Paper can pile up fast in our homes. Kids come home from school with papers. Mail comes to our door every day. Tax related papers can fill up file cabinets. And user manuals come with everything we buy. What do we do with all these papers? Sure, some we need to keep, but maybe we can recycle more than we realize.
Here are some ways to stay on top of the endless flow of paper:
Mail: The best way to tackle mail clutter is to move from the mailbox to the recycling bin. In front of the recycling bin, look through your mail and place any junk mail in the recycling bin right away. Only take into your home the important stuff. If you have bills, pay them right away and stack your return mail by your door so you can swing through the post office next time you are in the car. That should be the majority of your mail. Anything you need to keep - file away appropriately.
Tax Papers: Unless you run a business, you probably don’t have to keep much. Keeping 3 years of tax related papers is probably good enough - so if you have papers older than 3 years you are probably safe to recycle/shred. Keep a folder for each year. Every year you create a new folder, recycle the oldest one out.
User Manuals: Honestly, you can probably recycle them all. If you have a problem with any of your items, you will most likely forget you have a manual and google it anyway. The internet is an amazing resource, take advantage of this and say goodbye to these stacks of papers, packets, and booklets.
School papers: When your kids come home with papers, tackle them asap. Most papers are information sheets. If you need the info pin it to a cork board until it can be recycled. Finished homework – Recycle. If you need to sign something - sign it and return it to your kid’s folder.
Kids Art Projects: Follow a 1 in 1 out rule. When your child creates new art work, display it. When a new one is made, take it down and display the new. As for the old artwork - take a picture and recycle OR give your child a bin to keep artwork. Once full, help your child pick a few to keep to make room for new artwork!
Creating a bin for special kids artwork, recycling junk mail right away, and having a system for filing important papers will help you stay on top of all the papers that come into your home!
If this sounds great, but you’re having trouble getting through your paper clutter, send me an email. If you are in the Madison, WI area I would be happy to come to your home and help you get through the paper piles.