4 secrets to cutting down on paper clutter

Paper is important, so it tends to pile up. Use these four expert tricks to help keep your papers and photographs from becoming an insurmountable problem.

4 secrets to cutting down on paper clutter

1. Categorize those papers

  • Office papers can tend to pile up quickly on desktops. Not only do the desks become eyesores, but they result in lost documents and missed appointments.
  • Use stackable filers to sort papers on your desk into categories. Label them "Need action," "To be filed," "Read later" and "Outgoing mail."
  • This strategy helps you to streamline by flagging what needs immediate attention and stopping papers from accumulating.

2. Cast off old greeting cards and crafts

  • Many people feel obligated to keep every greeting card they've ever received or every craft their child ever made.
  • By keeping only a select few of your collection of cards and works of art, you'll enjoy them more.
  • Honour them by making a scrapbook, album or wall decoration.

3. Weed out your photos

Instead of letting photos pile up and take over, take back your shelf space with a few simple steps. Here's how:

  • First, sort photos by person, event or time frame (for example, "Family Beach Vacation" or "Wedding Weekend").
  • For each group, select the best 10 to 20 pictures and place these pictures in an album or frame.
  • Get rid of the rest, either by throwing them away or giving them away. There's no point in keeping 20 bad pictures when you have 10 good ones to enjoy.

4. Organize and toss daily

  • Spend a few minutes every day picking up and organizing household paper clutter, especially newspapers and junk mail.
  • Have special stacks or folders for bills, statements and receipts that you need to save.
  • This can keep things from piling up and becoming unmanageable.

Whether it's credit card statements or family photos, paper has a tendency to get out of hand and turn into a mess. But with a few organizational tricks and some discriminate tossing, you can turn mountains of paper into much smaller problems.

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