Project: Simplify: Attack of the paper clutter!

This week’s hot spot over at Simple Mom’s Project: Simplify is paper clutter! This is another bad one around here. Our paper clutter enjoys collecting on pretty much any flat surface. I would say most of it consists of mail/bills and school papers/kids artwork.

Here are some before pictures. Be warned. It’s not pretty.

Desk area:

Yes, papers on the floor, too!

The kitchen island, which is still in pretty much the same condition as a week or so ago

Our paper clutter has lots of non-paper friends, too.

There’s more (and I have pictures), but these will be my main goals this week! I will also be working on some organization and maintenance ideas to keep this from continually happening again and again and again. How do you do with paper clutter?


8 Comments on “Project: Simplify: Attack of the paper clutter!”

  1. Barbara says:

    Hi! I too have been doing Simple Mom’s challenge and am also following Clover Lane for her 40 day Bag Challenge. I thought I would share my paper control strategy:

    1. Mail: I immediately put my DH mail on his desk. Junk mail and anything with my name/address on it that I don’t need goes straight in the shredder. Larger items (catalogs, etc) go straight out to the recycling can. For action items that need attention, I:

    2. Action items: I made 3 clipboards and mounted them on 3M hooks on the inside of one of my kitchen cupboard doors. (I took pics, but don’t know how to attach here). One is my clipboard, and the other 2 belong to my kids. I immediately put papers into the corresponding clipboard. Examples: store flyers, school notices for ME go to my clipboard. Book report instructions, menu, school calendar, soccer schedule, etc go to the corresponding kid. (It looks like your command center/work area is where the laptop is, so perhaps adding clipboards on 3M Hooks to the inside of the cabinet doors below may work for you. Or, even on the area behind the laptop if you don’t mind the clipboards being out and seen). I weed through the clipboards every so often, so they don’t bulge!

    3. Kid papers/art: I recycle 95% of this, but have 2 large paper bins, one for each kid. I choose the best of the best artwork, or any handwriting samples to show the age and progression. I put the samples in the bin according to kid, and the bins are on a shelf in our playroom.

    Even with this system, which works well for me, I still manage the paper daily. It’s always a process, one I have gotten better at, but still.

    A thought I had after seeing Simple Mom’s instructions for this week was to grab our scanner and scan my files into our hard drive (insurance policy, etc), which would free up an entire drawer in my office. We’ll see if I get that ambitious!! ; )

    Good luck and I look forward to seeing your progress!!! Great job so far!


  2. Abigail says:

    We are generally clutter free thanks to my Dear Hubby but paper is the one thing that can pile up. And it’s usually my stuff. Even as I type a teetering mound of tax papers next to the computer is taunting me.

    BTW I was so inspired by your closet that I went into my own closet and pulled some extra things for a good will run. I had 4 bags to take! I suddenly have enough hangers!

  3. Erin OK says:

    Oh wow, I feel a little better about mine after seeing yours, though I am reminded that my house has looked like that at times.

    Lately we can’t keep any paper clutter in reach of the baby or he will EAT it. And he’s starting to reach pretty high. So at least I’ve been keeping it in a neat pile (with a thousand things in it needing to be organized).

  4. Ooh, what a great area to focus on!

    For mail, I cannot suggest strongly enough that you deal with it right away. At the very least, look through it and chuck the junk mail into the recycling bin. It should only take 2-3 minutes to look through it and sort out what doesn’t need to be kept. Then at least you’ll know your mail clutter is composed only of important stuff.

  5. […] Project: Simplify: Attack of the paper clutter! […]

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