You’re not alone if paper is a chronic clutter problem in your home, especially in households with children and students. It’s papers, papers, everywhere! Most of us are faced with a continual stream of papers flowing into our homes from schools, athletics and clubs, church, junk mail, bills, newspapers, magazines and catalogs. Believe it or not, we actually refer to fewer than 20 percent of the papers we keep. You can effectively manage many of the papers in your life when you recycle, shred and opt out.
But how? Here’s a simple paper management solution to help you take control.
- They say paper piles are “delayed decisions.” Enjoy clear surfaces by immediately discarding those you won’t need.
- Place a recycling bin where you sort your mail and papers.
- Sort daily; don’t delay.
- Keep necessary papers only.
- Recycle the rest and shred those papers with personal identification like account numbers.
- When deciding whether to keep or discard, ask yourself these questions, and be honest:
- Is it realistic to think you’ll read all of those newspapers, magazines and catalogs? Is it really worth saving that piece of junk mail “just in case”?
- Is every art project from your child the best of the best?
Save only the truly memorable artwork and other “keepers” from your child’s school days, and periodically look through them to be sure you’re keeping only those items worthy of a “memory box.” Assign one box per child, and label it.
Designate a basket or clear poly envelope for bills to pay and other follow-up items. Follow through on these bills and papers every couple of weeks to avoid late charges and to keep up with paperwork.
If you find you’re drowning in newspapers and magazines, cancel subscriptions, or with newspapers, opt for fewer issues per week.
Papers accumulate quickly, so get ready and get motivated! Make the decision now to turn over a new leaf and immediately recycle, shred and opt out, keeping only what you need, use and cherish. Schedule time on your calendar to opt out, cancel unneeded subscriptions, pay bills and follow through on paperwork. No more paper piles when you opt out of “delayed decisions!”