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How to Eliminate 90% of Your Paper Clutter - @AdriansCrazyLif Some simple tips to cut waaaay back on the amount of paper you need to keep in your house.

I think one of the biggest clutter challenges my readers ask about is PAPER. It’s like a faucet that never shuts off. Every day when the mailman comes – more paper. The kids come home from school – more paper. And don’t get me started on the newspapers, and the magazines, and the coupons. If you don’t get a handle on it, pretty soon your house is going to be buried in it!

OK, I’n going to give you the secret to dealing with the excess paper issue – are you listening carefully?

OK, here it is – YOU DON’T NEED NINETY PERCENT OF IT. There, now do you feel better?

[bctt tweet=”Here’s the secret to eliminating 90% of your paper clutter – YOU DON’T NEED MOST OF IT. There – feel better?”]

No really – you DON’T NEED IT.

  • Utility bills – Nope, don’t need ’em. If you have a question (and how often does that happen – like never!), they will print you another one in just minutes.
  • Paystubs – Again, you don’t need ’em. Usually they are available on-line. If not, someone in Payroll definitely has another copy of them and they will be happy to provide it in those rare cases you might need them.
  • Bank statements – OK, maybe, just maybe you might need one of these, but hey there’s this new thing called “online banking”.  They will store them for you and you can pull them up for like years.  Just try it for a few months and see how it goes.
  • Flyers, mailers, junk mail, coupons – the only ones you might need are coupons, but even then, how many coupons do you CUT vs. how many do you USE (before they expire)?
  • Catalogsdefinitely don’t need them and it’s better for your budget if you can get them to not even come into your house. It’s just letting unnecessary temptation in your door. Every place that sends you a catalog has a website with everything in that catalog available in a searchable format.

Although, catalogs are a LOT more work to get rid of than magazines and things you have to pay for.  See my article on my Magazine Fast – where I eliminated 95% of my magazine and newspaper subscriptions.  I just have one little Boy Scout magazine that I still get.

After my in-laws passed away, we cleaned out their house and found drawers and drawers full of all this paper – hundreds of utility bills, decades of paystubs, Christmas cards, just tons of useless paper. We literally burned through a shredder disposing of them all.

It was really sad and kind of surprising because they were real neatniks, but I never noticed them squirreling away all this paper.

Here’s something that might surprise you – I haven’t taken a daily newspaper, watched any regular news shows, or listened to any news radio shows in probably 10 years.  And you know what, I probably haven’t missed a single important news story in all that time – not one.

I have news alerts that come to my Email for big news stories like natural disasters or stupid politician tricks. Anything else, I catch info on the Internet, hear a blip on the radio, or someone says “hey have you heard…”.  I figure that saves me about 6 inches of excess paper every week. And a lot of negative BS that I don’t want in my life.

The average person has 3.1 magazine subscriptions and they don’t actually read them half the time. What’s up with that?

We get these shiny, pretty magazines and think we’re going to make all these yummy recipes, create all these fabulous crafts, make over our home to look like a magazine layout and try all these miracle diets, but honestly, we probably won’t, and those shiny magazines just pile up in stacks all around your house.

So, what’s a girl to do? Well, for starters, take a look at your subscriptions and consider doing some pruning back. Then take your accumulation of magazines really think about how many of them you’ve read.

If you want, just tear out the articles or recipes you want and keep ’em in a file.  It’s OK to tear it up, you’ve paid for the magazine. Then find somewhere to pass it on to. I always think it is such a waste for just one person to read a magazine and then throw it away.  Even better, you can find even better stuff on Pinterest and it is a clutter-free solution!

Next up, I show you what to do with the 10% of paper that you actually DO need to keep


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17 Comments on How to Eliminate 90% of Your Paper Clutter

  1. This is such a great list to start paper decluttering. I have a question though, what about children’s art / drawings/ those papers from school? I kept them for keepsake originally, but it keeps piling up.

    • I’ve seen a few tricks for kids artwork. You can take pictures of them and make them into a photo book. That will take up a lot less room and be remembered a lot longer. A friend of mine who unfortunately lost their son in his 20’s, had made some of his early artwork into laminated placemats. Now, it is a wonderful memory of him for them to share with their friends.

  2. Great tips! I need to do a better job about taming my papers. As it is right now I have a massive pile of papers (well, at least they’re in a bag) that need to be shredded. Minus magazines to my alma maters, I don’t have any magazine subscriptions, though my husband does. I recycle catalogs as soon as I receive them. Stopping by from SITS, thanks for sharing!

  3. These are really great tips. I’ve been getting a lot better about cutting down on paper. We get most of our bills electronically now and I’ve called to stop delivery of most of our catalogs. It’s always a process!

  4. Haha that’s awesome – paper clutter is a real condition lol I have a ton of old bills that I’ve kept thinking “ill handle it later.” The Neat Organizer is something I’m considering investing in the future for all the documents and such that I feel would be good to keep just in case, thankfully in such an electronic age the need for paper documentation isn’t as necessary as before. 🙂 Have a great one! -Iva

  5. You saved me just in time. I was about to do a three for $12 magazine subscription when I realized I barely have time to read my Time magazine. BTW I quit Time for a year and they asked me back for $15. Couldn’t resist. Been reading it since 1968. I also get Consumer Reports and share the magazines with my daughters. No daily newspaper. It is less than 20 pages and not worth the money. Once a week I get online and read the most popular articles, upcoming local events and at my age the Obituary. Thanks for the blog. Enjoy Sharefest.

  6. These are AWESOME tips! We have tons of paper coming into the house, especially now that my son is in preschool. I feel like everyday his backpack has either a new note or an art project in it! Happy Sharefest!

  7. Good post. Paper drives me crazy! I’ve been trying to scan more of it. Then I have less paper and things are pretty easy to find. But the scanning process is time consuming! I scan, re-name and move. It’s almost easier just to save the paper!

  8. i had to tell you we are on the same page (couldn’t help it) 😉 Unlike you- I still get the daily paper… weeks go by, and I don’t get it read, but I cannot bring myself to stop it. You’ve got to zip over and read this post- know we’re sisters in paper (i KNOW i have more than you do!)
    Great post, Adrian.

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