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5 Steps You Can Take Right Now to Get Ahead of the Paper Clutter


Messy deskStop and think about the amount of papers that are currently piling up in your home, on your desk, on your kitchen counter, on the dining table. Do you feel anxious and a little overwhelmed? Are you wondering when you will ever find time to tackle the paper clutter Paper management doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. In fact, there are a few small things you can start doing TODAY that will help you get ahead, and STAY ahead, of the paper clutter. Here are 5 actionable steps to get you started from the Professional Organizer in NYC:

  1. Open your mail near the trash can and recycling bin. This will prevent that unnecessary pile of junk mail and empty envelopes from cluttering up your space. Toss them or recycle them right away!
  2. Shred the papers with sensitive information on them, like credit card offers and bank statements. Part of the paper clutter in your home is probably these kinds of papers that we save and save until we know we can safely dispose of them. Take action today: purchase a shredder and get those papers off of your counter. Another great option is look for a local “shredding event,” where you can safely dispose of those sensitive papers. Area office supply stores often offer shredding services, too.
  3. Cut down on that receipt pile. Have a designated spot for your incoming receipts. Any receipts you need for tax purposes can be labeled as such and immediately filed. Other receipts can be tossed after you reconcile with your bank statement. Designate time to sort through them at least once a month or more frequently so they don’t pile up.
  4. Give yourself just 10 minutes a day to go through your paperwork. File important papers, follow-up on items that require action, and recycle/shred anything that you don’t need to save. By dedicating yourself to the paper pile for small time periods, you’ll be able to get ahead of the clutter and allow the process to become a habit. The never-ending pile of paper won’t seem so overwhelming.
  5. Have a system for notes and phone messages. When the phone rings or an idea pops into your head, most people scrounge for the nearest scrap piece of paper. Piles of post it’s and scraps of paper with messages and to-do lists pile up and can easily be misplaced. Designate a specific space for your to-do list and keep a notepad and pencil always available in it.

These 5 simple steps can make a huge difference in the way your paper management system functions. When you look at the big picture, the paper clutter may seem overwhelming and cause you anxiety trying to figure out how to tackle it. Instead of focusing on the entire project, the Professional Organizer in NYC urges you to take a breath and use these actionable steps to bring ease into your life. You can overcome the paper clutter, one step at a time!

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