Paper clutter can pile up rather quickly, especially if you have kids. For some reason, those tiny humans collect way more paper than I ever could have imagined!!
So how do you stop all that paper from piling up on your counters?? Follow these steps to organize papers, that’s how! But I do have to warn you, organizing paper is probably one of the most boring organizing tasks there is. There just is no sugar-coating it. Which is why it can pile up so quickly.
How To Quickly Organize Paper
All those piles you have sitting on your kitchen counter? Those piles need to be sorted. Like broken down into categories. So give yourself enough space to spread out and start sorting. This is how you start to organize papers like a pro!
Some categories I have found from organizing papers with clients can include:
- tax information
Once all your papers are categorized, it is time to find places to store each individual category. I am not a huge fan of filing cabinets because a lot of things get thrown in there and forgotten. Instead I like using filing boxes, magazine holders, or wall filing systems to keep things organized. My recommendation is to always find storage that takes the least amount of steps to follow-through. For example, those filing boxes have those lids. The lid can be an extra step preventing you from filing your papers quickly. If you just remove the lid, you have eliminated an extra step to keep filing easier for yourself!
Find a way to store your papers that makes sense for you and your space. But, before you start throwing all your papers into bins, let’s discuss how to actually store them.
Each category needs its own space to ensure organized papers. For example, store all health papers in one magazine holder. Or store each individual family members papers in their own hanging file folder. By giving each category its’ own home, you are able to keep things tidy and organized.
But, not every category needs to be stored. Some things, like bills, can be turned into electronic documents. I suggest getting electronic bills. In your email, create folders to store those emails to keep things organized in your email also!
Don’t forget to unsubscribe from magazines or newsletters you no longer read. Only hold onto magazines for the past month. Once the new one comes in the mail, recycle the previous month. Pull out recipes or decor ideas you like so you aren’t saving an entire magazine. Store momentos in bins for each family member.
Once all the categories have designated homes, it is time to create a system for any upcoming paperwork that is making its way into your home. This will help you to continue to organize papers quickly.
Store all kids artwork in one designated location. Turn that artwork into books. My favorite is Chatbooks. To take good pictures of the artwork, grab a white poster board and lay it on the floor near lots of windows. Lay the artwork on top of the poster board. Stand over the artwork and take a picture. Make sure there are no shadows when taking the picture to ensure the best quality picture!
Open your mail near the recycling can in the area where you have your paper storage. Make sure you deal with paper every night so it doesn’t pile up.
Not sure what to do with paper?? Ask yourself if it fits into one of your designated categories. If not, is it a momento? A recipe? Important document? No to all of those…then ask yourself why are you keeping it??
Finally it is time to maintain your new paper clutter system. Each week make sure you:
- go through paper piles and sort into categories
- store necessary papers in storage location
- recycle unwanted mail
- take pictures of kids’ artwork
- add important dates to calendar from school handouts
- deal with bills immediately
So grab that pile of papers you have piled on your kitchen counter. Sort it into categories. Find a storage option that works for you. Make sure you find the quickest filing system for yourself. Create systems to help keep paper clutter to a minimum. Do weekly maintenance to insure organized papers!
Want more paper clutter inspiration?? Check out these posts!!