I was a little relieved with this challenge because I don't have much paper clutter to begin with. I have taken steps over the years to rid my desk and my house of all things paper so I thought I would share my system for a paper free home.
- Sort mail as soon as it comes into the house. Recycle sales flyers and other unimportant junk mail, Shred credit card offers and anything else that could get you into trouble and File bills in my home notebook until the first of the month.
- Set up for paperless billing and automatic withdrawl. This makes paying bills a breeze. I just record the amount in my spreadsheet and thats it. Because of this I only have one or two paper bills each month to keep up with.
- Keep a folder for household information. It's not something I look at often but I keep current insurance statements, mortgage information, medical information, tax stuff, etc. in a 3 ring binder so that it is easily accessible but out of the way.
- Pay in cash. Since quiting my job I have switched to a cash only budget. It helps me to not overspend which is easy to do when paying with plastic, even a debit card. Another up side is that I don't have to keep up with reciepts. If you are anything like I was reciepts are a big part of the paper clutter in your house.
- Keep a small notebook to keep lists. I leave it on my desk and write everything in it from groceries to books I want to read to websites I want to visit. It is small enough to put in my purse which is super convenient.
- Have a family calendar. Put doctor appointments, play dates, sport schedules, everything on it as soon as the little sheet of paper crosses your door. This way you don't have to keep up with appointment cards or multiple sheets of game schedules. It's all in one place. I also use mine for meal planning so that "what's for dinner" never has to be asked.
I also have two file boxes that hold past taxes and manuals for things around the house. I got out my hole punch and label maker and went to work. First I took everything from 2010 in my home folder and put in its own tax file and put it in the tax box. With that done I sorted everything else into three piles. Recycle. Shred. File. With that done I went through my manual box and got rid of everything that we no longer owned which was a lot. I was able to consolidate my tax box and my manual box with everything that I got rid of.
Within an hour I had everything done and put away. I also went around the house and rounded up old magazines that were taking up space and put them in the recycle. Here is my desk after, which isn't a big change from before.
Overall an easy week for me but I'm curious. How do you tackle paper clutter in your home? And don't forget to visit Simple Mom on Friday to see how other people tackle their clutter. You may get a few ideas.