store the photos for a quick upload.

    - Joyce

  2. Good ideas! Oh, to be naturally organized! You and Mrs. Lea (CiCi's Corner) need to get together, then come to my house! :)

  3. I agree - paper is the biggest problem in our house. I try to throw out the junk mail as soon as it arrives, but somehow it still seems like there is a steady stream of papers to wade through every week. Great organizational post!!!


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