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Reduce Paper Clutter

Paper seems like a pretty innocuous substance, right? It’s typically fairly clean. A single piece of it doesn’t take up much room. And many types of paper are bright and colorful. However, when left unchecked, paper clutter can quickly take over your home, spilling off of counter tops and credenzas, piling up on tables and so forth.

Don’t get caught in the paper clutter cycle! Learn how to keep paper under control so that your home doesn’t look like a recycling center.

Start with a Paper Purge

If you already have a lot of paper clutter accumulated, it only makes sense to begin your journey by getting rid of some of this mess. Pull out a recycling bin and get to work. Toss out all those old greeting cards, grocery receipts, junk mail, read magazines and old to-do lists. Don’t forget to clean your wallet, purse and any backpacks, while you’re at it.

Invest in a Shredder

Many people get stuck with paper clutter because they don’t want to throw away sensitive materials, such as cancelled checks, bank statements or old tax records. They keep saying they’ll find the time to cut it all up or take it to be shredded, but it just never seems to happen. Meanwhile, those stacks of paper keep on growing. A small shredder is inexpensive, meaning you can shred those sheets, put them in the recycling bin and get on with your life.

Deal with Mail Immediately

Keep a recycling bin right by the door that you first enter, and go through your mail as soon as you get home. If you pay bills on the weekend, place incoming paper invoices in your inbox or letter holder. Recycle older magazines as new ones come out, so that you’re never overwhelmed by having issues of a title that are older than your seven-year-old dog. As for junk mail and circulars, those should be chucked without so much as a glance.

Go Paperless

Many banks and utility companies offer you the ability to do business without bringing paper clutter into the picture at all. Sign up for the paperless option whenever possible to reduce the amount of clutter coming into your home in the first place. In addition, there are some magazines that offer a discounted subscription price if you opt to receive all of your issues electronically, meaning you can save some money and have a few less items a year to knock dust off

Junk Your Junk Mail

Junk mail and unwanted circulars are an absolute pain, and there seems to be more of them than ever before. What can you do about this potential paper clutter? Check catalogs from merchants to see if there’s a number you can call to be taken off their mailing lists. The same goes for charities that have been bombarding you with mailers ever since you made that one donation 10 years ago. In addition, you can find a variety of ways to avoid pre-screened insurance mailers or credit offers and other marketing materials by visiting the Federal Trade Commission website.

And getting rid of circulars is pretty easy. Just tape a sign to the inside of your mailbox that says, “No circulars, please!”

Paper clutter can take over your life if you don’t stay on top of it. With a little strategy and preparation, you can keep your house looking like a home, not a wastebasket.

Looking for more tidy tips? You’re in the right place. Check out these space-saving storage ideas and learn the do’s and don’ts of open shelving.