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How to Conquer Paper Clutter in 3 Easy Steps!

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Join the month-long Love Your Space challenge and learn how to conquer and reduce paper clutter in 3 simple steps.

Do you wish you could reduce clutter, organize, and decorate your house but don’t think you have enough time? Join the 28-Day challenge and take a few minutes each day to transform your home room by room and love your space!

How to Conquer Paper Clutter

Howdy! Only two more challenges left! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed doing all of these fun little projects. And not just because I’m a decorating crazy machine, but because of all the motivation and inspiration I had from all of your comments, excitement, and participation. So. Much. Fun.

A glass top and gold base dining table in a small dining area with the living room behind it.  Nice and clean for decluttered home.  Learn how to conquer your paper clutter.
Clean Dining Table – Success!

Now, on to today’s challenge…  If you have missed any of the previous ones or want to start at the beginning, just click on the link below.

Week 1 Living Spaces

Week 2 Sleeping Spaces

Week 3 Eating Spaces

Week 4 Bathroom, Laundry Room, and Office

Okay, I realize some of you winced when you read that but hopefully, some of you are excited.  A little bit? Anyone? It’s not Friday so I am not expecting more than 15 or 20 minutes of your time. 😉 See, I’m looking out for you! Now, I am just talking about mail, bills, stuff kids bring home, etc…

Here are three easy steps to use to keep the kitchen counter, desktop, and dining table paper-free. At least most of the time.

Option 1:  Get to the source of the problem.  Go paperless whenever possible.  You can do just about everything online now, so whatever you feel comfortable doing online, do it.  I am even slowly transitioning to reading magazines online.  Check out this article on how to go paperless at home.

If you do enjoy reading and saving magazines (like moi), only keep the ones that you like more than 3 or 4 pages.  Otherwise, rip out those pages and put them in a portfolio or scan them into your computer.

A maximalist and colorful office showing bird wallpaper, green desk, and computer for keeping paper clutter at bay by going digital when possible.
Use Digital Paper Storage to Declutter Paper

Option 2:  Be ready. As soon as you enter the door with any “paper items” in hand, have a place for them to go.  We have a recycling bin right outside the door, so junk mail and trash don’t even come inside the house. 

For other items that just need a place to sit until used, read, or file away; have a basket right by the front door and go through it at least once a week to keep it manageable.

Conquer paper clutter by keeping a basket by the door and easy filing nearby like this colorful and eclectic foyer with a music cabinet, filing basket, and green front door.
Conquer Paper Clutter with Baskets

(This basket was handmade by Baskets by Emily and we love it! You can check out her website here.)

Option 3:  Keep active filing easily accessible. Store files like your annual tax refund paperwork in your usual spot but keep a decorative storage container like a magazine basket to keep files for bills, medical paperwork, report cards, etc., so you can put them directly in. Place your pretty filing storage in a spot you see and use every day!

Use baskets to file away paperwork in an easy to reach spot like these pretty baskets wrapped in decorative trim sitting on a chair.
Pretty Storage Options for Sorting Paper Clutter

Find out more DIY pretty filing solutions in this article.

Tip: If you have kids, let them pick a favorite story, drawing, or project once a week/bi-weekly, and recycle the rest (when they aren’t watching). 😉 Display their favorites.  (UPDATE:  My best friends suggested taking pictures of all your child’s artwork and then creating a photo book at the end of the year.  She is full of great ideas!)

A DIY boho clipboard held by a girl showing off art next to a white faux fireplace demonstrates how to conquer paper clutter.
Decorative Clipboard to Display Child’s Art and Reduce Paper Clutter

Well, after this busy month, something else is happening next.  Up to Date Interiors is almost a year old. Aw! February 2nd is the big day and I have a whole week of exciting posts planned for you the first week of February.  Gosh, I can’t believe it’s almost here.

How to Conquer Paper Clutter Q&A

What’s the first step in tackling paper clutter?
Begin by gathering all your papers in one place. Empty all drawers, folders, and bins where papers have piled up.

How do I decide what to keep and what to toss?
Ask yourself, “Is it necessary?” Keep important documents like tax records, legal papers, and important receipts. Toss old, irrelevant papers.

What about sentimental papers like greeting cards and letters?
Scan or take photos of sentimental items to save digital memories. Keep a select few physical mementos, not everything.

How can I organize the papers I want to keep?
Categorize them into folders or binders with clear labels, like “Bills,” “Medical,” or “Home.” Use dividers for subcategories.

What’s the best way to deal with daily mail?
Designate a specific spot for incoming mail and sort it immediately. Trash junk mail, pay bills promptly, and file important documents.

What should I do with old newspapers and magazines?
Recycle newspapers. For magazines, keep only the latest issue and let go of the rest. You can find digital versions online.

How can I prevent future paper clutter?
Sign up for paperless billing and statements. Unsubscribe from unnecessary catalogs and magazines.

Any tips for maintaining an organized paper system?
Regularly review and purge your files. Set aside a specific time each week or month to deal with new papers.

What about important documents like passports and birth certificates?
Store these in a secure, fireproof box or a home safe. Make digital backups in case of emergencies.

How can I make this process more enjoyable and less overwhelming?
Play some favorite music, reward yourself after each session, and involve family members to make it a fun, group activity.

Remember, conquering paper clutter is an ongoing process. Stay consistent, and you’ll enjoy a clutter-free, organized space in no time! 🗂️📎🧹

Join me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes, DIYs, decorating tips, room tours, and home inspiration. I’ll see you over there!

 There you have it, a quick little Monday organizing!  Come back tomorrow for our last challenge and then we’ll finish the week with some Valentine’s Day-inspired posts. Okay?

kathy
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16 Comments

    1. Sounds like you got a handle on it Dawn! Filing is the worse, I’m much better at it now that my filing basket is just a few short steps away from the door. 😉

  1. I love your tips and tricks. As a SAHM, having a place for everything is important but I don’t want to sacrifice style to do so. I’m loving the clean looks as well.

    1. Mine do too Kimberly! I have a friend who used to nanny and would take pictures of all the kids drawings before they were thrown away and make a photo book for them at the end of the year. Isn’t that a cute idea?

  2. I am over from Emily’s Baskets! She is a good friend of mine who has the most fabulous baskets for organizing!! LOVE baskets for organizing! Great tips too:) Now to look around……

  3. I Love it, it looks great! I am a basket ADDICT lately. I found a beautiful big one for the kids’ toys in the living room and it has made a huge difference. Taking the time to put every toy back in their rooms is a great idea in theory that never seems to happen in practice. Our clutter ends up being the day’s toys out all over. Now, the rule is put it in the basket and pick a new one out. I never would have thought allowing toys in more places could actually end up cleaner – I’m LOVING it.

    1. Fantastic!! We literally have baskets in every room and closet! Anytime there is a problem with clutter (usually from the kids), it’s time to get another basket. lol Just bought one for school backpacks, shoes, and coats. (We have zero closets and no real entry in the main room.)

  4. Paper clutter is my worse problem. I have tried the baskets but now they are just over flowing. I so glad so many companies I deal with are going paperless. I think that is the only way I can conquer my problem

    1. Going paperless has saved me Yvonne! I used to keep everything but I don’t even have to file away bills anymore I have overcome my magazine addiction. lol Good luck!

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