Paper clutter is one of the hardest types of clutter to get rid of. We tend to keep all bills, receipts, and other paperwork out of fear that we may need it again. Receipts fill up our purses, wallets, center consoles, and junk drawers. Bills sit on our counters and pile up on kitchen and living room surfaces. Luckily, there are some very simple tips for paper clutter organization that can help you reclaim your home from paper clutter and organize your paper. Learn how to organize paper clutter by following these 10 paper clutter tips.
1. Gather and divide all paper clutter
Take the time to go through your home and your car. Find all loose papers and receipts and bring them to one spot. Divide and organize all of the paper clutter into three piles – recycle, shred, and save. Anything related to taxes within the last 7 years should be saved. Any bills older than one year can be shredded. Getting rid of all loose papers is a huge first step toward paper clutter organization.
2. Organize bills
Next, organize all of your bills. Instead of organizing your paper clutter by category, consider organizing by month instead. This will help you keep track of monthly expenses and will make it easier to find specific bills. Get rid of paper clutter every few months to keep your bills organized and easily trackable.
3. Color Coordinate
Grab some different colored folders or files. Use these to divide and organize your bills and paper into categories. These colored folders will help you differentiate between bills, tax information, insurance, personal paperwork, etc. It may help to create your own key to remind yourself of which colors correspond with specific categories.
4. Opt out of junk mail
There is truly nothing worse than opening your mailbox to find 5 pieces of junk mail. Learning how to organize mail clutter is actually really straightforward. An easy way to cut out some of the junk mail is to opt-out of prescreened junk mail. This will stop credit card and insurance companies from sending you the “you’ve been preselected” junk that always shows up in the mail. The website will require you to enter your personal information, but it is endorsed by the FTC and completely private.
5. Go paperless
For total paper clutter control, go paperless with your bank and credit card statements. It’s much better for the environment, and it will keep paper clutter out of your home. Paperless statements can be easily accessed and are easy to search through. Organize your bills online by creating folders or opting for an existing bill organization software.
6. Recycle Magazines and Newspapers
Reduce paper clutter by going through all of your magazines and newspapers. If you have no intention of reading them, throw them in the recycling bin. Unsubscribe from the magazines and newspapers to reduce paper clutter altogether.
7. Unsubscribe from unused media
Speaking of magazines and newspapers, consider how much you really read it. Can you access it online instead? If you don’t spend much time reading them, it may be time to unsubscribe or switch to a strictly online subscription.
8. Store coupons in a binder
If you’re into clipping coupons, you know how important it is to keep them organized. Purchase a binder with clear dividers to section off your coupons. Organize them by product type or by aisle to help save time at the grocery store.
9. Address mail immediately
The easiest way to avoid paper clutter and stay organized is to address it immediately. The second you get your mail, head to the trash can. Go through it all and toss the junk mail and the things you don’t need. For everything else, immediately sort it and place it in the correct folder.
10. Scan receipts
Receipts take up too much space and can get out of control very quickly. This can be solved by scanning your receipts and organizing them on an app or on your desktop. Create separate folders for tracking expenses and organize them as you scan.