We have all been victims of paper clutter - even myself. It can happen so quickly if you don't keep a watchful eye on it. When you casually place a piece of paper on your desk followed by a few more sheets then this becomes a magnet for clutter. The scary part is that you're probably not even aware of what you're doing OR you say to yourself "I'll come back to that later." Well, later turns into a stack of paper taking over your desk or counter-top. Trust me when I say, I know paper clutter isn't an easy task to tackle when it's become overwhelming but in order to stay ahead of the clutter you have to be intentional and take action quickly. Here are 3 simple but significant steps to eliminate paper clutter.
Does your desk or counter-top look like this?
How many of you can relate to this? You check the mail after work or school, quickly skim through it and toss the mail to the side. Well - stop! This is the first step in preventing paper clutter from forming. Your counter-top or desk isn't a dumping ground for mail or loose leaf paper.
Step 1: Sort
Turn on some music, that's right music because it can take the edge off of when sorting through paper which is a mundane task. Or if you prefer to work in silence then that's fine too but find an area or create an atmosphere that is relaxing so you can get through the task.
So, when you are sorting through the pile of paperwork you will want to create piles:
Step 2: Discard
After you have determined that there is no need for the paperwork that you have placed in the “discard” pile then it should be destroyed. I suggest using a shredder or tearing up the paper in little pieces to ensure personal and private information has been properly destroyed. By destroying your information, you can minimize your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft.
Step 3: Store
Now that it has been determined what documents are essential to keep, then these should be properly stored. The great thing about being organized is that it’s affordable and you can get creative! You can use folders, binders or paper trays to organize paperwork which can create a uniformed look. Be sure to label what's inside which makes it easier to retrieve what is needed. You may not know it, but what you have done is created an effective system which allows you to go to a specific place to retrieve a specific document. And that's why creating systems are important because they are meant to work for you and save you time!
Paper Storage Options: Bigso Boxes
So, I decided to "think outside the box" and get creative by using Bigsbo boxes that I purchased at The Container Store for no more than $10 per box, to organize my paperwork. They come equipped with a lid which I like because sometimes I'm able to conceal important paperwork or protect the papers from getting torn or stained. I love the functionality of the boxes because while I may use them to store paper, in the future I could use them to store magazines or newspaper clippings. The possibilities are endless and that's what I love about organizing because you can get creative when it comes to establishing an organized space.
I’m using these two boxes to store scrap paper because I believe in recycling! And, if I need a quick sheet of paper to jot down a thought or a few notes, I can easily grab a sheet and go. As an entrepreneur, I sometimes print out helpful articles pertaining to running a business and building a brand. If I don't have time to read the articles right away then I store them in the second box to reference later.
The key to tackling paper clutter is taking immediate action.
I love that the boxes are simple, chic and functional.
Products like these boxes make organizing fun!