Paper clutter is perhaps one of the messiest, and most annoying forms of clutter. It gets everywhere, and spreads quickly. Before you know it, your beloved coffee table has become a paper mountain, and that’s a disaster. No place to put your coffee!

Ideally, you’ll want to prevent paper clutter from mounting up, but when it’s already the size of Mount Everest, the next best thing you can do is to set-up a streamlined paper organization system. The best thing? Your system doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to work.

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Luckily, we’re here to help. To help get your paper disaster under wraps, we’ve created a super simple 5-part organization system you can steal (psst…we’re totally okay with it!).

The Only Paper Declutter System You Will Ever Need

Heads up, if you’ve already got a paper organization system in place (but you’re still drowning in papers), it might just need a simple tweak in one of the five areas listed below. Run through your current routine and see where it could be improved.

Recycling & Trash: Throw any junk mailers, flyers, envelopes and inserts away immediately. For anything sensitive, feed it through a shredder. Don’t have a shredder? No worries. Try these shredding scissors instead. Simply cut up any private information to keep your details safe. I keep my scissors in the hallway drawer under the mail basket so I can sort through the paper real quick.

Quick Use & Time Sensitive: This includes any coupons you might use or discounts that have an expiry date. Upcoming event invitations are good to keep here to. Anything you will use or need in the next week or two, store in this pile. Make sure to store them somewhere safe. Looking for a neat paper storage hack? I’ll show you a quick and cheap method, so keep reading!

Long Term Use & Filing: Important documents which don’t need any action e.g. insurance documents, subscription invoices etc can be filed away. This is the long term pile. Store anything that you won’t use for a while or don’t need regular access to. You’ll want to store these in a super safe place e.g. a secure filing cabinet.

Action Items: Oh, ho! The part we all LOVE. Bills. Payments. Anything that needs a quick and timely response should be sorted into the ‘action’ pile. You can also include RSVPs to parties too *puts hand up* (can I come?!). Need to call someone? Add a colored post-it note to the top of the paper with their number and level or urgency (i.e. Urgent, Non-Urgent etc) so you can prioritise action items.

Fun & Leisure Mail: Subscribed to weekly catalogues, mailers, community newsletters? Store these separately for your leisurely reading. To keep on top of these mailers, you can dedicate one day a week to sort through these items. It’s super easy to horde all the pretty magazines that come through your door but unless you have kids who love to create collages…don’t do it! It’s not worth it!

And that’s it! A simple, but effective 5-part paper declutter system you can use to get rid of your mountain of paper clutter for good.

Where Should I Store My Papers After Decluttering?

You might already have some ideas of where you want to store each of the categories listed above, but in case you’re still scratching your head, we’ll show you a simple and super cheap paper storage technique.

Using an expandable document file, you can keep your papers in separate sections whilst keeping all of your documents in one folder. This little hacks makes paper sorting extremely easy and convenient.

Prefer to keep your papers in different areas of the home? Try these paper file organizers.

If you have too much paper to handle all at once, take baby steps and sort through 10 papers a day. This will take less than a minute!

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