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Since starting the whole-home decluttering course several years ago, I have had so many people emailing me and sending amazing before & after photos! One area that seemed to be a big problem area before the course was paper clutter: Mail, stacks of paper, receipts, etc…
Here are my tips for cutting down on paperwork:
1- OPEN THE MAIL BY THE RECYCLING BIN.
When I was little, I watched my mom open our mail right next to the garbage can. I watched her throw things away without even opening them. Once I was older, she told me how this little tip saved her time and frustration later.
Now that I am the one getting our mail, I do the same thing.
When I get the mail, I either walk inside to our recycling bin or I go straight to our outdoor recycling bin. I take care of it right then and there.
- Junk mail gets tossed.
- Important mail gets saved.
- Nothing goes on the counter “for later”
- Nothing gets set aside
- There are no paper piles
- I do not keep things to “deal with later” (which brings us to #2)
2- ONLY TOUCH YOUR MAIL ONCE.
This is my Mom’s rule and it is a great one! When you are finished sorting through your mail and you are left with only the important things, immediately do something with it.
- If it is a bill… pay it, or write the check & get it ready to send, or .schedule it to send online.
- If it is an invitation… write the on the calendar and then tape the invitation to that month on the calendar.
- If it is a letter… respond & send it.
- If it is a card, display it then toss it (or save it in a storage box if you keep cards)
Read them daily. Use those “down times” to quickly scan and delete. I delete while I am waiting in line somewhere or when I have a few minutes to spare. I try to just quickly go through and delete junk emails.
My brother has a great e-mail rule: NEVER open an e-mail unless you have the time to respond right then & there!
Now that I follow this rule, I make it a point to only respond when I am at home and have the time. If I check it when I am out, I know that I won’t be able to respond on my phone (it takes too long to type on there for the length of e-mails that I typically send), so I wait and do it later.
If you found these 3 tips to be encouraging, you can join us in the decluttering challenge It is a course that will walk you through your house as we do a deep dive into clutter.
We will declutter, clean, and organize the home! Your home will feel fresh, spacious, and calming.
ps- it is a digital course & book, so don’t worry about any more paper clutter! haha!!
With this being said, it is so important to really try to control your clutter. If you would rather just purchase the book, Freed From Clutter, you are welcome to do that, too! (If you start the course- it is included).
PS- you can download my free room-by-room cleaning printable here.