Best Ways to Organize Papers at Home
Do you feel stuck when it comes to getting organized especially when it comes to your paper piles? Having a reliable system for your papers will help to make a shift in your thinking and how you process your papers.
By using creative organizing strategies, you will see noticeable changes in your space. Make the decision to create a new routine and implement the best ways to organize papers at home.
ORGANIZING PAPER CLUTTER
1. STOP PAPER AT THE DOOR
The best way to combat the problem of the never ending paper flow is to keep them from creeping into your home.
Simple ideas to halt paper:
- Sort your mail right after you receive it
- Sort mail into shred, recycle, and keep
- Create a small mail station that will be a reminder
- Have trash can and recycle can easily accessible while sorting
You can also combat the paper flow before it arrives at your home. Stop the junk mail and more from even being delivered.
Stop the mail and papers from coming into your home and save the time from sorting and shredding!
I have a paper tray I use to catch the mail if I am in a hurry, or if the kids get the mail. That way the mail always goes to the same place!
2. USE A TIMER
Mail may not take long if done on arrival. However, you may have papers that have accumulated over time in other parts of the home.
Whether it’s on your phone, the stove, egg timer, or an hourglass, using a timer will help you to stay motivated and focused.
By using a timer and setting it for at least 10-minutes for each session, you will get a big chunk of paper sorting completed. It is a short enough time period, that you will not feel overwhelmed.
You can even make a game out of it like “beat the clock.” If you have children helping you to sort, they will love to make a game out of it too!
3. HAVE A SYSTEM FOR SORTING
This can be for old papers and new papers. I recommend that you get a system in place for all the new papers and mail coming into the house first, then tackle the existing piles.
If you already have stopped your papers at the door and you are consistent, you are more than half way there!
If you find you don’t have time to go through the mail as it comes in each day, try your best to have a consistent place to set the mail knowing you will return to sort, recycle and shred.For older papers, have a place where you are able to focus while sorting. Do you have a big table you can use? I know when I have papers to sort, I am more focused when I have a good space to work in.
You have a system for sorting, now you need a system for paper storage. Creating a simple system will ensure that you will stick with it. The more complicated, the less likely you will continue with the system you set in place.
4. CREATE BEAUTIFUL HOMES FOR YOUR PAPERS
You may have a regular filing cabinet for papers that need to be stored long-term, like your taxes, doctor’s papers, and homeowner’s papers. For items that you need easier access to on a regular basis, I recommend using a creative way to keep the papers handy but organized.
Whether it’s decorative file folders, vertical stacking file slots, clever wall hanging pockets, or wall mounted file slots, you can create a great system that isn’t hidden and easily accessible for you to get your papers where they belong. For many placing papers in a big filing cabinet can mean “out of sight, out of mind.”
By having an alternative way to visibly store your papers in a beautiful way, will make it easier to keep your papers organized and your space pretty. Most of us love to be in an area that inspires us!
5. BE CONSISTENT BY HAVING ACCOUNTABILITY
This is the only way that you will be able to stay on top of your paper, being consistent. You know how you are best motivated and how you are awesome at procrastinating. With that in mind, what would keep you on track?
Having a friend come over while you tackle your piles? Treating yourself after you complete a specific number of 10-minute sessions? One-way to help motivate and keep your space organized is to take “before and after” photos.
I have seen clients hang up their “after” photos to remind them of the work they have done. Recycle day gets me motivated to get my papers out the door knowing the truck comes in the morning!
PAPER ORGANIZATION PRODUCTS
In my experience having a simple and beautiful system for papers helps to keep it all organized and consistently maintained. You may have decided that you will scan some of your papers to save space. If you have papers remaining, below are solutions
PAPER TRAY ORGANIZERS
If you like to stack, paper tray organizers may be a good solution for you.
I have been very honest when writing about paper organization in the past. I have sharing that papers is the one area organization I can be challenged in. I like seeing what I have. I do second guess myself sometimes about to shred or not to shred . . . . that doubt of “do I need it”.
However, I continue to apply what I have learned, and continue to learn. I just need extra steps. But it gets better!
I use paper trays for my blank papers that I use for projects and copying. I love that I can see my pretty paper and easily grab it.
Some people like the trays along with file folders, to keep their papers easily at reach, but still looks clean and organized.
PAPER STORAGE ORGANIZERS
Vertical space is usually very under utilized. Here are some ideas to take advantage of wall space leaving your surface tops clear for other things, like working!
Be consistent with the paper sessions and schedule them when you know you have focus. Having a friend that needs the same support can help to keep the paper sessions consistent while holding each other accountable.
Have fun with it!
By using these simple tips and applying them one at a time, you will see your piles become smaller and smaller and you will finally get the relief you have been seeking.
What is the first area you are going to tackle that will give you the most satisfaction?
Cheering you on to a more simple life!