3 Simple Ways To Organize Your Paper Piles!


Have You Ever Wanted To Organize All Your Nagging Paper Clutter?

Ahh….the paper piles….we all have them…or should I say our kitchen tables, nightstands, desktops, even the floors in our home or office have them. It’s as if paper elves come in the night secretly piling pages on horizontal surfaces while we sleep…

Breathe…I’ve got you covered. Or should I say uncovered.

Ever wake to face what was yesterday only a few papers neatly placed, to a mountainous, precarious pile of…well let’s face it, you’re not sure what’s in that pile?

Just looking at the stacks makes you feel overwhelmed and paralyzed how to start.

Today I’m sharing 3 simple steps to organize your paper piles in no time.

Step 1: Approach your first pesky paper pile with a breezy attitude, because you’re about to effortlessly blow this pile, along with your guilt and anxiety, away…

Pull out any thick pieces such as catalogs, magazines, stapled packets and toss them into the recycle bin if they are not current or are just junk mail. 

Voilá…you now have an instantly smaller pile. Even if you stopped now, you have successfully lessened some of the paper mess. Congratulations!

Step 2: Now that you’ve made a small dent, gather all your loose documents.

One reason people create paper piles is they are afraid that “out of sight – out of mind” will lead to wasted time searching for one piece they suddenly need.

Contain your papers in one place.

Now if you need a document, you only have one place to look through until you get them filed or where they belong.

A rectangle basket with a lid (a picnic basket works) or document boxes such as these works. Home Goods has all sort of lidded boxes that allow you to choose your style; solid, patterned, modern, vintage.

Step 3: Accept that all these papers did not come into your office or home at once. Give yourself permission to organize a little at a time, steadily.

Schedule 15 minute “paper dates” on your calendar a few times a week to take out a handful of papers from your container to handle once and for all.

Put any bills or important documents on top.

During your “paper dates” sift through your handful of papers and quickly toss any trash. Be ruthless: expired coupons, notes you wrote that now appear scribbled in some unintelligible language, business cards of people you can’t recall meeting (or foresee contacting).

Next, handle papers that require action: put events, appointments, phone numbers and relevant information in your calendar.

If you can take care of an item with a brief call or action that requires less than 2 minutes, do it now. Otherwise note the task on your To Do List. Read more about To Do Lists on my blog here.

Bonus: If you notice you keep sneaking a paper back in the box under a stack (who me?), ask yourself why you struggle to handle this item.

  • Is it because it has no home so you don’t know where to put it? No file or folder? 
  • Is it sentimental? Could you take a photo of it, keep the picture and toss the original? Or put it in a memory box or album? 

How do you handle the deluge of paper in your home or office?

I’d love to hear if any of these ideas helped you, and about your paper organizing strategies as well. Leave a comment or question below. I’d love to connect!

For now, I have to attend to my own few papers waiting on my desk…before the elves get here.

I’m a mindset focused professional organizer. I help entrepreneurs, busy moms and attorney clients simplify their papers and spaces. Let me help you go from clutter bug to freedom.