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What is our Relationship with Paper?

We have the cloud, online bank statements, Venmo, Online Bill Pay, emails, e-books, e-magazines. Then why do we have paper clutter? Why is that pile of mail, ads, newspapers, flyers still causing a commotion!

Once a bill, newsletter comes to us as a piece of paper it is now attached to us as,

“I’ll read it later.” “I might go to that store, so I’ll keep that coupon!”

Do you print all your emails, texts, Facebook posts? No, but we still have incoming mail, flyers, newspapers, coupons and more. Most couples have different ways to contain paper clutter.

Papers, documents, vital records, bills, tax documents, medical claims all deserve a place to go! But you need a system to attack that paper confusion. Yes, a long term a definite strategy for paying bills, budgeting, filing systems, vital documents, medical care etc. must be developed. Merging strategies is a possible answer to common couple paper chaos.

In most homes the kitchen is the command center of the home. This is where to attack & defend your home from paper clutter. Let’s look at incoming mail, student generated paper, coupons, and other related pieces of clutter.

The mail, bill, flyer etc. is in your hand, decide now.

Decide Now! Decide Once! Touch it! Touch it Once!

  • Don’t put all incoming paper into 1 pile/basket

  • Bill: walk it to the basket, file holder where the bills are paid.

  • Newsletters, fundraisers, scan read it later or recycle it

  • Read it later. Put it in magazine rack, frig basket for the calendar.

  • Recycle it

  • Shred it (contains personal information)

Decide Now Touch it Once

The Following Tools pair well with Decide Now Touch it Once

  • Family Calendar (usually on the frig)

  • Trash

  • Shredder

  • File drawer, basket, hanging wall file etc. labeled for each family member

  • File drawer, basket, hanging wall file etc. in the office designated for bills, vital document, medical etc.

The long-term solution for paper clutter is to stop it before it enters the home.

Decide Now Touch it Once

Long-term Clutter Strategies

  • Separate paper into sentimental, scrapbooking, bills, etc.

  • File documents with intentional labeling

  • System for future and recurring bills

  • Go Green! Paperless statements, bills,

  • Shred redundant documents

  • Keep a shredder near the kitchen command center (mini shredders!)

As a couple decide who will pay the bills, do the taxes, record events on the calendar.

Delegate to each other (and the kids) tasks that they do well. Practice your paper clutter strategy and adjust as needed.

The process to control paper clutter needs to become a habit. It also needs to perform well with the intent to reduce the paper piles. If parts of the process aren’t working brainstorm as a couple to fix it. Then try it out and adjust as needed. Remember, you don’t have to have the paper clutter organized all at once. Take it one step at a time conquering clutter in steps not mountains.

As a couple with paper clutter the main weapon is communication with each other. Plan, implement, and work it as a couple. When couples plan together it reminds them that they are “we”, not “me.”

So, clutter be gone! Let’s Organize together!

SK Simple Solutions

But if you need help starting your decluttering project gives us a try!

We ARE your personal organizers! Contact Us!


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