Did You Know That There Are Different Types of Clutter? Let’s Talk About Paper Clutter

YUP. There are. In fact, clutter falls into 4 Separate Categories.

 1.  Physical Clutter is the collection of things you don’t use and don’t care for. This type of clutter is often scattered around your home and office and results in an untidy mess. More often than not, lost and misplaced items are caused from physical clutter.

 2.  Paper Clutter is one of the most frustrating challenges people encounter. When you have piles of paper, it becomes extremely difficult to locate important documents like bills, medical documents, tax papers, passports, etc. Not to mention the fact that piles of unread papers, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, and other random paper make a home look and feel messy.

 3.  Digital Clutter is found on computers, cell phones, tablets, and other electronic devices. It often consists of voicemail, email, user names, passwords, social media etc.

 4.  Emotional Clutter is the clutter we hold within our mind and heart. It’s feelings and emotions people deal with each day, like: negativity, anxiety, worry, stress, frustration, and fear.

I’ve already posted about two of the four categories so, let’s get into the Paper Clutter Category.

Paper clutter is any paper-based material that is not organized or stored properly. This can include mail, magazines, newspapers, receipts, bills, notes or other documents that are lying around cluttering up physical spaces such as desks and countertops and yes, sometimes the dining room table. 

Paper clutter can quickly accumulate and become overwhelming, making it difficult to find important documents when needed. It can and often does increase stress levels, and create a sense of disorganization and chaos.

 Paper clutter can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • A lack of organization
  • Not having a designated place to store important documents
  • Not having a system for filing papers
  • Not having a regular schedule for purging old documents and,
  • Not having a plan for dealing with incoming mail.

Dealing with paper clutter can be overwhelming, but there are several steps you can take to get it under control. Here are a few tips:

  1. Create a filing system: Create a filing system that works for you. This could include a filing cabinet to store important documents. Of course, you should also consider using file folders and label them appropriately so that you can find what you need when you need it.
  2. Digitize: Scan important documents and store them electronically to reduce the physical amount of paper. Remember when you’re storing documents electronically to name them so that they can be easily retrieved.
  3. Purge regularly: Regularly go through your paper clutter and get rid of anything that is no longer needed. Make sure to shred anything with an account number on it and, also, any solicitations with a QR code or RSVP invitation #.
  4. Set up a mail station: Set up a mail station in your home where you can sort through mail and discard junk. I highly recommend that this station is vertical so that you can see the mail without having to sift through piles of paper.
  5. Sort through your paper: Start by gathering all the paper clutter in one place and sort them into piles based on their purpose or category. For instance, you could have piles for bills to be paid, tax documents, things that need to get done, etc. 
  6. Reduce incoming paper: Sign up for electronic billing and statements to reduce the amount of paper that comes into your home. You can also request to be removed from junk mail lists. 
  7. Set up a daily routine: Establish a daily routine for dealing with incoming mail and papers. Set aside time each day to sort through your mail, pay bills and to file documents. 

Remember that getting paper clutter under control takes time and effort. Be patient and persistent and you will soon have a more organized and stress-free home or office. The trick is to maintain that space once it’s organized. If you make time each day, just a few minutes, staying organized will be easier.

If you or anyone you know needs help with Organizing, Downsizing, Relocations, Estate Sales or Clearing a Property, let them know that we’d love to be of service!