Tackling the paper problem is part of keeping a tidy home, and is important if you want to maintain a healthy and comfortable environment. One of the common challenges of keeping your home tidy is all the paperwork that documents that one tends to collect over time. This includes everything from report cards and bills to junk mail and receipts — and much more. When papers like these start piling up, it can be difficult to keep them organized. The following are a few different ways that you can keep your papers organized and prevent them from causing clutter to build up throughout your house.
- Recycle or destroy what you don’t need – Go through your home and collect all papers that you don’t need, such as old grocery store receipts, takeout menus, flyers, credit card offers, old notes, and more. If they have sensitive information on them, destroy them by cutting them up or feeding them through a shredder. Otherwise, recycle what you can.
- Create a filing system or use binders – Gather all of your important documents and store them in one place. This can include important tax documents, birth certificates, and more. Store them all in a filing cabinet or in a deep drawer that will allow you to easily sift through files. You can also put important documents in plastic sleeves in binders to keep them together as well.
- Have a plan for what to do with incoming papers – Establish a plan for incoming paper. For example, have a trash basket for just paper in the kitchen for junk mail and grocery store receipts that you don’t need. Set up a tray where important mail should be placed, such as bills and letters.
- Go paperless wherever possible – It’s easier to go paperless today than it’s ever been. For example, instead of having your utility bills or credit card bills sent to you in the mail, request that they send you your bills online via email. Paying online is much easier than sending out a cheque anyway. Many retail stores also allow the option to request a receipt to be emailed or texted to you instead of being given a physical copy.
- Digitize important documents – Scanning documents that you want to keep allows you to destroy the originals (unless you need to keep them. For example, you won’t want to destroy your original mortgage paperwork or your birth certificate). When you digitize documents, they become easier to organize and access since you can just pull them up on your computer. This can help you save a significant amount of space. If you want to keep the originals, you can file them away in a box and put them in storage or even in your basement or attic since you won’t need to access them.
It can be easy to lose track of all the papers that you collect over time, which can cause a real clutter problem in your home. Use these tips to help organize your paperwork and to reduce paper clutter in the future.