Is paper starting to consume your life?  So many of my organizing clients say the number one challenge they face when it comes to maintaining an organized home is paper clutter.  What do you save and what do you recycle?  How can you reduce the amount of clutter that can consume your home?

I have some easy steps you can take to tame that clutter in 2017!  Start small when it comes to changing up your routines, as it wont’ seem so overwhelming!  And, if you need a little extra motivation, grab a copy of The Ultimate DIY Home Organizing Workbook.  I break down the entire process for how you should organize everything in your home (including paper), and give a step-by-step process to get your entire home organized!

Go Electronic

Changing your bills to electronic will reduce paper clutter!  Set up a file in your email for all your bills.  I would go as far as breaking them down into each separate bill.  Then, pay your bill once you get the email notification.  Move the bill into the folder once you have paid it.

Instead of getting paper magazines, access them on your tablet!  You can easily file your favorite recipes or inspiration and save them to your device.

Accessible Files

Paper can become a huge way to clutter up your desk space.  I always recommend that you find a way to organize your paper in a way that works for you.  I can handle using a filing cabinet, as I color-code all of my files.

If filing cabinets aren’t your thing, or you don’t have the space to store them, I love using magazine holders as an alternative for filing cabinets.  There are many ways to organize this, but the most useful, is to give each magazine holder a category.  Within that category, use file folders for subcategories.  For example, you could create a magazine holder for medical expenses.  Within that magazine holder, you can have each family member with their own folder.  All of their personal medical bills can go into their medical folder in the medical magazine holder.

Recycle Immediately

As soon as the mail comes, open it near a recycling bin.  In the summer, I open it right outside and throw away all the envelopes immediately!  I won’t even bring that into the house.  Boom…No excess paper clutter because I recycled it immediately!

This will help reduce the paper clutter that piles up on your counters or desks, as it accumulates quickly.  So keep a recycling bin near the place you open your mail.

If you have papers that have your info on it, then shred the paper immediately.  Or, give the paper and some scissors to your kids and let them go nuts!  Ask them to cut the paper into the smallest pieces they can.

Keepsake Bins

So what do you do when your child draws an adorable picture or creates a precious momento?  Create a keepsake bin to store those special items.  I only keep special items in the bin.  I get the kids involved so they can learn how to pick their favorites.

I also use an app called Keepy.  You just take a picture and it saves to the app!  Then I don’t have to keep excess papers!

I also keep my kids birthday cards.  I put them on a clip ring and keep them in the keepsake bin.  I know exactly where they go so they don’t create a huge mess by leaving them out!

Coupon Organizer

If you love using coupons, then you probably have a ton just sitting on your counter.  Even though you use them, you need to find a way to keep them organized.  I really dislike the coupon organizer accordion books as things get lost.  I actually like using large envelopes stored in a shoe box.  I just grab the envelope before I go to the store and look for coupons once I am at the store.

Create System For Saving Papers

Love finding recipes in your favorite magazines? Get inspired by a paint color you see in a catalog?  Well, instead of keeping the entire magazine, tear the page out and recycle the rest!  Once you have read a magazine, there is no need to hold onto it, so tear out the pages you want to save.  This is drastically reduce the amount of paper clutter stacks you have lying around your home.

When you find a recipe you love, put it in a recipe binder similar to this one!  Then you will be able to keep your recipes organized AND reduce excess clutter!

Kids Papers

Who doesn’t have a ton of artwork/homework/papers from the kids??  It can be so challenging to keep things organized and not let them clutter up the car or your home!

I recommend creating an artwork wall near the garage or main entrance the kids come into the house.  This way, when they empty their backpacks or you empty the car, you can hang artwork up immediately.  Keep a recycling bin near this area as well, so you can recycle the unnecessary items.  Also keep a family calendar in this area.  Write down important dates, then recycle the paper that note came home on!

Now it is your turn to get your paper clutter organized!  Start by going electronic.  Create accessible files and recycle papers immediately.  Create keepsake bins and store your kiddos’ artwork near where they enter the home.  Create systems for saving papers such as recipes, and keep coupons organized and contained!

For even more encouragement, grab a copy of The Ultimate DIY Home Organizing Workbook.  It is perfect for getting your entire home organized with step-by-step tasks for each area of your home!

About The Organized Mama

My name is Jessica and I am the founder and creative director of The Organized Mama, a professional organizing firm and blog. I was born and raised in Minnesota and currently live in Illinois. I graduated Indiana University with a degree in elementary education. My passion is teaching others how to live an organized life. I am a certified professional organizer with the National Association of Productivity and Organizational Professionals (NAPO).

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