How to Tackle Your Paper Clutter Like a Boss

Paper clutter is hands down the worst of all the clutter. Why? Because it's not just 'stuff' but a mix of important documents and papers in between the other paper stuff. Before you can even put it away in an organised folder, you have to ask yourself so many questions like: Will I need this again? Do I have to keep this?

Here's a guide to help you triage ALL the paper that comes into your home or office so you know what to keep and toss, and make the step of filing and storing paper clutter SIMPLE. 

Toss

Unsolicited mail, junk mail, magazine subscriptions 

Keep temporarily - one week to a month

Notices about power outages, specialist appointments, school excursions, invitations, receipts for clothes and everyday items

Keep for a year

Insurance policies, car registration, utility bills, warranties (unless valid longer), doctor referrals

Keep for at least 5 years

Receipts for tax deductions, loan documents, household appliance manuals, asset ownership documents

Keep forever

Identity documents, will and power of attorney, medical history  

Storing temporary papers 

If you need to keep your papers for a short period of time, it's because they contain important dates and details you need to remember. The best way to remember these details is by writing them on your wall calendar, and copying into your phone to set up a reminder (if you need it). This system of writing and redundancy sends the message to your brain using two different neuro pathways, to help reinforce your message and your memory recall.   

You can take this a step further by displaying the paper somewhere highly visible. A neat and tidy option is a pin board or using a magnetic planner to secure them to your fridge.

Want a bit more help to decide whether to keep or toss your papers? Take our free quiz! 

Print or save in a handy place to refer to next time you sort all the papers.

Quiz with yes or no answers to work out whether to toss or keep papers

 


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