One of the worst clutter causers in my house in the paper. Oh my gracious, the paper. It comes from everywhere and I swear it breeds overnight. Between the school papers that fall out of 3 book bags every afternoon, the junk mail that insists on coming to my house, and all the other random pieces of paper we need the whole house is full of paper. One of my big projects during the 60 Day Clutter Clean Out was to tame the paper beast.
1. Unsub from as many mailing lists as you can. This was a multi-step process for me. First I went to DMAchoice and signed up on the do-not-mail list. Next I went to OptOutPrescreen and signed up to stop the junk mail solicitations from credit cards, mortgages, insurances, and loans. Next I called every single junk catalog that came into the house to remove my name and address from their mailing list. It was a hassle but so worth the time!
2. Open your mail over trash can. In my case, I open the daily mail right next to the trash and recycling bins. Any envelopes or papers without personal info on it get tossed right into recycling. Anything I don’t need to keep that might have personal info on it gets shredded immediately and tossed into the trash. No more piles of mail on the counter waiting for attention!
3. Act on paperwork immediately when it comes into the house. Anything that doesn’t need to be immediately trashed or recycled gets acted on right away. If the kids bring home an art project that they want to save it goes into their memory boxes (after they show dad, of course). If they bring home something that needs to be filled out like a permission slip, it gets done right away and put back in their book bag. When they bring home newsletters with dates to remember I record the information on the master calendar and file the paper in the appropriate place (that post is coming soon). Household papers such as repair invoices or insurance statements get filed right away. Nothing sits on the counter. I even cut my coupons immediately and put them in my coupon binder. Adopting a one-touch rule for paper has significantly cut the paper clutter in our house!
4. Switch to online billing/banking/statements whenever possible. Pretty much everything we do is online now. 99% of our bills are delivered electronically, they are all paid through our bank’s online service, and all of our statements come via email. This has made life so much easier. Instead of 40 paper bills coming into the house each month, they all go straight to our household email account.
5. Turn magazine subs into e-subs if you have an e-reader or tablet. I have a Kindle Fire HD and when it was time to renew my old magazine subscriptions I decided to convert them into e-subs instead. No more piles of unread magazines lying around the house and they are delivered automatically to my Kindle every month. Easy and clutter free!
It took some effort but the work was worth the result!
You can see all the posts in my 31 Day series HERE. New posts will be added daily.