How to get rid of paper clutter

13 Easy ways to Effectively organize, digitize and minimize paper in your home

Tired of drowning in paper clutter? Dive into our blog post for down-to-earth strategies to revolutionize your paper management game. From transforming your space with digitization tricks to crafting personalized organization systems, embark on a journey to declutter your home and free your mind. Say goodbye to paper chaos and hello to a simpler, more fulfilling lifestyle today!

In today’s digital age, the battle against paper clutter is real. From old receipts to stacks of bills, paper seems to accumulate faster than we can manage it.

But fear not! With a few simple strategies, you can conquer the paper chaos and create a more organized and streamlined home. In this post, we’ll explore nine easy ways to effectively organize, digitize, and minimize paper in your living space.

Do You Have Endless Paper Clutter?

Have you ever felt like you’re swimming in a sea of paper? From junk mail and receipts to bills and magazines, the paper piles up so quickly it can feel overwhelming to keep it all under control.

There are thirteen easy ways to manage paper clutter in your home. Follow our simple guide for a clutter free home. Let’s be honest, it’s nearly impossible to have a mindful home  if there is lots of paper hanging around.

Luckily, the digital world has made it easier to live in a simplified paper free manor. With that said, it takes time and effort to make it happen. Trust me, it will be worth it. It’s a good idea to consider going paperless… At least as much as possible.

Organizing Habits

My sweet Mom retired from being a successful pediatrician for over 40 years. She loves reading and has collected many medical journals, books and other interesting reading materials over the years. As a single mother, she has never had enough time to sit down and read as much as she wanted to. As a result, she has accumulated lots of paper.

Witnessing this painful process, it’s become obvious to me how valuable it is to minimize paper in the home.  Paper accumulates so fast if you let it and it creates a feeling of unrest.  Despite banks and other service organizations offering paperless billing and payments, most of us collect hundreds or thousands pieces of paper each year that leads to way too much clutter and unnecessary chaos.

During our moving process, Steve and I both carefully went through our filing cabinets and made it our priority to shred any paperwork we no longer needed.  We signed up for e-statements and scanned documents and filed them electronically. We have also put some daily habits into a place that have paid off. We have discovered so many benefits with the reduction of paper clutter.

Home office workspace

7 Benefits Of Minimizing Paper Clutter:

  1. Save time and gain more time to do what you want to do.
  2. Collaboration: When you use digital storage, it’s easier to share the info with your spouse and accountant.
  3. o your home is clutter free, you will be able appreciate the design elements of lovely your home. Your eye will find the beauty. 
  4. Better Organization- Get access anytime and anywhere
  5. Go Green, and save trees
  6. Security: Digital cloud services and paper-free tools protect your business data better than you might think. They usually utilize highly secure encryptions to protect your business data. Also, paper documents are not bulletproofed, too. They can easily get spoiled or lost.
  7. Easy Access to what you need.

But, thankfully, all it takes to banish paper clutter from your home are a few well- implemented organization systems.  Follow the following 9 easy ways to minimize paper clutter in your home.

13 Easy Ways To Minimize Paper Clutter In Your Home

1. Opt out of Junk Mail Lists

According to the Center for Development of Recycling at San Jose State University, an American adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail a year. To supply this much paper requires cutting down somewhere between 80 million and 100 million trees annually. If left standing, these trees would absorb 1.7 million tons of CO2 a year.

Minimize the amount of mail you receive by opting out of junk mail. Services such as DMA Choice manage the influx of junk mail you receive therefore a great tool. Catalog Choice also helps control the amount of mail sent to your home. Like the DMA Choice service, Catalog Choice allows you to pick and choose what you want to receive.

2. Sign Up for E-Bills and Statements

Sign up to receive electronic bills and statements. Instead of receiving paper statements each month, companies send electronic statements and bills to your email. Entities offering electronic statements include banks, cable companies, and utility companies.

Recycle sign on craft background with craft paper, top view

3.  Purge and Recycle

Take baby steps to sort your paperwork and tackle one small stack of papers each day. As you review, keep in mind that the National Association of Professional Organizers estimates that we never look at 80% of the papers after seeing them for the first time. So, every day when the mail comes in immediate sort through it and recycle the paper you don’t need.

Sort everything into three piles: Recycle, Scan, or Save.

Put important documents like tax returns, medical files, insurance papers, and leases into a pile to be scanned onto your computer for safekeeping. Save any special photos or sentimental cards you absolutely can’t bear to part with, then recycle everything else.

Don’t forget to shred the necessary documents.

4. Digitalize Your Documents

Start by investing in a reliable scanner. Whether it’s a standalone device or a smartphone app, a scanner will be your best friend in the digitization process. Scan important documents, receipts, and even old photos to create digital copies that can be easily stored and accessed.

Scan documents that you need to keep and store them electronically on computer hard drive. Scanning papers saves a ton of space and reduces clutter. Make sure you backup your paperwork.

Use three digital formats to store data. Hard drive, computer. Cloud based backups or DVD. It’s recommended to also store hard copies of essential documents somewhere else besides your home in case of disaster.

You can also store photos and documents on many reliable online backup sites. Mozy and Backblaze are popular options, and Dropbox charges $9.99 a month for 50 GB of space. Scanning and organizing your digital documents is a time-consuming process. Take it slow, working on a few papers every day.

Young woman studying in the home library.

5. Prioritize Your Books And Magazines

Look through your recipe books and donate the books you don’t use. Consider sourcing your recipes on-line. Go through all of your books and donate outdated books and books you will not be reading in the next several years.

With the Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, and all the other e-book readers on the market, it makes sense to move away from paper books. Recycle old books and buy e-books in the future to cut back on the waste of paper.

After you have read a magazine, hand it to a friend and let them enjoy it. Try hard not to hold onto magazines for a long time.

6. Digitalize Your Signature

It’s a really good idea to have a digital signature to use for documents you may need to sign digitally. If you have an iPad, youcan download the free PowerPad Lite App, which allows you to sign PDFs with your finger, and then submit them electronically. PowerPad Lite also allows users to write out notes on the iPad, instead of typing them.

7. Re-evaluate Your Subscriptions

I don’t know about you but we no longer get the newspaper delivered at the house. Instead, we read the news on-line. This has eliminated so much paper in our house. Also, the news on-line is in real-time.

8.  Organize Kid’s Art Work

Scan and or take pictures of artwork that will fade over time. Keep each piece of artwork in your child’s folder on your computer and then when you have time, make a digital photo book of all all the work.

Do the same for special notes from your children. I choose to keep most of these but I also want a digital copy of them for safe keeping.

9.    Always Ask For Digital Versions

Whenever someone wants to share a physical document with you, ask for a digital version. For instance, company newsletters, insurance companies often need your permission to send information to you via e-mail.

My good Gal Pal Holly, discovered  site that offers a great on-line course to learn how to be paperless. Check it out.

10. Digitize Important Memories

Don’t let old photos and memorabilia take up valuable space in your home. Scan old photos, letters, and other sentimental items to preserve them digitally. Create digital photo albums and scrapbooks to cherish and share these memories without the clutter.

11. Use Digital Note-taking Apps

Say goodbye to sticky notes and scraps of paper cluttering up your desk. Instead, use digital note-taking apps like Evernote or OneNote to jot down important information, make to-do lists, and keep track of appointments.

12. Create a Command Center

Designate a central location in your home as a command center for managing household paperwork. Install a bulletin board or whiteboard for important reminders, schedules, and to-do lists. Keep essential documents and supplies nearby for easy access.

13. Establish Paperless Habits

Establish paperless habits to prevent future paper clutter. Opt for electronic receipts whenever possible, unsubscribe from unwanted mailings, and think twice before printing documents unnecessarily.

By incorporating these thirteen easy strategies into your routine, you can effectively organize, digitize, and minimize paper in your home, creating a more peaceful and clutter-free environment. Say goodbye to paper chaos and hello to a simpler, more streamlined way of living!

Please let us know how your paper organization, digitization and decluttering projects go. Please send pictures too! 

Here are some commonly asked questions about decluttering paper in the home along with their answers:

Q: How do I decide what paper to keep and what to discard?

A: Consider the importance and usefulness of each document. Keep essential documents like legal papers, tax records, and warranties. Discard outdated or unnecessary items such as expired coupons or old magazines.

Q: What’s the best way to organize important documents?

A: Create categorized folders or binders for different types of documents (e.g., financial records, medical documents, personal paperwork). Use labels and dividers to keep everything organized and easily accessible.

Q: How can I prevent paper clutter from building up in the first place?

A: Implement paperless options whenever possible, such as online bill payment and digital subscriptions. Opt out of junk mail and unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists. Sort through incoming mail regularly to prevent accumulation.

Q: What should I do with sentimental paper items like old letters or cards?

A: Consider digitizing sentimental items to preserve them while minimizing physical clutter. Create digital photo albums or scrapbooks to cherish these memories without taking up physical space.

Q: How can I maintain a decluttered paper system long-term?

A: Develop consistent habits, such as sorting through mail daily and filing documents promptly. Regularly review and purge unnecessary items to prevent clutter from building up again.

By addressing these common concerns, individuals can better navigate the process of decluttering paper in their homes and maintain a more organized living space.

Good Luck,


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