September 11, 2018

Do you ever feel like you are drowning in paper? Your dining room table is covered, your hand bag is filled with receipts, or your credenza is swimming with old Christmas cards. Whatever the source may be, paper clutter is one mess of a problem. If you don’t deal with it on a daily basis you can soon find yourself drowning in paper from every angle. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of 10 tips to help you organize and declutter that paper mess, wherever is may linger.

1. Shred unwanted personal documents: Anything that has your personal information on it (like your address, social security number, phone number, or bank account number) should be shredded-not tossed out with the regular recycling. Not only does a shredder help protect your privacy, it also eliminates all paper that falls in the annoying “Can’t throw it away, but don’t have a place to put it” category.
2. Purge your paper: Gather all paper items in your house. Be sure to check your purse, junk drawers, closets, and desks for old manuals, flyers, statements, etc. Sort everything into piles such as recycled, scan, and save. Always place important documents, like tax returns or medical files, into a spot for safekeeping-better yet, go a step further and scan these items into your computer. Then recycle anything unwanted that is 3 months or older and shred all personal documents that are no longer needed.
3. Recycle stack of magazines and newspapers: Will you ever read them again? Probably not. You’ll likely not need to hold onto them for any other use, unless you are embarking on a year long craft project via Pintrest. Also use this time to unsubscribe from any magazines or newspapers you do not read. The less incoming paper clutter, the better!
4. Create a filing system: Create something that is organized logically, easy to access, and spacious enough to accommodate incoming paper items that are of value. With enough available space you can install file cabinets and portable file bins, or use desk organizers to keep things compact. Stock up on file folders and be sure to clearly label everything for easy access i.e. “Taxes” or “Medical Bills.”
5. Designate a recycling bag or bin near your front door: This step allows you to dispose of junk mail as soon as it enters the house. This can include anything from credit card offers to flyers and advertisements. When garbage day comes, you can quickly empty the recycling bin at the curb and breathe a sigh of relief. Another clutter disaster avoided!
6. Store coupons in a binder: Coupons can be a major source of clutter, especially if you stock up on them and never use them. If you have the urge to be thrifty use binders and index card cases to store coupons for future use. Throw away any that have expired and keep the binder or case in your car or purse for utilization.
7. Store important receipts in a binder: Organize all important receipts into a binder with plastic page protectors for easy accessing when you need to reference. Be sure to store the binder in a convenient place that you can frequently access.
8. Use your mobile or desktop calendar: You don’t need to save event flyers or invitations if you have a calendar. Utilize your mobile or desktop calendar to see your weekly schedule and record any important upcoming activities. Transfer event information into digital format then rid yourself of the paper in your recycling for good!
9. Hang photos or organize them into albums: Don’t let your memories sit in a box or on the table. Put them in an album or frame or hang them on a cork board so you can enjoy them. For those that you want to save but not display, organize photos into albums then store appropriately.
10. Go paperless with bank statements and bills: Stop future paper items from entering the house by going paperless and signing up for eStatements and online bill pay. Most banks, including GHS FCU, offer the option to stop receiving paper statements, all you have to do is ask. Take this step further by writing fewer checks. This will eliminate the need to stock up on envelopes and stamps, thus removing even more paper clutter from your home. You can sign up for eStatements at GHS by visiting www.ghsfcu.com/estatements.