Paper clutter can be costly. Late payments, misplaced birthday invitations, missed cancellation notices can all happen when your home is full of paper clutter. This is one area where I really struggle. It seems that no matter how hard I try to stay on top of it, all it takes is a week of neglect and it is overwhelming again. Not only is paper clutter costly, it is messy. Piles of papers really do make a house feel disorganized. Even organizing the papers in baskets, files, binders, or containers can make a big difference in how your home looks. Here are a few ways I try to control the paper clutter. Online banking: I pay my bills on line and have them delivered electronically to reduce mail and paper clutter. Sorting mail over the trash can: I usually stop at our trash can/ recycle bin before I even go into the house with our mail. I immediately throw out or recycle any junk mail that does not have identifying information on it. Do not sign up for mailing lists: Except for my free sample experiment, I never sign up for free trials or samples of anything. These things always seem to come with mounds of other junk mail and papers that need to be filed, mailed, or thrown out. Usually when you order an item you have the option of opting out of the free catalog. My advice is opt out. Sign up to be on the Do Not Mail List: While this list doesn’t guarantee you will not receive any junk mail, it reduces the amount of junk mail you receive. You can sign up for Opt Out Prescreen to be removed from credit offers. Live Debt Free: I realize this is not something everyone can do right away, but living without debt is a great way to reduce your paper clutter. No debt, less bills! Pick it up once: I learned in a time management class years ago, that if you don’t deal with something the first time you pick it up, you touch it 40 more times before you take care of it. What a waste of time! Create a system for paperwork and set aside time each day, week, or month to stay on top of clutter. I use the binder system to organize paperwork. I’ll explain how it works for me tomorrow.
Have you ever paid a late fee because of a misplaced a bill? Have you ever lost a receipt, only to find out after the return period is over? I have! I am trying to get control of the paper clutter in my house, are you?