Attack those paper piles like a boss using my No Brainer Paper Decluttering Toss List!
Since decluttering is top of mind this time of year (especially since the 40 Bags in 40 Days Declutter Challenge is looming around the corner), it seems like the perfect time to deliver a new post in the “No Brainer Things to Toss Series”.
No Brainer Toss Lists to speed up your decluttering:
What better clutter nemesis to hone in on next than household paper piles?
Many of you have told me that paper decluttering is at the top of your To-Do list. So I’ve put together a handy dandy list of 10 No Brainer categories of household papers that you can remove from your life during the decluttering process.
THE PAPER DECLUTTERING TOSS LIST
1. JUNK MAIL
As always, my first piece of advice for tackling your decluttering project is to start for the low-hanging fruit. Well, it doesn’t get any more “low-hanging” than junk mail. In fact, my advice is to not even let junk mail come into your house in the first place.
Set up a system for managing mail that includes a method for weeding out the junk mail and tossing it as the first step.
2. SCRAP PAPER
My Hubby is notorious for leaving random notes full of chicken scratch all over the flat surfaces of our home. These papers have a very limited shelf-life of usefulness. When you come across these types of papers, do a quick visual scan to determine if the information is still relevant or useful. Nine times out of 10, it’s not!
Once you’ve chucked these papers into the recycling bin, check out these ways to minimize lists and notes paper clutter in the future.
3. PAST-SEASON CATALOGS
So I found this collection of beauties when I went through my magazine files on my home office shelves last week. Yep. You read that right. Store catalogs from 2014. I’m thinking that Rejuvenation and Shades of Light might have updated their collections a bit since then.
Buh Bye four-year-old store catalogs.
4. REFERENCE MATERIALS FROM OLD JOBS
(Time to throw Hubby under the bus again). So let’s make it a rule of thumb that you can toss all reference papers, training manuals and marketing materials from previous jobs, shall we?
There is absolutely no reason that these obsolete job-related papers should be taking up this much valuable real estate in Brian’s home office closet.
5. BILLS/STATEMENTS THAT CAN BE ACCESSED ONLINE
Back when I spent my days helping clients dig out from under their household paper piles, one of the biggest paper clutter culprits were file cabinets FULL of bank statements, utility bills and credit card statements that could all be easily accessed online.
Do your research and I’ll bet you’ll discover that you can retrieve a digital version of any one of these papers with the click of a few buttons. My rule of thumb is that if I can access it online, I don’t save a paper version of it.
Looking for an easy way to dramatically reduce home office-related papers? Carve out a few hours to switch from paper billing/statements to online alternatives. Start by generating a list of accounts that currently send you a paper bill/statement and contact each business to request the switch.
6. MOST RECEIPTS
Don’t get me wrong. There are a few types of receipts that you need to hang onto.
But there really is no need to hang onto the gas and fast food, and Starbucks receipts. Take steps to minimize these useless receipts by opting NOT to receive a receipt at the point of purchase if possible.
7. PRODUCT MANUALS
So I’ve changed my tune about product manuals over the past few years. I used to have a fairly elaborate system for organizing manuals
But these days, I don’t keep them at all. I figure if I need the information, I can find a digital version of the manual online. For larger appliances, the reality is that in my household, we aren’t going to have the time or inclination to DIY a repair. We’re going to call an appliance repair person and they will have the resources to hunt down the necessary parts.
If you DO choose to keep paper manuals, think twice about which ones you actually need. You PROBABLY don’t need to keep the ones for your toaster, or your Clapper device 🙂
8. BUSINESS CARDS
Another common paper clutter culprit in our homes is the business card (I should say business cards, because no one has just one card. Typically, we have boxes of them lying around!)
There are many ways to pitch the paper cards and replace them with a digital system that organizes and stores contact information.
9. EXPIRED COUPONS
Expired paper coupons are the quintessence of useless papers that need to be culled from your life on a regular basis.
My advice? Either go digital with your coupon game or set up a system for managing and using paper coupons that keeps this category of paper clutter at bay.
10. YOUR HOME DECORATING IDEAS FILE
Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this folder of home decorating ideas and inspiration I had been collecting at some point in the past. Ladies, we all have one of these, right?
If you’ve discovered Pinterest, then you know just how obsolete this folder has become.
Phew! Once you clear out the items on the No Brainer Paper Decluttering List, you’ll be well on your way to conquering that paper clutter. Won’t it be awesome to see your kitchen countertop and desktop again?!?
What items will you be tossing from this paper decluttering list? What else would you add? Share with the rest of us one of the items in your garage decluttering toss pile!
And be sure to download my Declutter Tool Kit, a free resource for helping you declutter your home from top to bottom. Click on the image below to grab your copy:
Check out these other posts to help you declutter & organize your household paper:
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