Are you sick of entering your (enter room here) and seeing paper clutter everywhere? Does it annoy you when you’re looking for that bill to pay, or school forms to sign and you can’t find them? Or how about keeping track of health expenses and you can’t find the receipts to submit.
All of this can be SO FRUSTRATING!
I have a solution to share with you that has been working for our home and it’s super easy and affordable to set up as well.
A Little Background On Our Paper Clutter Situation
Our 1940’s bungalow has zero storage. The result: All the paperwork that enters our home during the week ends up in various places in the kitchen (despite me trying to keep it in one neat place)… on the kitchen table, the island, the hutch, chairs.
This means that when we’re looking for that water bill or the school trip form we can’t find anything!
Eventually, I would love to go completely paperless. Saving trees while decluttering your home is a good thing, but until I get around to doing this I have a simple solution to organizing paperwork that comes into our home every week.
THE FAMILY INBOX.
The idea of the family inbox is to only keep ‘active items’. In other words tasks you need to keep on hand now or to-do items you need to complete in the next week or so. Once you have paid a bill go ahead and shred or file. You don’t want your family inbox to be another place that all the paperwork piles up 🙂
I keep our family inbox handy so we can add to it or complete a task quickly without having to search our home.Sick of paper clutter in your home? Set up a 'Family Inbox' and finally have a place to keep the paper you need on hand. #organized #organize #declutter #tidyverse Click To Tweet
Get Started: Organize that Paper Clutter!
This post contains affiliate links. Disclosure info here.
STEP 1. GATHER
To start organizing paperwork, you need to go through ALL of it. I know it will seem overwhelming, but you just gotta do it!
Get every last bit of paper clutter and put it in one place. Here’s my clutter (I actually had a lot more of it than this, but I shredded and filed a lot of it first).
STEP 2. CATEGORIZE
Once you have everything in one place it’s easy to see what categories you need to create. For example:
- Bills to pay
- Health care expenses to submit
- To Do’s
- School Forms
- To be shredded
- To be filed
I also added thank you cards, stamps, won lottery tickets and recent invites (i.e. a wedding invitation).
You May Also Like: 15 Tips to Create an Eco-friendly Kitchen
STEP 3. LABEL
STEP 4. MAKE IT PERSONAL
I added in a weekly family to-do list, so we all know where we’re going and when. There are SO many beautiful free printable templates you can find online with everything from to-do lists, calendars, journals, etc. I downloaded this weekly planner template from elizaellis.blogspot.ca Here’s a close up of her gorgeous work…
To make your family inbox personal, have a look around. You might want to add a to-do list, chores list or grocery list. It’s up to you.
STEP 5. PUT YOUR FAMILY INBOX TOGETHER
Here are the pieces you’ll need to create your family inbox.
Paper Shredder: If you don’t have a paper shredder yet this is most likely why you have so much paper around. There are many documents that need shredding for privacy reasons. you never want to recycle anything with confidential info such as your name, address, bank info. So shred it and then it can be recycled. I put this is a clear recycling bag.
Page dividers: The page dividers are for those categories you defined earlier. It makes finding what you need a whole lot easier.
3 hole punch: You may think you don’t need a 3 hole punch in your house, but since I picked one up I’ve used it for everything from holiday crafts, to school projects and now this project.
Stapler: This is just another way to keep similar documents together within the divided sections.
Binder: Yep, you obviously need this! Pick a colour that motivates you 🙂
Above I have included recipes from magazines in the ‘other’ section. Of course, I also use Pinterest for this (you can follow me here), but sometimes I still want to save a recipe from a magazine and this needs a home too!
That’s it. What I also like is to have a TO-DO category for myself and my hubby. Therefore I won’t have to keep reminding him of his to-do’s, I just point to the book!
Let me know in the comments below if you use a similar system for your paper clutter or if you have other tips to share 🙂
Found this helpful? Please Share!#Organize Paper Clutter at Home in 5 Simple Steps & Finally Get Rid of the Mess! #declutter #organized Click To Tweet