Do a search for “paper clutter” in your browser and you will find scores upon scores of savvy advice from pretty much every magazine and organization blog in the nation. Don’t worry, I’m not going to over-simplify this for you and make you feel inept for having paper clutter. In my opinion, paper clutter happens. You just need to find a way to deal with it.
The thing is we have paper clutter entering our homes every.single.day. Junk mail, coupons, receipts, and so on. Everybody in your home generates paper clutter. Rie has been the target of marketing campaigns (formula companies and photography packages, for example) since before she was born. Maile is not exempt just because she walks on four legs. The vet’s office, pet pharmacy, and pet supply shop all send information to her attention.
I recently confessed to keeping a wire paper holder thingy on my kitchen counter. It is no longer there. Lately I have done a much better job of sorting mail into its rightful home as it comes in. Birthday party invitation? Put a note on the calendar and recycle the invite. Coupon? Is it something we were going to buy now anyway (probably not)? If yes, put it in the wallet, otherwise, recycle it. Is this piece of paper important? File it. Now. There is no other place to put it except in the file box.
Unfortunately, that last bit of logic was really catching up with me. I had been placing items in my file box willy-nilly. Today I finally went through it and purged several years’ worth of stuff that is no longer important. This job had been weighing heavily on me. In my imagination, I could see myself stuck going through papers for days and days without end. To my surprise, it was about a ten minute job. Everything was kept in file folders, so I could see by the name on the folder if the papers within would be worth keeping or not.
The next big task will be to scan important papers in order to store them digitally, rather than physically. Like sorting through papers, this task seems daunting. Furthermore, loose photos are running amok and they need to be corralled. I’m honestly not even sure how to go about doing all of this. For now I’ll take my victory over old bank statements and call it good.