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.
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
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.
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.