Ducks 'n a Row: Ridding Your Home of PAPER CLUTTER!

11 November 2013

Ridding Your Home of PAPER CLUTTER!

By Sinea Pies

Paper, paper PAPER!!!! Overrun by paper? Yikes! It's everywhere.
What is the greatest pile of paper that you struggle with?
Coupons ?
Greeting Cards ?
Important Mail ?
Junk Mail ?
Legal Documents ?
Magazines ?
Newspapers ?
Office "paper stuff" ?
Photos ?
Receipts ?

We all will have different cures for the same problem. What do you do with all that unwanted paper? I have come up with some solutions of my own that kind of do the job for me. As they say, "it's a work in progress."

Coupons--I've given up on them. I only cut the ones I absolutely know I will use. Nothing on speculation. Speculation leads to piles of expired coupons that never get used. The few that I do use are kept in my wallet and "spent" as soon as possible.

Greeting Cards-- again, I'm not a saver of cards. I am, however, big on my grandkids' artwork. Their masterpieces are hung on my office wall. ♥

Important Mail--for me, this would be "bills." (I now do Publisher's Clearinghouse paper-free, online.) I have an expanding file to stash my current bills. On "bill paying day" I pull it out along with my checkbook and calculator and get to work! 

Junk Mail--the name tells the story. "JUNK" goes in the garbage can before it can land on the counter or table! Do not let it stay! There are services where you can opt out of unwanted catalogs and other junk mail.  Catalog Choice is a good place to start. 

Legal Documents: this would include copies of your annual tax returns, wills, title to your car, birth certificates. You might use a safe, filing cabinet or flat file. I love file boxes but, for ultra important paperwork, label it well so that no one mindlessly disposes of it! 

Magazines: magazine clutter has been a serious problem in my home. I love magazines and have several subscriptions. Since I don't have time to "read" them (browse?) soon as they arrive, they pile up. 

I have used them for decorating purposes on coffee tables, but then they all have to be moved when I clean the table. So, trays became a solution. They move easily for dusting but trays need to be cleaned, too. 

That's when I made an amazing discovery. I could donate them! My local public library has a "magazine room." People bring their lightly used magazines in as a donation. Others  read them there or buy them for 5 cents each.  Guilt is gone! I can keep my magazines long as I want, then drop them at the library and let THEM deal with the clutter! What a perfect solution.

Family Photos: putting them in albums is great but what if you have too many pictures and not enough time? How about having a photo party? Invite family or friends to join you for some tasty snacks and everyone start sorting. You can set up albums by years, eras, special events (like graduations, weddings, vacations, babies, etc) or subjects.  It make take more than one party but I have found some of the best conversation takes place when you are doing something together. 

So, how do you manage YOUR paper clutter?

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