Bust The Habits That Lead To Paper Clutter
Do you struggle with paper clutter in your home?
Papers seem to be something that just breed and explode, causing stress and anxiety and leaving paper-shaped outlines of dust behind. There’s a reason we say “buried in paperwork” or “drowning in paperwork”. We all have to deal with it, even when we don’t feel like it.
"I have so much paperwork, I'm afraid my paperwork has paperwork." - Gabrielle Zevin
One major part of dealing with paper clutter is to be aware of your habits. Here are common habits with paperwork I see that won't help you rise to the surface through your own papers.
- Dumping them on the nearest flat surface. This is a deal-with-it-later approach. When IS later? Please, at least open your mail.
- Keeping EVERYTHING. But what if I need it, you ask yourself? Asking yourself that will not help you let it go. The beautiful thing about the internet is that you can most things on there now. Less is more.
- Growing a paperwork pile. "Oh (insert swear word of choice), isn't that bill due? It must be in the pile." Your child says, "I have a dress up day tomorrow!" You say, "Where's the notice from school? I think it's in the pile somewhere." The problem here is that your pile has everything and anything in there, and means you spend time looking through junk to find what you need.
- Adding to it but not taking away. This is a common one with filing cabinets and noticeboards. Gradually they get stuffed with papers that are no longer relevant, obscure what you do need, and eventually stop you from adding the important papers to them.
- Sorted piles that never make it past the dining room table. You tried, you knew you needed to see what you have and started sorting it. But you were so busy you never set up systems for your sorted papers and the dining table became your system.
- Saying yes to more papers coming in. You subscribe to a new magazine you like, you take on a role in a community group, you start a new project. Go you, you're living life, but you have no room for any of these things.
- Loving stationery... too much. *Sigh* some of it is so pretty, am I right? You can be so creative with all these things. Maybe you even bought stationery thinking that this was the missing link in being more organised, before you had gathered and sorted it. Now it's taking up space in drawers, cupboards, and tables.
- Mysterious files and folders. "I'll just put these in here", you say. Then they just blend into everything else. They are not labelled, and you can't find them.
Do any of these sound familiar? Yes, these are common mistakes. Fortunately or unfortunately, paperwork is a part of our everyday lives, which means plenty of opportunity for improvement. And you don't need to buy anything, or wait for anyone else. You want to crack down on these habits because when you get to the point where you have systems in place, your habits need to support your systems, otherwise the systems won't work. Get started today, and reclaim your mental and home spaces.
All the best,