Let’s remove some paper!

Today ends week six of Melissa Taylor’s online study, using my book “I Used to Be So Organized.”   And the focus has been on paper – which is likely one of your biggest challenges when it comes to de-cluttering and organizing.  No matter how much “they” say we are moving toward a paper-less society, “they” have yet to inform the rest of the world.

And so, if you are anything like me, it’s a daily challenge to keep paper from taking over my counters, desks, shelves and tabletops. Plus, am I the only one who has more books and magazines than one can read?

The key to paper management is having a “home” for everything.  Whenever I have piles accumulate, it’s usually because I don’t know where to put all that paper.  So I have to force myself to handle it one piece at at a time and make a decision about where it should “live.”  Which usually involves another step, such as cleaning out old files to make room for the new ones or a trip to the store for supplies.  That’s why it’s easier to leave things in piles.

But here’s the good news. Once you force yourself to think this through, and create homes for all that paper, maintaining it on a daily basis isn’t that hard. Of course, this isn’t a quick fix.  But once you’ve pushed through, you’ll be happy you did.

We all deal with this challenge of pushing through when things get hard.  We face it in so many areas of our lives.  We are tired and decide to skip the gym today, which turns into a week, and then we are out of shape and it’s too hard to go to the gym.  Or we are close to paying off a credit card bill, but decide to make a few purchases to celebrate. And where to put paper isn’t that different.

We all have these moments of critical decision making – although they are about such minor things that we dismiss their importance.  I just have to get firm with myself when I want to take the easy route and let my piles grow.  But the little decision I make are hugely important in getting my home and life under control.

So, let’s start by making a little decision.   So this weekend for your “home” work, I want you to reduce some of the paper clutter in your home.  Don’t try to tackle it all.  You’ll only get frustrated and quit.  But what about picking one type of paper and doing something about it?  Here’s what I mean:

Magazines:  Gather one bag of magazines to donate somewhere, and take them there.  This might be a school art room, your local library or a women’s shelter.

Books:  Get a cardboard box or paper bag and fill it with books you no longer need.  Donate these book to a worthy cause in your area.

Greeting cards:  Do you like to keep them?  First I write the year on the back.  Then I put them in ziplock plastic bags according to year and holiday (like birthday, Mother’s Day or Christmas).  I write the event on the outside of the plastic bag with a sharpie market and store the bags flat in a memory box in my closet.  I do this for everyone in my family.  If you don’t keep them, then collect them and donate them to friends who are crafters.

Phone numbers and addresses on little slips of paper:  Collect them all and enter them into your paper address book, Outlook or whatever digital contact manager you use.

Business cards:   I love my Rolodex for business cards.  My Rolodex has paper inserts with slits in them, and I just tuck the business card in the slits.

Scrap paper:  If you’ve got paper that’s only printed on one side, consider printing a draft of something on the other side.  Or cut into quarters, staple in the upper left corner, and make your own scratch pads.

Let’s expand this conversation.  What types of paper are accumulating in your house?  If you are stuck and need some fresh ideas, post a comment with your paper problem.  If you have a solution, please post a reply.  Or, if you’ve got a creative way to reduce the paper clutter in your home, share you idea.

In the past weeks I have absolutely loved how so many of you have responded to each other, with encouragement and great ideas.  Let’s keep this going.  To sweeten the pot, I’ve got a giveaway to offer.  A few months ago, a very sweet reader, Christine Soncarty, donated a lovely organizing utility tote for me to give away.  She’s an independent consultant with “Thirty-one,” a company offering the most adorable bags and totes.

The tote is in the Harvest Floral design with 5 exterior patch pockets, 2 mesh pockets with elastic top at sides.  It’s approximately 10.25″H x 15.5″W x 6.5″D.

To be entered to win, please post a comment by Sunday July 15 at noon PST. You don’t have to have a problem or a solution, you can just say “I’m drowning in paper and school’s about to start and then it will be worse!”  Or something like that.  I’ll select a winner at random and announce her on Monday.  And thank you, Chris, for your generosity!

If you are reading this in an email, please click here to be take to my blog to leave a comment.  If you hit reply, I’ll enjoy your thoughts, but I can’t enter it in the giveaway.  (sorry)

Thanks so much for joining me today.

In His love,

Glynnis

 

 

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Comments

  1. Karla says

    Scrapbook paper, stationary, notecards, bills, daughter’s art paper, magazines, playing cards, and more are all visible from where I sit. The magazines are on their way out!

    • Joan Cox says

      I’m getting there! I’ve had to hunt up our records for applying for Social Security. In the process (remember I’m old enough for Social Security) I’ve finally recycled college class notes, almost everything from the career I retired from 5 yrs. ago, warranties, etc. of things we no longer have. I like the greeting card idea. Thanks

  2. Teresa R says

    I clip pics, words, sentences, and articles out of magazines. The pics, words, and sentences I use in my journal. I have several pencil boxes that I have labeled – animals, scenes, abstract, people – and put the clipped items away by category.
    The articles are my problem. I have file folders, but I tend to lump the articles together on top of a bookcase, or my desk, and leave them there

    • Jill says

      Teresa, Have you thought of buying a scanner to turn the articles you like into an electronic format, so you can then keep them on your computer? It’s nice because then you can categorize them in case you need to refer to them later.

      Also, I have started taking pictures of everything that I want to remember out of magazines (such as recipes or products) and then keep those on my computer to refer to later. This is great because you can take pictures of things anywhere, even if you are looking at magazines in a doctors office, and can’t take it home with you.

    • Jan says

      Teresa, I had this same problem and sometimes managed to put articles in file folders, but you still have the problem of storing paper. When i moved from Atlanta a few years ago i had a stack of magazines with articles tagged that i wanted to save. My niece was helping me pack and I asked her to go through them and scan the articles. I can now keep them organized on my computer and refer to them quickly. It also allows me to easily share them with friends via email. If i need a printed copy, i can do that also.

      • Lois says

        Remember too, back up those files some where else! I said good-bye to our ol’ computer this week, along with all the stuff on the hard-drive. Some pictures I’m sure are gone, but I usually back-up to my external hard-drive. I haven’t become a fan of the cloud yet. We tried with our cable internet, but it was sucking too much of our speed.

  3. Brenda says

    Could you post a picture of your Rolodex? I just can not envision what it looks like from your description! I need to get business cards under control!!

  4. Rebecca A. Myers says

    I understand what you mean about paper! The most important task I complete, when dealing with ALL the paper, is to go through the mail as soon as it is brought in this house…throwing away envelopes, putting the bills in my file, shredding the unwanted mail…it’s one small way I try to keep a step ahead of the paper clutter!

  5. Susan says

    I am definitely drowning in paper right now, but it’s not really mine. I’m trying to sort through a non-profit camp’s financial records and get them posted and organized. The piles of paper seem endless and I spend a few hours working on it but it doesn’t seem like progress is being made, actually, I’m convinced the stack multiplies at night :)

  6. Amber says

    Paper is my clutter enemy. It doesn’t help that my 7 yr old wants to keep EVERY picture he draws. I got a file box for his school papers and I am going to get an accordion(sp?) folder for his artwork.

    • Ashlyn says

      haha! Mine too! I bought mine a binder with blank paper in it and am encouraging him to collect his artwork in the binder so his masterpieces don’t get lost or wrinkled.

    • Lorri says

      Another good idea for keeping kids artwork…..Put lots of them on the refrigerator then take a picture of your child standing next to their works of art. The picture can go in their scrapbook or on a bulletin board in their room. Takes up a lot less space.

    • Jenn says

      I started scanning artwork or taking a picture of it. Our school art program uses Artsonia to store artwork in cyberspace. I can access it, but not have it taking over the house. Love it!

    • June Becklin says

      Jill,

      My youngest is leaving for college in five weeks. What I did for both of my boys is keep what they wanted each school year but at the end of the year let things go they were no longer attached to and then purchased clear plastic envelopes l0 x 13 with an twist cord tie. We marked the envelope by grade and put the papers in there. Report cards were included. Once they each left elementary school they seemed to be less attached and I was able to keep just one l0 x l3 for elementary, middle school and high school.

      If you are a scrapbooker, I purchased those 12 section accordian style folders. Marked each section by grade and added pics I took as I went for each grade, awards, etc.. Once i was ready to scrap a particular grade in school it was all there.

      :) Still working on those scrapbooks for my youngest.

      june

  7. Jessica says

    I have been dealing with paper clutter for the past few days now. It’s amazing how quickly (and easily) it multiplies! This post came at a perfect time!

  8. Cathy says

    I have an accordian file that has a tab for every member of the family. I put all of their current important papers in it, such as my son’s baseball schedule, the back to school letter that has important information but doesn’t need to be out in plain sight. The papers are easily accessible but still organized.

  9. says

    I love that you mentioned the Organizing Utility Tote from Thirty-One to help keep organized! This bag is my “Home Office” and also my “Office to Go”! The zipper pouches also make it handy to keep items in your “Mom” bag organized.

  10. Kelli D. says

    Thank you for your wonderful articles on decluttering, especially paper. I have a huge issue with this. I am going to tackle one thing this weekend. May God bless you, Glynnis!
    :-)

  11. Terrie says

    I has to setup an extra table in my office to handle my piles. I have the rest of my home under control and go overboard on keeping it that way just so I can avoid my office.

  12. says

    I recently left a corporate job to focus full time on my Mary Kay business but Im having a hard time organizing my home office. Due to limited spacing, it’s hard to keep the paper piles at a minimum. Any suggestions

    • Catherine Shepard says

      Carol, If you have a computer but limited space consider getting a scanner (make sure it is one that comes with software to help you search for items after they are scanned) and scanning your paperwork into a virtual file. That way you can shred all the paperwork yet still have it handy. Hope that helps.

  13. Britnie Daugherty says

    In the past 2 years I have gone back to work AND school. With a husband, 2 children and a business and household to run I have found PAPER to be a big TIME THIEF in my day. I have piles of important papers that need to be filed for future reference but seemingly no time to do it. So, here is my solution: SCAN, SAVE and SHRED!!! I now have access to a quick scanner that I can just run a document through and it will save it in PDF format, straight to a flash drive. I have files on the drive for our business and personal documents so I will have a quick and easy access to the important documents we need. Then I just drop the papers in the shredder and move on to more important issues…like playing Flap Doodle with my two boys :o) HAPPY SHREDDING!!

    • Susan says

      I love this solution!! I have learned both at home and at work, to scan most items and save them in appropriate folders. Rarely, do I need to keep the original paper. At work, I even scan all my handwritten project notes. This has been a huge relief for me…to rid my workspace of all the visual clutter. Yay!

    • Tammy says

      For those who scan and save, always back-up to a second source, a “cloud” type system is nice for easy access from different computers.
      And be sure to password protect private information, especially if you use a portable device like a flash drive, or if your computer is accessible to others.

  14. Ashlyn says

    I have been working hard on reducing my clutter this summer. I have made some great headway, but paper still gets me. And it is the “to do” paper that piles up. You know, the kind of paper that sits there until you can do a task. Like the school supply lists for the kids. I have all 4 lists sitting there, but I can’t buy school supplies in July-it goes against nature, doesn’t it?? Thanks for the tips!!

    • Nancy says

      Those “to do” papers are the ones that get me too. They very easily pile up. I have 4 kids ranging this year from 9th to Kindergarten. I’ve got a couple of mode of handling all that paper.

      For school items I don’t have to keep in front of me to remember, such as school supplies, I have a “school” accordion folder for each child. The front pocket is for papers such as supply lists, letters with info I could but may not need, and teacher specific items from the start of school. This front pocket is also where I keep report cards and test scores until summer. During the summer, I sort through this pocket, filing away what still needs to be kept. The rest of the dividers are labeled by subject for assignments we sort through at least a couple of times a year.

      For the other items, I use a binder in a manner Glynnis recommended in January in her 15 day organization blitz. Each type of item (school, church, maybe even family member name) has a divider. I hole punch and put other items here. I try to thumb through it frequently, but if need be, I write the item and date due on my To Do list at the front of my binder. It has a hard cover that I actually keep open (front folded back) on the counter.

      • Catherine Shepard says

        If you have a smart phone – take a picture of it. Make sure you can zoom in to read it. Then when it is time to shop for school supplies, you have the list with you. Then shred the paper one.

  15. Yvonne says

    It’s fun reading all your comments and suggestions! Some of you have such great ideas! Paper is a fact of life. . . sometimes i have to get up early just to have a few minutes before the fam gets up just to clear off my desk and regain some sanity before the day starts!

  16. Susan says

    I made a commitment to get my house organized, 1 room at a time, by the end of the summer. Every night I walk thru the rooms that I already organized & pick up. It’s really worked out well and everyone in the house is watching me & starting to pick up after themselves too. My biggest problem now is the pile of paper that has accumulated in the counter of my kitchen. What is with the paper? I can’t seem to throw it away but if if I put it in an organizer it is just going to get lost or forgotten about, so I might as well throw it away.

  17. AB says

    Thanks so much for all the great tips during this series! One idea some taught me years ago is never let a piece of paper touch your hands twice without a purpose. If it needs filing, file it, recycling straight from the mailbox helps cut down on the paper clutter etc… It is hard to do sometimes with busy lives but saves time in the end!

  18. Karen Johnson says

    Your “sample comment” comes straight from my”real life”; however, it is I that will be returning to school. My youngest just graduated high school but I’m I’m my 3rd yr of college & starting with a mound of paper on the desk is not going to cut it as my classes will be substantially more difficult. So I need HELP… PLEASE!!

  19. Terri Clum says

    I have a paper problem. I love to read and will keep magazines and books until I read them from cover to cover. Otherwise, paper clutter is at a minimum in our house. I keep my books on a book shelf, well, 3 books shelves, and my magazines in pretty baskets. I do donate and recycle when I have read them.

  20. Eleanor Boyd says

    Paper control is a real challenge! I try to deal with things right away and through away junk mail or other papers as soon as I can. I have a file for each of my children. I tend to make too many files and then have a hard time finding the information! I only get 2 magazines and read, then put in my guest room and then donate after some time has passed. I don;t buy many books but when I do I often pass them on to someone else to read and tell them to keep the book or pass it on again.

  21. Cindt says

    Unfortunately paper clutter is the demon in this house. One of the reasons we have “Can’t have anybody over syndrome”. Thanks for the tips.

  22. Vicki says

    I quit using an address book. My friends move to often! I bought a long 3×5 file box to hold the file cards I made for each person. I made a special category for doctors and neighbors.It helps me remember what the name,address, and phone number of a doctor I used in my former town or remember the neighbor’s last name.When friends move, I turn the card over and write in the new info.On their card i also write their childrens and grandchildrens names, birthdays and anniversaries.If the card gets to messy or full I just make a new one!

  23. Chris says

    Paper is my number one problem of staying organized. I have a quiet weekend coming up and have donated 4 hours to paper sorting and filing. Thanks for the motivation to tackle the paper pile. I know I will feel so much lighter after it is all put away in it’s place!

  24. nancys1128 says

    The timing of this info is absolutely perfect (big surprise)! We are in the process of house hunting, which will mean packing to move in the not so distant future. The biggest problem in my house is the receipts that seem to multply over night. I have my thoughts on what to do with them, but since that’s part of my husband’s realm, he has an idea what he wants but hasn’t found just the right thing yet. I think it’s time to implement my idea(s) on an interim basis. We can always change it up when he finds what he’s looking for. And as long as I promise not to through anything away, it just might work.

    • Catherine Shepard says

      What’s he looking for? Maybe some of us ladies can help him find it. You know we are great shoppers and always looking for the best deal.

  25. Betsy says

    I take the newspaper to the community food kitchen the days I volunteer and let others read it. The other newspapers are recycled to the local animal shelter to use in the cages. ALL junk mail and inserts are thrown away the same day they arrive.

  26. Joyce says

    Thank you for all your help and your book. It has been most helpful in getting me started on all my clutter.

  27. Rhonda says

    Homeschooling … my how that adds to the paper clutter! It seems like I don’t quite get through the last year before the next one hits! Praying about this one!

    • Rebecca Portteus says

      Rhonda,

      I do not homeschool, but do tutoring out of my home, plus do some lessons with my preschool aged kids. I love file boxes. I drop some hanging folders with subjects listed on them and then use file folders for individual topics. You could also use binders with the clear “pockets” to put units in.

  28. Amy says

    I have a constant pile of paper that goes from my kitchen table to my bed at dinner time and then back to the kitchen table before bedtime. It’s just a pile of stuff that I need to do, research, look over, etc. I just can’t seem to find the time to get through it. Accompanying my pile is a pile of papers, etc that I need my husband to go through and tell me what he wants/needs and what can be thrown away. I can’t ever seem to get him to go through it so it just keeps building. I really think getting a home office set up will help. I envision having a slot or folder or something that I can put those papers for him into. I’m not sure…..hopefully we’ll get it figured out. :-)

    • Jenny says

      Amy, I have the same problem. I’m fine with throwing away my own paper, but my husband brings home so much between his job and volunteer boards and committees, it gets piled all over. I finally took the most recent pile and divided it by subject (work, each board, each volunteer committee) and put it in an accordion folder. Now at least he can find what he needs and it is kept in one small spot! Would love to do more but now sure that will happen!!

      • Amy says

        I love that idea….it would be perfect because most times when he finally does need one of those papers he can’t find it and then asks me where I put it. :-)

  29. mommamary2many says

    loved the “paper” post…as a homeschool momma of 8 the stacks of paper in our school room is daunting and preventing us from schooling these summer weeks…time to get serious with this homework! Lovely tote!

    • Catherine Shepard says

      Thanks so much for the idea. I will have to check to see if they have room. I have at least 4 boxes of books that I have read. Love Inspired, and the Inspired History and Mystery ones. I would love for them to go to a good cause.

  30. Leah Stauffer says

    Even though I’ve found ways that work for me to BE organized such as files for often used paperwork where I work, the hard part for me is to STAY that way. Everything add up so quickly when I don’t follow thru and put them away immediately!

    • Catherine Shepard says

      There’s that follow thru thought again. I need to post that everywhere! Maybe then I can get some things done.

  31. Emily says

    This has been my favorite chapter so far and the most helpful! I am drowning in paper! I tend to keep everything, so I have piles everywhere. To tame my piles and get everything in one place, I have created a cork board/dry erase board work station in my kitchen next to the family desk. This is a place where we are going to showcase drawings, school papers, pictures. I also have a few files pinned on the cork board for the upcoming school year – papers to sign, important docs, etc.
    The book has been so helpful! Thank you so much!

  32. Annice Oxford says

    I am a “piler” when it comes to papers, books, magazines, etc. That’s my current way to organize, but I want to change it. I am about to embark on my first year of Homeschooling and need to get things in order and fast! I have been enjoying your book and the blog posts about it.

  33. Lee Ann Markham says

    Yes, I am drowning in paper too! My husband and I will have been married 2 years at the end of the month and we are expecting our first child in October, so this study came at the perfect time! This weekend I will work on our incoming trays and filing things that need it. Thank you! Your book is great!

  34. Dedra says

    Thanks for all the tips…I run an in home daycare business and the amount of paper work that has to be kept for 7 years can be daunting. I am thankful that my husband got me into the filing system years ago or I would be drowning in paper!! Another tip I use is that if I want to buy new toys for the kids, I have to have something leave the house. That way it seems that I do not get overloaded with “stuff”.

  35. Beth Blackwell Swartz says

    I have not tried this, but this is my new plan. Currently there are 3 piles in various places around the house- 1 for me, 1 for my husband and 1 for my daughter. Whenever I find something, something comes in the mail, etc I place it in the appropriate pile. I plan to try having 3 trays (In Boxes) and putting the papers in there. They must be dealt with by the time it fills up!

  36. Jennifer says

    I used to be so organized until……kids! I struggle with every aspect, especially the kids art and school work. It’s so hard to part with each piece, but what do you do with it all??

  37. Jill U says

    I enjoy reading all of the ideas. I utilize binders and sheet protectors. I now think I am going to have too many binders with out a place to keep them. I have to keep business paperwork for tax reasons. Every couple of years I had a different way to organize them. I have listed this under my project tab to organize all the business paper in one place where it is easy to find.
    I looked at the online catalog of Thirty One and liked a lot of those products. I have requested a catalog to be mailed.

    • Catherine Shepard says

      Jill – make sure you file them by year. That way after 7 years most of the paperwork can be purged (shredded) and room for a new year is then available.

      ALSO – invest in a scanner. ScanSnap has some great ones. Scan your paperwork by year and then purge it later. That way you don’t have so much money invested in room to store paperwork. Get a big external hard drive for your computer to store them so you still have room on your local hard drive for processing day to day things.

      Hope this helps.

  38. KARLA says

    It is amazing to me even in this day & age of the computer that there could be sooooo much paper clutter! Help! It seems as if it is multiplying!

  39. Linda says

    To help with papers from school for my kids and things I need to have quick access to, I bought magnetic baskets that I have on the side of refrigerator for each of my 3 children, and for my husband and myself. When they bring something home that we need to keep to refer to (class syllabus, field trip coming up, party invitation), I just put it in their basket. It’s not the perfect filing system, but it helps a lot. The kids will also put things in there that they always want to keep track of, like earbuds or their wallets. It’s like an “inbox” for the home!

    • Catherine Shepard says

      I love this idea. Just to tweek it a little (I don’t have room on my frig for much of anything) – I could mount a piece of metal (sheet metal of some type) in the back entry way and put the baskets on that. Yeah – LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT.

  40. Libby says

    Drowning in paper- oh my! And it is not just my stacks. I find stacks of paper my kids have left, too! Magazines, books, family history research, my husband’s research for papers he’s writing. There are stacks and stacks of paper here. I am that person in your post today who tackles it and then gets overwhelmed. Will continue reading your book and praying the ideas within its pages take hold in my brain so we can free ourselves from this paper prison!!

  41. amy says

    That would be the perfect tote!!! It can be my DIVINE INTERVENTION!!!!! I so need it for all,my papers!!!

  42. Melissa B says

    Thanks for the help and encouragement to keep my papers under control. The beautiful bag would really help keeping me motivated to put those papers away before they get out of control!

  43. Teresa says

    I open my mail and throw the unwanted stuff into the recycle bin. I read magazines the day they arrive, pull out the pages I want to save and then into the recycle bin it goes. My recycle bin needs to be emptied often, but at least I don’t get too many paper piles growing on my counters!

  44. Wendy says

    All of the ideas are awesome! There is one problem; however – they just don’t work. Well, truth is, they just don’t work when one doesn’t create the good habit of keeping up with the new and awesome idea :) That is another book (one I believe I have read – lol)! Stopping the bad habits and replacing them with new, good ones.

  45. Elizabeth A says

    It really resonated in me what you said when you correlated our paper piles to other areas in our life where things snowball. When you mentioned how one missed day at the gym snowballs into weeks away, that really hit home. I never saw them as the same root issue, but I do now. Thanks!

  46. Sabrina says

    What a wonderful giveaway! So pretty!
    I must share that I have finally {well…almost} gotten rid of a room full of paper and storage that was a disaster. My husband made me a 36 cubby shelf {just like the IKEA ones} but better, and it fits all of my banker boxes {which I refaced to look pretty}. I have a few files and papers on my computer desk that I will be sorting through BUT everything else is off the floor and the office looks amazing! Thank you to my blessed and talented husband. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders!

  47. jackie s says

    finally took step one – emptied 6 months of receipts out of the large laundry basket – got rid of half of the paper in the trash this morning! at least now i only have one large pile sitting upstairs to be sorted.

  48. Sylvia says

    Glynnis, you described me so well. I literally have boxes of paper, books, pictures, clothing to donate, etc. in my garage waiting on me to organize them. Thanks much for the encouraging word and creative ways in accomplishing organization. I have decided to tackle one box at a time!

  49. Cyndi says

    Oh my goodness, when did you get into my house to see all my paper clutter?! You didn’t take pictures, did you? This is the hugest clutter problem in my life! Bills, junk mail, kids school papers/art work. I have wrap around countertops and an island and a 10′ kitchen table & you can’t see any of them (no lie!) We clear a spot to eat, literally! I keep trying to organize but to no avail, it all comes back! I enjoyed your blog this week & will try some of your strategies. Thanks for helping me get motivated to start.

  50. Kim says

    I love all your ideas! So simple to put into practice! My problem is I think I enjoy planning on getting organized than the actual act of doing it :( I have been taking small steps though and incorporating into my life.

    Thank you so much for all you do!

    Kim

    • Jenny says

      Me too! I can spend hours planning on organizing/cleaning. But when it comes to actually doing it . . . it just doesn’t happen!

  51. Lana says

    Great verse in Deuteronomy1 that goes something like this… “You’ve been going around this mountain too long. Head north.” That’s me with clutter. Time to take your advice and suggestions and stop going around this mountain of clutter!

    • Cindy says

      Thanks for sharing. I must look up this verse in Deut 1 and put this where I can see it as a reminder when papers begin to stack up beyond my understanding and what to do with them. Thanks for the encouraging word. Yes, I need that beautiful tote!!!!

  52. traci barber says

    My house is full of papers stuck anywhere I can find a place out of sight. So a lot of times(ok all the time) when I need to find an important paper it takes me a while to find it and it gets frustrating. Even though my house may look straight its the behind the scenes that people don’t see that frustrates me ( cabinets closets ect.). Thank you for your great ideas. I hope to put some into action.

  53. Lesley says

    I file all schoolwork and artwork that I keep by grade level by child in 2 gallon ziplock bags. Has helped so much!

  54. Karin Hulbert says

    Paper clutter is a HUGE challenge for me. I also work from home so then the challenger just doubles. HELP! A new school year is fast approaching and I need to clear out what has accumulated this summer before we add to the piles.

    Thank you,
    Karin

  55. Lorri says

    I keep a paper trash bag next to my kitchen counter to put all junk mail to be recycled in as soon as it comes in from the mailbox. This way at least my paper pile is just important stuff…..its a start.

  56. Carol says

    Glynnis,

    I am definitely drowning in paperwork! How do you keep memorabilia….such as letters from a deceased loved one, or a special someone, or kids schoolpapers and artwork? If I keep them in a box, I forget where that partucuker box is, or its buried under all the other junk and I never look at them, because its too hard to get to?

    Thanks for these suggestions! Please keep them coming!

    Blessings,
    Carol Hahn

    • Susan says

      I splurged and purchased a beautiful, cherry, four-drawer file cabinet that has a special place in the corner of our bedroom. Now, even though it is not terribly organized yet, I have been able to locate all my important papers throughout the house, and at least store them in the cabinet. School photos, letters, vacation mementos, CDs and DVDs of special occasions, etc. I also have a small cedar chest at the foot of our bed for the same purpose, that holds larger items, like framed photos of the kids. It makes me feel good knowing that are all contained in a pretty container, rather than strewn randomly in closets throughout the house. Blessings to you!

  57. Stacey G says

    Thank you ! Once again I was in need of encouraging words about the endless paper in our house
    Blessings

  58. Jenni says

    This is great! My spare bedroom is a disaster and my filing cabinet is cluttered with miscellaneous paper! Just gotta take time and sort it all out!

  59. Patti H says

    Thanks! I’ve always been paper challenged! I drown in it and then focus and then drown and focus. Seems never ending…thanks for these wonderful tips and the encouragement of you!

  60. Maura says

    Paper clutter is a huge problem for me! I have been working on it piece by piece, but when I take a few days off, it seems to hit back HARD! Not giving up though – I will conquer this problem!!! Thanks!!!

  61. Nancy says

    For paper bills, bank statements, and similar (but not necessarily financial) items, I use a accordion folder labeled by month. At the end of the year, I sort these items tossing/shredding items no longer needed. If I need to keep them for a while, they go into a folder in a “Shred” file box. Each folder inside has a year on it, noting the year when I can shred the items inside. Items to keep forever get filed into a “Keep Indefinitely” box. With paperless billing and such, this process is much easier than it used to be.

    Deciding what to toss was my problem for a long time. I now use this list from Dave Ramsey to decide how long to keep items.

    http://www.daveramsey.com/article/organizing-your-important-documents/lifeandmoney_other/

  62. Jennie says

    The amount of paper that comes home from school is obscene, in my opinion. Once I’ve read a flyer or realize it isn’t even for me, I tear it into fourths and keep a stack in the drawer by the phone. I use that paper for grocery lists, to do lists and notes to teachers. A little bit if recycling all those school papers. I usually have plenty to last thru summer!

  63. Chanelle says

    I have a bad habit of putting paper to file on top of my filing cabinet and actually file it once a week or so. I need to file it right away!

  64. says

    I have five children, ages 9 and under, three of which are in school. Between 3 sets of school papers and all the drawing/coloring/artwork that my preschoolers make for me…well, do I even have to explain? Would love to win that cute organizing tote! Thanks for all the wonderful organizing tips you share…SO helpful to me:)

  65. Debbie says

    Paper – It mushrooms. I go thru the mail and the next day more comes. Magazines I never have time to read so they stack up. This week I have been working on filing my basket on my desk of paid bills – why can’t I just do that at the same time I pay them?????? I can and I WILL and by the end of this weekend that basket will be EMPTY!!!!! I love the bag and was looking for one yesterday while out shopping to take with me when my daughter has surgery in August to take some of those UNREAD magazines. This one is much prettier than the ones I saw yesterday. Books too – I bought a bunch of a Christian author’s novels when I was getting ready to retire last year because I love to read. Guess what they are in the bookcase – I am so busy I have no time to read. Thanks Melissa and thanks to Christine for sharing with your study group.

  66. Heidi J says

    I am drowning in paper at home and at work

    Love all the tips; this weekend has us über busy so I will have to schedule a day to deal with one type of paper – I think it will be magazines, they’re starting to build up again

  67. Sharon Turner says

    Paper is the big issue for me. Junk mail, receipts,etc., and no matter how much I resolve to handle on a daily basis it still seems to take over. Thanks for more tips on how to deal with it.

  68. Anita M says

    Paper is my downfall…I end up stacking it all up and throwing it in a box. Then I can’t find what I need. I used to file everything at least once a year (when taxes were due) but I haven’t done that in a while. The cool thing about that tote is that a file box will fit inside…I have one with a file box and nice categories that I should be more diligent about using…lol

  69. Diana says

    I love thirty one, for all their organizing totes…they are amazing at helping me keep myself together…who couldn’t use another!
    Thanks for all the tips to getting organized!

  70. Kim says

    I am always drowning in papers! One of the biggest culprits is the kids’ school papers during the school year. I have an accordion file for each of my kids in the desk drawer in our kitchen. It is tabbed by month. Whenever the kids bring home papers it goes right in their file after I look at them. It gives their school work a place to go AND if they ever need something again it is easily accessible. Then at the end of the year I go through it all and keep a few things and toss the rest!

  71. says

    The paper clutter, where does is all come from? Piles of it, with no time to go thru it all. I appreciate these helpful tips. I am remotivated, if that’s a word, to get it organized and go thru it this weekend. Thanks for the tips and encouragement.

  72. Staci says

    My biggest challenge with paper is my mail. I pick it up on my way home from work, so when I get home, I am not ready to deal with what to do with it. I need to get dinner, etc. So I end up making a stack of mail for the week and then going through it on the weekend. It would be so much easier if I would just take the time right when I get home. I just keep piling it though.

  73. Felicia M. Ciaudelli says

    Thank you for your fantastic ideas – these are all things I need to work on to eliminate the physical, mental and emotional clutter in my life!

  74. Jackie says

    Thanks for the simple idea on organizing and storing the greeting cards. That will be my small step this weekend. I love to read the comments and ideas from others too
    Thanks to everyone!!

  75. Bobbey says

    As a homeschool mom I am literally drowning in paper! I try to go paperless but it never works!

    I just boxed up books that must go… now I must take them somewhere! Magazines are next!

  76. Kim Moody says

    YIKES! I am one of those people who accumulate paper piles. Thanks for the tips on organizing the. I am going to tackle the first pile TODAY!!

  77. Susan says

    I am doing better than I used to with the paper, I have plenty of filing space, and have made a huge dent in the filing but still have more to file.

  78. Jen says

    Yes, paper is overwhelming…but I took your advice on the clutter challenge this spring and it has helped immensely! I also found a place to file papers before they get to their final home in the file cabinet and that has helped keep my counters much neater! :). Thanks!

  79. Sandy says

    Thanks for all of the organizing ideas….would love to win the tote. It would come in handy to keep all the college paperwork that has accumulated now that my daughter has graduated high school (applications, scholarship information, etc.)

  80. Jennell Houts says

    I would love to win the bag — super cute and would be helpful at organizing!
    I have 4 children (3 in school), so between their papers, my home business, mail, and church papers (my husband’s the pastor!), papers accumulating is something I fight CONSTANTLY! One small tip I’ve found: throughout the year, I put all papers that have personal info and cannot be just recycled into a ziploc bag/box for shredding. Then 2-3x per year, I’ll have one of my older boys shred everything and then recycle it.

  81. Kimberly M. says

    Paper is a huge problem in our home, especially at the kitchen island. It seems that there some magnetic force that attracts all kind of things to that particular place. One thing that has helped, though, is giving the mail a home near where it’s going to be sorted and then only going through it when I have time. This has a3 least slowed the paper flyer down some… Slowly, but surely, we will all conquer the Paper m Mountain. :)

  82. Zie says

    The right tools make a huge difference. I purchased a “one touch” stapler, and 3 hole punch from Staples. The stapler will do like 20 pages easily and the whole punch 40 pages. It is so much easier and quicker to staple things together or punch for the binder. I also have a business quality shredder next to my desk. This allows me to make decisions permanent. I don’t need it – it’s gone. We compost so the shredded paper goes there. I also don’t over organize. I keep cards in a file folder. If I tried to do the whole zip lock label thing it would never happen. I have to recognize my limits and organize enough. All insurance paperwork goes in one file for the year. If need something for one member of the family I will have to look, but at least it is only insurance and not power bills and junk mail too that I am sorting through.

  83. Cindy L says

    This is helping me so much – I am making slow progress. I struggle with getting rid of things others have given me. My husband is worse than me so we have lots of stuff to get rid of. Thanks for your help!

  84. Kathy says

    Thank you, Glynnis! God’s been using you in helping me get victory over all this stuff, including paper, paper, paper. Ugh. But I see a light now ahead, and I couldn’t before, so I’m grateful for your wisdom, ideas and motivating words!

  85. Jeanie Kelley says

    The bag is totally cute– so for me this week I went through my filing cabinet drawer getting rid of the paper that needed to be gone through. I am so glad that I did. Also trying to locate an important document which was not found–personal property tax receipt thankfully there is an office that can make copies for 1.00 so I did that. This has instilled on my husband as well. The table we have in the basement is always filled with paper, but now I can see an end to the tunnel so to speak. Also he is writing things down in a planner to keep himself organized. This has truly been a huge benefit to both of us. Thanks so much for this book.

  86. Pam says

    My daughters’ school has an Abitibi dumpster-style collection bin. All newspapers, magazines, and other paper that I’d otherwise send to the county recycling center goes into that bin, and the school gets a certain amount of funds. The heavier the collection, the more money they get. I gladly toss everything in there except papers with identifying info…that I shred. The Abitibi paper eventually goes into composite decking material or is otherwise recycled, so it’s a win-win!

  87. Suzi says

    I keep greeting cards in labeled zip locks, too, in hat boxes in my closet. This Father’s Day I took all the cards hubby has rec’d for Father’s Day, notes the kids had written over 41 yrs (some were penned on paper plates), & family portraits they had drawn and put them in a 3 ring binder using a hole punch. I covered the binder front with map themed scrapbook paper & a fun photo of Dad. And wrote World’s Greatest Dad on the cover. It was a big hit all around and now all that paper has a place as well as acts as loving memory. Paper is a beast…and certainly I have to work hard constantly to tame it. My biggest problem is medical stuff. I am working on our son’s notebook as last weekend’s homework and the irony is he was sick & need to go to the Emergency Room. Sure did “assist” me in knowing exactly what info needs to be in his medical notebook! ;-). I now know that a copy, front & back, of his insurance card needs to be in there. Also, since he is an adult, your readers should know that having a Hepa form on file with the insurance company gives you the ability to handle information, prescriptions, etc. Lastly, I have a small 12 mth accordion file like one would keep canceled checks in but I use it for appointment cards and invitations. I know where they are when needed & the last wk of each mth I check the pocket of the month
    coming up, then pull out that month’s cards for pinning on my bulletin board.

  88. Kym says

    My son is starting kindergarten this year. My goal for the summer is to get the paper clutter and shoes, backpacks, other daily stuff de-cluttered and new ‘organized’ habits in place before school starts. We made some improvements and had a small success with some new ideas during the pre-school year, last year. But we need to incorporate some more new ideas and habits and also make sure they LAST and aren’t just fleeting until something like ‘the holiday season’ throws us into a tail spin and all off course!!!

    What great ideas there are on this page! Thank you Glynnis and readers!

  89. Alexis says

    I have to go through the school papers without my kids around. They want to keep everything! Last year I kept the older child’s pares to review before testing. Now I need to purge that before this year starts!

  90. Hannah says

    I’ve been working on decluttering my desk and getting papers filed. The problem is that it is July and I’ve just finished setting up my new year files and sorting last year’s files. I still have a file tote full of loose papers to file and a drawer of warranties and receipts that hasn’t been cleaned out in years. Sometimes it feels hopeless, but I keep trying to work on it every day (or at least once a week.) It would be a lot easier if I could throw away more stuff, but I think I have to read everything and clip recipies, craft projects and hints.

  91. Shandra says

    I used to print all sorts of ideas off the internet for use later. The problems is that I would not implement these ideas immediately and the paper would become huge stacks that are too scary to sort, much less implement. So, when I discovered Pinterest I created a board for “links to pages to keep from printing, printing, printing…” It has worked amazingly well. All those great ideas are still at my fingertips, yet not taking up space in my home.

  92. hanna says

    I need to sort our extra mail and bills. It just gets shoved into our kitchen cabinet and never really filed anywhere.

  93. Joni says

    I try to throw away junk mail as soon as it arrives and put what needs to be shredded in the “to be shredded box.” The problem is that I never get to the shredding, so I now have three boxes that are overflowing.

  94. V. Avilez says

    I have been overwhelmed by paper clutter for years. It is hard to know what to keep and what I can get rid of. Now, I have my children’s paper stuff to also keep organized. It will get better I know, but it is a struggle now.

  95. Heather says

    Thank you Glynnis for your timely post! This summer my older daughter needed a 4-H project and wanted to “renovate” three of our rooms on our main floor. It has been a process of sorting, reducing, and deciding what I REALLY need to keep and what I can live without. The challenge has been keeping the papers that come in after getting everything clean from not piling up. I am trying to make sure I deal with the mail as it comes in and have changed my rolltop desk around so that each person has a little cubbie of important papers. Then if they are looking for it, I tell them to check the cubbie. The biggest issue has been my younger daughters art work. She wants to save each and every paper she draws on. There were lots of great ideas shared above! I may try the binder one!! Then she would at least have a place to put her art work and I won’t feel bad any more about sneaking certain pieces into the trash!

  96. Leigh Ann says

    I am so sick of bills, mail piling up on my desk and kitchen counter. Can anyone give me a tip on what you do with the bills coming in, how you organize them (to pay them off!) and keeping things tidy? It’s so overwhelming!!

    • Sallie H says

      Hi Leigh Ann,
      Here’s my system for incoming mail and bills. I have a basket by the door for mail to go in since anyone in the house could be bringing it in. I take it from there every few days and trash what I can right away. Then I sort into 4 categories- Bills, Banking, To-Dos and To-Read. The first three go in a plastic 3-drawer system. The items to-read go wherever I will read them. Bills are handy for bill-paying day and bank statements are handy for reconciling all at once (we have several accounts). After bills are paid they go in an annual A-Z file. After bank statements are reconciled, they go in a file folder by account. At the end of each year, I empty the A-Z file and the bank statements for that year and store in a small plastic tub. I mark on the plastic tub the destroy/shred date. I probably keep more than I need, but owning a business for many years trained me to be more vigilant about keeping financial records. I hope this helps you hatch your plan for managing bills and mail.
      Blessings,

    • Suzi says

      I have a roll top desk w/cubbies inside. I look at mail as soon as it comes in,put hubby & son’s mail in their baskets on their desks. Put flyers/magazines in a tray near my reading chairs & all other mail goes in a cache pot on top of my desk. Once a week I go through the cache pot, put due dates for each bill on a large desk calendar & put the bills in the cubby marked unpaid. There is a cubby for phone calls & one for pending & one for bank statements. then I pay bills that are due the following week & file the paid bills in respective files. After tracking our monthly expenses yrs ago, I then divided the total by 4 wks & each expense is assigned a wk during the month that it gets paid which is listed on columned paper next to the calendar. I check it off after I pay the bill or it Gets deducted automatically from our account. so at a glance I can see what remains to be paid. I HAVE to do paperwork wkly & balance the checkbook every mth because I am not naturally gifted with numbers and I will OVERSPEND if I don’t address it every week. It takes about 2-3hrs. I have been doing this for 35 yrs & I handle all of the family’s papers, home schooled all the way through high school & work part time in hubby’s business. We have 2 major health problems in the household which involve many papers, insurance & dr visits. If I can do it, you can. But I don’t let my guard down for a minute or it will all unravel. Consistency is key to any system. Also, because finances are always hard for me, I am pretty mean when I do paperwork so the whole family learned early that it is better not to poke the bear!!

  97. Kelly says

    Thank you for today’s topic. I have been battling the paper monster for so long it is hard to imagine it being “tamed”. I think bills/mail is the hardest for me. I need a system for sorting (when it comes in – not 2 weeks later) what may need to be filed & what needs to be paid & what needs follow-up (e.g. insurance), etc. If I pay a bill online do I need to keep the invoice & file it? If so, for how long?

    • Anonymous says

      Free software is available to turn a web page into a PDF file. I like cutepdf.com. To use it, you choose print, and it shows up as a printer. After choosing it and printing, you will be able to save the file where you want. I have a computer document folder for payments. I save all my receipts, confirmations, etc for online payments, purchases, etc in this folder. It is very easy to go back and delete later.
      I also use this to turn craft ideas, recipes, etc into documents to save in designated computer folders.
      Saves the clutter, the ink, and the paper, and they are so easy to find!!!

      • Amber says

        Hey, Thanks for the suggestion! Things are alot easier to find in my computer files than my paper files – mostly because things don’t seem to find their way to the paper files!

        • Deb says

          If you download from cutepdf.com, you will have to download two different programs. It explains it on the website. I hope it works as well for you!

  98. Charity says

    One idea I have for reusing scrap paper is this: I have a little box that holds paper to write notes on it. I love the box because the outside of it is covered with cherries, a theme that I have all over my house. Instead of throwing the box away when the original note paper ran out, I now cut scrap paper with our paper cutter to fit the box and refill it as needed.

  99. Julie Tollefson says

    Paper is the crazy “decor” we have here. 3 kids in 3 different schools, (elementary, middle, high) and paper everywhere. Plus our olderst has special needs, so we get tons of papers from school and mail. He’s also enrolled in a Medicaid program where we have employees and therapists coming in and out all leaving papers that I need to sign or fax on a certain date in for payroll. I have binders everywhere, but I’m working and not here, so when I get home it’s just a mess. Top that off with school papers, homework assignments and permission slips and I’m drowning. I’ve attempted several different organizational things, but when afterschool activities keep us running here and there every night, I’m not here to keep up.
    Not to mention all the paperwork my husband brings home that I have no clue of its importance, receipts, paperwork from doctor visits. I don’t even know where to start. I made the mistake this year of “leaving it for later” and now it’s a mess I avoid.
    It also doesn’t help that my youngest is crafty and creative. He “writes” books that are pages folded together and stapled, but he’s my worst when it comes to putting things someplace. There is paper just laying in the middle of the floor. Makes me frustrated thinking about it.

  100. Catherine Shepard says

    There are so many great ideas here. We need to begin to work smarter, not harder. I love Carolyn’s one sentence comment – SCANNERS ARE OUR FRIENDS. And smart phones with cameras in them. I am striving to go paperless.
    Being an accountant – I thought I had to keep every receipt for everything. Guess what – if I don’t need it for taxes, warranty purposes, investment purposes or returns, etc. – I don’t need to keep it. Those items I do need to keep will get scanned.
    I enter all my activity (cash and credit card, bill pay, checks, investments) in Quicken. Once that is done, reconciling and paying my bills is streamlined and my statements are a “piece of cake”.
    I have books that are so outdated it’s not even funny – but they sit on my bookshelf taking up space. I love to read and I love books so getting rid of those is very hard to do for me. Once my desk is clean and the floor in my office – the bookshelves will be my next big project.

    HAPPY ORGANIZING

  101. Jenifer says

    Thanks for the tips? I feel my biggest clutter is all the work my daughters bring to school. They want to keep everything.

  102. Linda says

    I’m slowly getting my paper clutter under control!

    I’m actually having a Thirty-One party next week–just in time for my birthday! I’d LOVE to have this bag to show off at my party!

  103. Jodi says

    I’m convinced that the paper in my house multiplies overnight! I struggle with what to keep and for how long. My solution for the kids’ artwork is to take a picture of it and then get rid of it. One of these days I will print out the pics and make each child a book of their artwork. :)

  104. Angela says

    I think that you are right that I just have to get firm with myself when I want to take the easy route and let my piles grow…that has been my downfall for the last little while…I have made great progress since I started this study with my paper clutter, but lots of times already I have just been tempted to lay things down and deal with them later…except I have reminded myself to handle paper only once and finish the job instead of almost finishing and so while I have a long way to go, I’m still moving forward (yay!!!!!) and not falling back into old habits yet…so I’m going to attack another pile this weekend and be firm with myself and finish it…one pile at a time…

  105. Amanda G says

    I love all your tips on paper organization. I Am a huge paper gal but feel like I am making big steps in this area! I would love to win this beautiful organization bag as well:)

  106. Lorraine says

    We have a desk that is stuffed with financial papers such as bank statements and tax info, take out menus, guides from appliances, old checkbooks, etc. I’m nervous about identity theft. I also need help with having the right receipt with me when I need to return something. Maybe the tote bag would help?

  107. jessicaA says

    Every day when I check the mail I look through it on the way back from the mailbox. When I get inside I never let myself just put it somewhere. If my husband needs to look at something it is at his spot at the table when he gets home. Everything else goes directly where it needs to i.e. junk-> trash. This has helped piles from accumulating!

  108. Cheryl says

    Well.. I woke up today with the idea of getting rid of some of my paper! Then I opened my email and read your helpful hints. Love how the Lord blesses you with just want you need each day. Thanks for your helpful hints. Love the 31 bag!

  109. Judy says

    The mail is the killer at my house! So little comes in that is of value, but it gets buried in all the junk!

    I have moved toward daily sorting and filing/discarding, but now have to go back to the accumulated stack from before! One plus- it is MUCH easier to discard mail when it is a couple of months old!

  110. Amy says

    Paper piles are one of my biggest disorganizational challenges. I like your idea of starting with one pile/stack at a time, instead of getting overwhelmed by the sheer volume of everything and not being able to start with anything. Have a great weekend!

  111. says

    Oh my goodness. I loved this chapter! I’ve been really conscious this week about trying to handle paper one time! I already have a filing system in place (hubby is an engineer and likes for things to be organized-but after 22 years married to this unorganized person he’s had to let a few things go) but I was really only purging them once a year. Except for credit card files-those receipts get purged more often. But I still always have piles because I’ll wait forever to actually put thing IN the files. Doesn’t do much good to have them and not use them. So that’s my goal-filing!

    Oh, and paperless biling is awesome. I just wish a couple of our local utility companies would get on board! I do have automatic draft with them but they still send a bill in the mail! Ugh!

  112. Tami says

    I love your blog!!!
    I love organization, even though I, too, have my battles with ‘paper’.
    I would love to win the organizer bag!

  113. Kathleen says

    I used to be so overwhelmed with mail piling up. Now what I do when I bring in the mail instead of quickly going through it and tossing it on my desk, I have recycled a copy paper size box to throw all my junk mail in. We have a company that will shred personal papers for free once a month. This way I am only handling the mail once instead of several times and when it’s shredding day, I just pick up my box and go!

    My challenge now is to get my school papers organized. I am a teacher and teachers hate to throw anything out because we might just need it one day! This is what I will work on this weekend.

  114. Andrea says

    I definitely have more books than I can read, more like ‘library’. I have thinned them out the last few times I moved but seem to keep filling up the empty places I created on the book shelves. I have quit all magazine subscriptions because I have back-dated issues I can review – time to discard those. I realize it is not realistic to review them, after all I don’t have time to do all the reading I need to do as it is. Check – one less paper clutter in my home. ; )

  115. Kelly says

    My downfall is those little pieces of paper everywhere with important info. On them. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with them all!

  116. Kelly says

    Your blog is very encouraging, thank you for that, and for the decluttering paper tips for the week end.

  117. Vicki Cash says

    My mom just passed away and I am having to get rid of all her unnecessary paperwork so I am going to make an effort to organize mine so my children won’t have to do this. A hard and painful job. Love your hints and ideas. Bless you

    • Donna Fedyna says

      This was my thought also: I don’t want my children to have to look through all these piles and say”Why on earth did she keep THIS?”

  118. says

    Paper Tiger software is an awesome indexing filing system software I use. It a filing database. You begin with you stacks of paper and instead of alphabetizing you put papers in hanging file folders starting with 1 (mine rven ca
    E with the printed numbered tabs) and enter in the software program the title of the paper and as many key words and description of contents. This elliminates the frustration of did I file my car insurance under car, auto, Volvo, insurance or Farm Bureau. I go to my computer enter a descriptive word or phrase and it searches my Paper tiger file database and lists every file with that word and I quickly know where the information I filed is located or where to file another copy of that document that I receive in the mail. And I just got an email the other day saying it was on sale $63 till July 17 instead of $79. My other wonderful paper tool is Neat Receipts a ruler scanner for when I want an electronic version of a document to email instead of faxing or to track FSA purchases etc. it is especially helpful for home based business receipts and makes tax time a breeze. It has a database that allows you to sorta d find receipts ( where did I order those inexpensive post are invites to my business annual Open House).

  119. Jennifer says

    Paper is my problem! With 3 school age kids, a hubby with his own business and no office, myself being a “stacker” not a “filer” we have paper everywhere. Keep the ideas coming. I’m willing to try new ideas.

  120. Kiki says

    This message today was just what the doctor ordered. I woke up this morning thinking to myself how badly I needed to sort through bags of paper that I have. You have given me the energy to do what needs to be done. Thanks

  121. Anissa says

    Fighting the paper battle here! I really like the greeting card idea, thanks. I have an issue with magazines that are gifted to me that I don’t have time to read. I want to get to them but the just keep coming. Time to let go. :)

  122. Myra says

    I’m drowning in paper and schools about to start and then it will be worse! Oh wait, forget the part about school starting, that really doesn’t apply to me. I don’t have any little ones in school anymore, but I’m still drowining in paper….

  123. Cindy Beatty says

    Your devotional today has been such a blessing to me. It is good to know that there are others drowning in paper work at home and at the office. I love the help and tips you have given. Keeping sending them my way.

  124. Tammy says

    I can’t stand clutter and I am always trying to conquer it. I have a desk area in my kitchen with file drawers. I have files for mail, receipts, information, coupons, tax receipts etc. When anything comes in, they go into the file. I have a industrious daughter who will graciously go through periodically to clean them out. My biggest challenge right now is to clean out my school room (we are homeschoolers). Too many books etc! I would love to win that tote as I am obsessed with bags and totes! Trays , too, for that matter! Lol

  125. Jo says

    Having just moved our computer and its desk to a different room, we were faced with the abundant and assorted papers that had accumulated there. So, a part of my paper piles has been dealt with–YAY! It feels good, and looks nice, too!

  126. becky gittings says

    My mom always had piles of paper everywhere while I was growing up, and so I learned to keep everything too, because who knows when you just might need/want it. However with this blog, the decluttering challenge at the beginning of the year and God’s help!! I have really cut down on what I keep. I have a drawer I put things in “to file” if I don’t have time right then, so that I don’t have the visual clutter or piles around. And once it is full, I file it. And I usually end up recycling still like 1/3 of the things I’ve put in that drawer. :) thank you for your gentle encouraging help & inspiration!

  127. Suzanne Howard says

    I just left my full time job and came home to another full time job — PAPER! I have magazines that I don’t have time to read, books everywhere, and of course, there’s the paper that comes from mail, ministry, etc. Finding a home shouldn’t be that hard, just taking the time to do it. I like the idea of only touching something twice. Taking a picture on my iPhone is a great idea too. Thank you for the column. I think I really need the book!

    • Linda says

      I finally got to the point where I asked all but one ministry to stop sending their magazines. Sure I miss reading them, but I don’t miss the anxiety of all that paper piling up or the anxiety of not having time to read them. Most are available online, if I decide I want to read them. I have a stack of ministry magazines here that I never read. I poked through them and kept a small stack of ones I would like to read. The rest were donated. If I ever get through the stack I already have, I might consider adding one publication back. Also, when I moved I did use the post office for my change of address. They sell your information to EVERYONE. That cut down on junk mail. I also made a decision 10 – 15 years ago to NEVER EVER order magazines again. They also sell your name. If I order something online and the vendor starts sending catalogs, I call right away and have them remove me from all lists – not just from sending their catalogs, but also from their marketing lists that they provide to partners (or, worse yet, sell). Same with the phone company; have them take you off BOTH lists. They will tell you there is only one list, but there are two. Go up the supervisory chain if you have to until someone admits there are two lists. I just got pre-approved for a home loan and the CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES sold my name to everyone. Who would have thought? So I have to follow their privacy procedures and get off those lists. Exhausting and frustrating. I understand companies needing to get their name out, but at the same time my position is, if I want your product I’ll come looking for you. Otherwise, leave me alone, I don’t have time for you.

  128. Tina says

    I have a paper problem and a menopause problem … and they don’t mix! I need clarity for the home and my body! Thanks for prayers and insight.

    • Amber says

      I have been reading all of these posts today – so many wonderful suggestions! Some I’ve heard before and many I’ve actually done before, but currently my problem is also the menopause problem and still raising children! I was actually a bit overwhelmed reading today knowing that with my fatigue and brain fog I would not be able to do most of these things listed…even though I actually want to! But God is good to remind us of what we need today – this minute. I was reminded of what Glynnis’ just wrote about taking one small area and declutter: basically “make a dent” as my mother would have said. I also liked an earlier comment about choosing an area that is bothering me most right now. Tina, I just prayed for us both just now(and anyone else who needs it) to have clarity and peace of mind and to JUST DO IT! I am reminding myself that it’s not about how much we do, but about being faithful to do what we can.

  129. Nancy says

    What a challenge to only handle paper once. This week has been so great to focus on the challenges of paper piles.

  130. Beth S says

    My office is a paper catch all – all paper without a ‘home’ ends up in that room and it is frustrating place to be. I am determined to make it better, but not sure where to start! I like the idea of starting with just one type and sorting it out and then tackling the next!

  131. Diane says

    Paper can overwhelm. I am fairly good at organizing it, but have more difficulty deciding what needs to be kept and for how long! Is it really necessary to keep copies of bills for several years??? My files cabinets get full and then I have trouble weeding out those files that are no longer necessary. Any suggestions?

  132. Anonymous says

    What amazing organizing ideas & interesting comments posted! I’ve enjoyed reading thru them…many of which I will utilize! As one who desires to stay organized & on top of things, handling paper is still my biggest challenge. One type of paperwork I recently felt the need to categorize & better organize vs throwing all reports in a file folder labeled, “Medical,” were my lab results, mammogram reports, pap tests, colonoscopy results, x-rays/MRIs/bone density, hormone levels from saliva tests, blood pressure records, etc…all i’ve accumulated over the past 10-15 years, mainly since pre- thru post-menopause. All papers are now in a 3-ring binder, respectively divided. I did this, not only for my own records to refer to & compare from year to year, but when my own daughters approach the same age in their lives, they can grab Mom’s purple binder for her (my) medical history. That’s my comment…and will end by adding I absolutely love Thirty-One bags. My daughter turned me on to these a couple of years ago, & now we all have a collection of totes we use all the time. I don’t have this particular organizer/tote, so had to get my tip in the hat for consideration. I don’t envy your job in selecting the best tip to win…there’s some fantastic ideas posted.

  133. tamela says

    I would like to have this bag/tote… My family calls me the bag lady, I have oodles of them, use them so often.
    My dear husband gives me all the extra papers that come with his mc bill. I use them for my morning worship notes, what a great help. With greeting card sometimes I like the picture more than the text so I will cut them apart and use the pretties for post cards.

    Thank you for the give away. I would be delighted to have this tote.

  134. Linda says

    I am buried in…everything. It’s so out of control I don’t know where to start. I’m single and working full time, so it’s hard to carve out time. I also was forced out of my 4,000 sq ft home (and being a stay at home mom) to a small apt and working full time. My dream is to have a home again someday, so I don’t want to part with some things. I used to cook everything from scratch (I mean grind the wheat before making bread, grow the produce, then make it from scratch). I long for those days and don’t want to part with the equipment I had to make all that by hand. I just don’t know where to put it all. Some things I still use on occasion, others are awaiting the day I can use them again.

  135. Margaret Fraleigh says

    I have paper all over – I save everything – patterns, poems, crafts, Christian gleamings. bible studies. This study has been so good for me. Putting things in perspective and knowing what is truly important. Thanks again for this bible study. Looking forward if there is another.

  136. Marilyn R says

    Clutter seems to be my middle name. I am drowning in magazines that I keep trying to let run out. I create cards and crafts so my craft room is overflowing with stuff. I haven’t had time to do much crafting so the supplies are all over the place. We are trying to simplify with both kids moving out and making sure they take their stuff. I have been in the same house for 27 years and have accumulated a lot. There is some stuff tucked away for years so who knows what I will find. We talk about moving and downsizing, but the task seems daunting. I go great guns for awhile, then lose interest and move onto something else.
    Thanks for a chance to win a P31 tote. I would be put to great use here.

  137. Cindy says

    One of my biggest challenges are membership cards at the church. If anyone has any special neat and fun ways to file these, I could use your help. They stack on my desk until they overtake me. Tackling them today. Thanks

  138. says

    Thanks for all the great ideas and encouragement. My paper problem exists because I run a business at home and am involved in a number of volunteer organizations and I craft! One thing I have done to reduce the paper monster is to go digital as much as possible. I subscribe to magazines, download patterns, keep my recipes all digitally. With a ‘cloud’ service (I use Dropbox), you can access anything stored there on any computer or internet devise (iPhone, iPad, etc). Shopping lists and notes are all on my iPhone along with my address book. There are so many apps available for productivity!
    I would love to win the beautiful tote! I LOVE bags, boxes and baskets…they hold a lot of paper! lol

  139. says

    HELP!!! My clutter has its own zip code! :-) Once I get back from She Speaks, I am totally tackling this, but I am working on it a little bit at a time now. My husband is on board with this, and I could not be more thrilled! But … this “cute-to-death” organizer would really be a nice help for me!! :-)

    Blessings,
    Lara <

  140. Jenn says

    I struggle with the school papers. All those pictures and small accomplishments that my children make in their process of learning to read and do math!!!

  141. Patti says

    My business requires record retention for 5 years! And since I work from home I am drowning in paper. Thanks Glynnis for the homework assignment, I am determined to get my paper problem under control!

  142. Haley says

    I have been working on getting rid of paper clutter this week. It feels good to get rid of it! I’m not sure why I needed to hold on to many of these papers for so long. I’m guilty of the “I’ll keep it just in case…” syndrome. Glad I’m working on letting it go! Thankful for the Lord’s help!

  143. K L Redfield says

    Since the boys started preschool six years ago, I take care of the papers in two ways I theatre successful. I have a single 3″ binder for things from their school (including school pictures — those I put in those clear plastic page protectors) that I want to keep like awards, handbooks, class lists, etc.

    The artwork that they do I take pictures of and then use one of the online digital photo book companies to make an annual photo book of all of their artwork. That has kept the piles from getting too high (at our school the papers come home weekly) with all the drawings that they do. I include pictures of crafts and projects as well. Once the item has been photographed, I upload the picture to the photo site, include it in the book (so I do not have to scramble at the end to make the book), then either recycle the art, select a piece or two to save, or put some in a box to mail to grandparents. It’s easy and not very time consuming once you get in the swing of things. It takes me about 10 minutes a week or so for both children.

  144. Lana Caddy says

    Thanks for your great ideas! I have recently organized school papers for four kids from the last 18 years. Such a feeling of freedom – for the coat closet and myself! I really appreciate your encouragement to do what we can when we can! Thanks again!

  145. Sylvia Helser says

    I keep a business card from each of our doctors in a plastic business card page.
    I make up a page to keep in the house and one in the car. If we travel, I put one into our suitcase.

  146. Beth Hoffman says

    Trying to tame the Clutter Monster at my house. Last week I gathered 7 brown bags of books to give away, and I still haven’t finished going through them. But it’s a start . . .

  147. Angel PArnell says

    My problem is all of my son’s “memory” stuff from birth to now 4 years old. I say I’m going to scrapbook, but don’t have time or the funds. Now I have totes upon toes of paper stuff I just don’t know how to organize. can I really throw away the 50 pieces of white paper he scribbled on? Who knew papers could have such huge emotions attached to them.

    • embo77 says

      I only keep pictures that my kids have drawn with significance to THEM. In other words, if they drew a picture of our family, dog, etc, and especially if they made a comment about a picture they drew that was cute, like “Here’s a picture I drew of Dad and me building sand castles on the beach”. I would write the comment on the back of the picture and put the date.

  148. embo77 says

    For me, clutter is the COUNTER clutter: receipts (mostly), mail (it usually sits there until I have the mental energy to deal with it). I keep receipts and match them against my credit card statements (I’m very old-school). Some may be mail brought home from the office by my favorite hubby (which I can usually file but there’s a lot of “unknown” on how to handle).

  149. Jessica says

    Organizing is essential for sanity! While I still have more organizing to do, it makes me feel more prepared when I know where to find what I am looking for. Between PTO, work, home, kids schedules etc. I appreciate all your organizing advice!

  150. Sarah says

    After the school year, I let my kids keep some special art work, homework and report cards. We put them in a Manila folder and they go in each kids keepsake box.

  151. says

    I declare, I believe loose papers BREED if left alone too long! One solution I keep in mind is: “Handle it once.” With the home for everything mantra you suggest, I try to get that mail to the trash or desk for bill paying or my box of keepsake cards WHEN I read it. . .not later. Procrastination makes my clutter worse too. For years it was:
    Procrastination is my sin,
    It causes me great sorrow.
    But I’ve made up my mind to quit,
    And I’ll begin tomorrow!

    Now it’s begin today and handle it once!

  152. Leta says

    I’m really starting to to try the paperless thing in my office. Scanning documents so I can electronically file them and send them if necessary to others. Only filing the most recent documents for a temporary time.

  153. Stacy says

    Paper is also my husband’s problem. I can keep my paper’s under control but not his. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to organize someone else’s mess kindly?

  154. donna e says

    The best paper organization I ever did consisted of a large 3-ring binder full of sleeves. Each sleeve was labeled “kitchen appliances” or “kid’s bedroom” or “home exterior”. Whenever I made an important purchase, say a kitchen mixer, or a VCR, I put the receipt in that sleeve. Our house was struck by lightening, which killed anything that was plugged in (from phones and trash shredders to the A/C thermostat). Because I had the receipts, my insurance company paid me the full value of my losses, including the first video camera we ever bought…the one with the large battery pack you had to carry on your shoulder. We still used the video playback portion of it, so we were reimbursed for the whole thing. I even told the insurance company that I could get a new camera for $700 but they insisted on paying my receipt price of $2000.!!

  155. Kari McClain says

    I had been drowning in paperwork and had stacks of folders already labeled that needed to go into the filing cabinet…this I did two months ago, can you say procrastinator. :) Last night I made myself sit down and go through everything and after an hour, every single piece of paper was filed in the folders and this time the folders actually made it into the filing cabinet. What a relief it is to go downstairs and not see that reminder of what needs to be done. Now for the kids to finish shredding the huge stack of old bills. :)

  156. Bobbi says

    Yay! Glynnis has inspired me to go through all my magazines and clean them out. I feel so much better for just having done that! I’m not scouring the replies for ideas to control all the paper information for when school starts. I’ve already gotten some ideas for how to contain my 7 year old budding artist paper creations! Thanks all for your ideas!

  157. LaDonna Ramos says

    Paper – paper – everywhere!! Today I’m going to tackle the father’s day cards I still have lying on the counter :)

  158. Lois says

    I’ve enjoyed your suggestions…you should see the piles all around me as I sit in my trusty recliner!! Or maybe you shouldn’t!! I work on them constantly but they never go away. I’m going to think on finding new “homes” for the various categories. Hmmmm….

  159. Marilyn R. says

    I love all the advice that Glynnis provides us with! When it comes to paper, I usually gather it all up in one spot and wait until the weekend to go through it. Daily is best, but sometimes I just don’t have the time or energy to go through it.

    • Elaine says

      How true! And I can’t throw away or recycle a magazine I have not read. I’m the same with newspapers.

  160. Amie says

    Glynnis –

    I need a magic wand for my file cabinet. Recently, I’ve had to go back to the store to get a receipt for our TV and dvd player that was having problems. I should have been able to find it no problem. The same thing happened with another electronic. I almost lost a warranty on our AC unit b/c I didn’t register it! Thank the good Lord for grace from the AC company. What is wrong with me??? I am just so unmotivated with paper. It’s defnitely my worst organizing problem. I’ve implemented some of your ideas and I have to tackle my dreaded file cabinet. I just don’t wANT to! I’ve got to get over it and just go on with it. I really think that I”m going to just start over with new files and keep only what is absolutely necessary. It will feel SO good when it’s done. Thanks for motivating me.

  161. Tami says

    We are drowning in paper!! I swear my 9-year old is a little hoarder of every paper he has every written on & if I try and throw it away HE KNOWS!!! I love your tips. Thank you for your help!!

  162. Julia Mortimer says

    Great ideas! Thanks for the tips – our desk and file cabinet is what needs a major overhaul these days so will tackle that next!

  163. Elaine says

    Controlling paper clutter seems to be my most time consuming task. I thought there was some big flaw within me because of all the challenges with paper – until I read Glynnis’ article and all the comments from the wonderful readers of this blog. One problem I need to overcome is being so sentimental and wanting to keep too many interesting clippings from magazines, newspapers, etc. It seems the only time I read them is once every three or four years when I’m doing a deep cleaning and want to sort through things – and then I don’t throw hardly anything away. It’s crazy! I have a ginormous amount of recipe clippings that I have never tried, and always think: maybe I’ll still make that when things slow down and I have extra time in the kitchen.

  164. Sue C says

    “Help, I am drowning in paper . . .
    You said to say that! And, I am so desperate, that I have threatened to send a picture of MY DESK to Better Homes & Gardens to see if they have any organizational tips! I am so frustrated with it all! but it is ALL IMPORTANT! So, what do I do?
    I am looking SO forward to reading all you have to offer, and the book, sounds just like me. I am a frustrated ‘perfectionist’, and like everything in its place – problem? everything doesn’t yet HAVE a place!
    Do I hear an ‘AMEN’?
    Love you, girl!

  165. Nancy L. says

    I’m in dire need of some paper therapy! It’s my nemesis.

    I was just admiring this bag in the 31 catalog!

  166. Sandra says

    My goal for the summer was to get my house organized…..5 more weeks to go!! I have made some progress… but I have so far to go! Thank you for all your help and inspiration these past 6 weeks. To reduce clutter in my house (and have one less book) I downloaded the book to my Ipad!

  167. jean smith says

    I love Thirty-One bags! They are great for everything. I got rid of a lot of clutter with them. I also use them when i go on vacation, they hold a lot of stuff.

  168. Vicki says

    My problem is I love to cook and cut recipes constantly. That on top of other paper laying everywhere. It seems to all compile in the kitchen at the bar where we are supposed to eat. It really does embarrass me when neighbors come over. My real friends just smile and join me for coffee or a snack. When neighbors or strangers come over, I just want to slink out the back door. I always promise myself that I’ll move it to a new place but it piles up continuously. I’m so glad that I am not the only one in this boat.

  169. Beth Soll says

    Paper is by far my worst clutter problem. Even my daughter commented, “Mom, you have a paper problem!” It doesn’t help that I’m married to a man with the same “affliction.” LOL

  170. Cathy says

    My biggest “paper busting tip” is that I always sort through the mail at my home desk, with the trash can/shredder at one side, the recycle box at the other, and my in-box handy. 75% never even makes it to my in-box, so then all I have to worry about dealing with is the other 25%. (I’ve been reading “Getting Things Done” as well as Glynnis’ book for the second time during this study and my in-box is now my friend at work and at home.)

  171. Christy Blackburn says

    Thank you so much for this email today. I did the clutter free study earlier in the year and don’t have near the piles I used to have, but I have to remember it is a daily task(and decision) that has to be done or it will get back to how it was. It is also a mind shift that comes with God being at the head and everything else falls into its place(no pun intended-hahaha). I look at my home and wonder if God would be pleased with how we are being good stewards of what he has given us. If my answer is not a definite yes, then I know there is work still to be done. Amen that God loves us as works in progress!!!!

  172. Cindy Lynn says

    Paper totally has taken over our kitchen counter. I need to get this book to give me idea of how to overcome this clutter!! Thank you!

  173. Eryn says

    My paper problem is with recipes. I find so many online that I like from different websites and just keep printing them out with no where to put them! I would love to write them out all neatly on pretty recipe cards but who has time to do that with a whole bunch of recipes? So they just sit around in the way for now.

    • embo77 says

      My sister loves to cook. She saves files to her “Dropbox”. This is from their website: “Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. Any file you save to your Dropbox will also automatically save to all your computers, phones, and even the Dropbox website.” I was so impressed when she came to visit and needed to pull up a recipe for an Asian dish she was preparing for our family. After logging into her Dropbox acct from my desktop, she pulled up ALL her recipes which were listed by category: Beef Main dishes, Chicken Dishes, Starters/Appetizers, etc. She must have thousands of recipes saved in Dropbox. It’s worth checking into especially for organizing all your recipes!

  174. cathee says

    My paper problem is saving pieces for Artwork, I am trying to organize it by putting it in a plastic rolling bin with drawers. This has been very helpful. Now I just need to label each drawing for easy recognition of type of papers. I used my old magazines with my Summer School students to make collages and threw them out when we were finished. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas for reducing paper clutter.

  175. Deborah Bradley says

    My daughters love to draw and write but I am drowning in their papers.To them everything is special. I need a way to store and purge with them.

  176. Katherine says

    Thank you for all these great tips. I’m wanting to do some “back to school” cleaning before the kids go back in 3 weeks. I want to be ready for all the PAPER that comes home in 3 backpacks every day!!

  177. says

    Thanks for all of the great ideas to rid my house of paper clutter. Even after 39 years of marriage we still seem to “collect” papers we need to organize so we can enjoy memories without being frustrated by piles where we cannot find what we need.

  178. Pam says

    1 Samuel 17: 4 [Adapted] A champion named Paper, who was from the Post Office, Work, and the Past, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six rooms and a garage. 5 He had an origami helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of paper piles weighing five thousand pounds ; 6 on his legs he wore recipe clippings, and a bronze javelin of identity theft was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft of disorganization was like the beak of an octopus, and its eight legs were able to destroy in eight directions simultaneously. His shield bearer of daily paper arrival went ahead of him…45 And Pam said to the Philistine, “You come against me with confusion and fear and devastation as far as the eye can see, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day– this month–however long it takes– the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head… [Woohoo!] 48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, Pam RAN quickly toward the battle line to meet him….

  179. says

    Thanks for all of the great ideas. I have been “collecting” papers for 39 years and now I have an easy way to find things and have sweet memories of the past without all of the clutter. Thanks for the encouragment.

  180. Kim says

    I am so overwhelmed – my son has just been diagnosed with a milk allergy and the doctor wants him off of all dairy. UGH!!!! This seems like it may be impossibe. I have been on the phone all day with the insurance company trying to determine if we can see a dietician to start this process with some direction! I am so frustrated right now as this seems so overwhelming. I just need some energy to go tackle my desk and get started! Thanks for this post – this might have been just what I needed! Blessings!

  181. says

    We’re in a temporary living situation, transitioning between homeschool years, and have traveled Georgia to Washington D.C. and back three times in the past two months. I feel a bit buried right now, for sure! Thankfully, I finally have some time to get things back in order! Thanks for sharing great tips to help.

  182. Kay B says

    I’m not very good at keeping my paper under control.. But one thing I do is tacke the mail as soon as it comes in. When I get home from work I get the mail, go in the house sit down at my desk and decide immediately if it’s trash or needs further attention. Love the idea of keeping greeting cards in a memory box. I seem to have them scattered in various places… maybe that will be my weekend task!

  183. Amy Mann says

    I have loved the different organization tips you have given. I consider myself pretty organized, but there is always room for improvement. :) Thank you for your tips and the time/effort you put into helping all of us.

  184. says

    Love the paper & the paper loves me! Sadly, it’s taken over my chick cave and causing me to not be 110% as effective. Like feng shui, my current system isn’t quite working for me as everything is a hodge podge of storage ideas with no real workable solution. But you work with what you have!

    • Beth says

      I love the term “chick cave” it made me smile. My “chick cave” would be our little office with computer, books on shelves (and a few on the floor) and paper. The paper location: EVERYWHERE. :0)

  185. says

    What a day for this . . . over the last couple of weeks my task has been to daily complete certain tasks — just one a day, let’s not over do. ;) Today’s task is to take care of a HUGE stack of papers — many have to do with doctor’s visits and information I want to keep (as a cancer survivor I have learned to keep such “stuff”) — so now off to work and organize and throw out. Thanks for the encouragement!

  186. Anita says

    Somehow it is encouraging to know that there are a lot of other gals who struggle and succeed or fail in varying degrees with the same problems I do! (Is that wierd?)

    Many years ago I was given my first glimmer of hope for home organization when reading a book by Don Aslett, ‘Clutter’s Last Stand’. There were dozens of very practical ideas that propelled me into action!

    However, KNOWING a project needs to be done, even WANTING to do it, and making LISTS related to it, doesn’t get the job DONE! *I* still * have * to * DO * IT! And that is where I fall down. I am thankful for the progress made but find that constant discipline —- procrastination —- coming up with a plan —-making decisions —- these are my battle areas! And paper clutter continues to be my “thorn in the flesh”!

    Thank you, all of you, for some excellent ideas! I have some new ammunition, and I WILL NOT give up!

  187. Stephanie says

    I have two 4 year olds who are such wonderful artists! That means their artwork is everywhere!! Thousands of colored pages, and projects means we have to choose a few, and toss the rest. Stopped all the magazine subscriptions as most are available online, all bills online, and force myself to stop at the trash can daily with the mail to screen. Counters are in view, office is a productive place, and the environment is healthier for it!! Thank you!!

  188. Marissa says

    Paper is my worst enemy. I have such a hard time with it, especially with things the kids bring home from school. I am working on getting their scrapbooks caught up and can finally see a dent in the paper hills and mountains!

  189. Vonnie Kronk says

    I Love your cards idea & books! Paper is getting less for me BUT not for my husband! He reads the newspaper in the bathroom while he does he thing & I’m glad that relaxes him BUT we have 3 bathrooms & each 1 has Many left-over papers he has read but Never throws away. I think the bag would be Great to WIN for my rounds to clean the bathrooms!

  190. Lynda Parker says

    Glynnis, I don’t believe I have ever taken a class that is going to be so “life changing” for me. One of the funnest parts of doing this study is to see the suggestions the other girls have. I have already incorporated some new disciplines, but oh do I have a lot of others to work on! Paper is such a BIG one for me! Thank you so much for writiing this book! Oh, how I love Proverbs31 and all the wonderful women so willing to help us, especially in growing closer to the Lord! Luv u girls!

  191. Jan from NJ says

    I bought The book “I Used To Be So Organized” Several months ago & read it from cover to cover. It was so helpful to me that when I heard about the Bible study Melissa was doing using Glynnis’s book, I thought what a great way to read it again & have learned some more tips I had forgotten about….Thank you Glynnis & Melissa & the rest of the women from Proverbs 31 Ministries for all you do & your wonderful help in getting myself organized. You are ALL truly a blessing from God!!

  192. Isabel says

    My problem is that I like to keep all kinds of articles to use in my classroom ( I am a teacher). I think that I can use these articles in different classes.

  193. Isabel says

    My problem is that I like to keep all sorts of educational articles to use in my classes. It is overwhelming, but when I have the articles in my hand to throw them away, I just cannot put them in the trash!
    :-(

    • Isabel says

      I looked at the site and the wall organizer is beautiful and it seems practical. Thank you for the information, Kayleen.
      :-)

  194. Michelle D. says

    We have too much paper! I teach, so I’m always looking for ideas and projects to do with my students. Then there are the papers, art, homework, newsletters, etc. that my 2 daughters bring home from school. Top it off with mail, bills, and my husband’s youth ministry lessons and handouts for youth group and you can SEE the paper I’m talking about! Ugh! I’m really trying hard to get a handle on this!!!

  195. Angel says

    Ok so my bar is my dumping ground for mail! I AM SO SICK OF MY KITCHEN BEING CLUTTERED WITH PAPER!! I have no room for a home office!! HELP ME!!! We keep them in neat stacks but I want my bar to be used for eating not stacks of paper

  196. Erin says

    My biggest problem used to be all the paper that came home with my three kids from school and all of their other activities outside of school. The method I developed has worked so well for me that I thought I would share. Each child has two folders in the filing cabinet – one for school related items from that school year and one marked just with the year. Written items/artwork that I want to keep from school go in that year’s folder. (Artwork that is too big, I’ll photograph and then pitch). Birthday cards, party invites, church awards, etc., go in the other folder. Once the year is over, the folders go in file boxes in the basement, and new folders go in the filing cabinet. When they move out, they can take the file boxes with them and reminisce. :0) Hope this helps someone!

  197. Pam says

    Aaackkk! Paper! I have so much and keep trying to tame it. Too many piles. Too much clutter! I “know” what to do, just need to do it. I have such a hard time making decisions, actually dedicating the time needed. This is in every area of my life (mentally, spiritually & physically). Focusing on getting back to the basics this summer. Thanks for your encouragement and articles :)

  198. Jenny says

    Piles of paper are my biggest source of stress and dissatisfaction with my home. I am slowly trying to get through the piles, but I feel tremendous guilt throwing things away. Thanks for the hand holding through the process.

  199. says

    I am enjoying your online study and I look forward to applying lots of the ideas soon. I have already started getting my papers in order and I really liked your ideas on today’s study. I am a slow, slow, slow work in progress but I will eventually get there. Thanks so much for helping me out in my journey. May God continue to bless you. In Christ Alone.

  200. says

    I am a Mom of 2 young children who are always drawing (& scribbling) pictures. What to do with all of them? And what about the school papers? I am also a scrapbooker who thinks everything should go in a scrapbook. I use a 12 x 12 clear scrapbook storeage case for the years art work. I have also used the idea of taking a digital photo of the artwork rather than keep the paper. I am always looking for creative organization!
    Thanks Glynnis!

    • Twyla says

      I saw a really cool idea once. Take pizza boxes (you can decorate with your favorite contact paper design) and make each box an age range or school year. For instance, one box for first grade, another for second, and so on. The boxes are large enough to put art work in without folding, but easy to stack and sort. That way, when you’re ready to scrapbook a certain age or event, you’ll only have to go to one box to find it all!

    • Beth says

      Idea: I have a file box for each child with folders in it labeled for each grade level Preschool thu 12th grade…as special artwork comes in I display it then file it in here. I file too much so I still have to clean it out every year and downsize…but at least I am not loosing as many of the special papers as I used to….hope this helps!

    • Larissa says

      I love the idea of the scrapbook box for their artwork. I had cardboard storage boxes but sometimes the art was too big so it’d just get stuffed in the side of the shelf. Thanks!

  201. Twyla says

    In theory, it seems so simple, yet I find myself with paper piled in various areas throughout the house. The worst thing I end up doing is buying things to organize with then not end up using them, so then I end up with not only paper clutter but clutter of the new organizational items (that now remain unfilled). It’s a cyclical problem. Thank you for the practical advice you always offer!

  202. Dawn says

    UGH! This is my biggest problem. I keep lots, and I mean lots, of printed-out pictures as decorating ideas, craft projects, Bible study ideas, all on top of the usual mail, magazines, etc. I hope I win the bag but for whomever does, I think it’ll hold file folders to help with organizing paper.

  203. Beth says

    Our local senior center collects used greeting cards and recycles them to be used as greeting cards again. Might be an option in other areas too. We also shop there for cards since they are less expensive and have a home made touch to them. :0)

  204. Anonymous says

    loved this study! I had started reading your book prior to the lessons! Thanks for helping me with this!

  205. Kathy says

    I tend to collect articles from the newspaper as clips to send to my Mom and sisters in Texas. I keep the ones which I want to refer to in a file with appropriate title. It may be necessary to set aside 1-2 hours to get these articles in their right “home,” but it is worth the feeling of having accomplished one small task.

  206. Larissa says

    It is a daily challenge to keep my kitchen peninsula free of clutter, mainly paper. It’s usually when people are coming over that I stack up all my piles and take it to my room and “deal” with it later. Then that pile gets forgotten and a new one starts. Ug!

  207. Amy S says

    I am definitely DROWNING in paper. Can’t wait to read all of these fabulous tips and hopefully find a solution. Thanks for this post!

  208. Barbara Gaona says

    I keep a recycle container in my home office and I purchased a bigger recycle containers with flip lids for my laundry room where I recycle cans, bottles, and PAPER. I have a 4 yr old and 7 yr old who are budding young artists and they draw everyday. I keep some of their treasures but am forced to recycle some due to space issues. I never want them to see that I am recycling their hard work so I use the container in the laundry room to recycle that paper, they never see it and it keeps their room neat. Their school drawings and writings are another story. It is so hard to part with. I go through and keep the best and 3 hole punch them and stick them in a 3 ring binder with dividers for each year of school. They are the big 3 inch binders so I hope 1 binder for their elementary school years will be enough. It has made putting away their drawings and writings easier, now that I have made a home for them I put them away instead of them piling up.

  209. RedApron says

    I suffer from HSS – Horizontal Surface Syndrome. Mainly the kitchen counter. However I’m currently (re)organizing my craft room. It’s a huge job but oh so worth the benefits!!

  210. Debi says

    Instead of saving whole magazines or even the articles, I use “My Documents” to save pertinent quotes in an appropriately titled Word document.

  211. says

    I have so many odds and ends of paper that I don’t know what to do with. I never know whether to keep a utility bill or toss it after it’s paid. So it goes in a pile with all the other papers and things that I can’t decide about! I had one of those “Aha” moments when I saw someone on here mention the scanner; don’t know WHY I never thought of this before! This weekend I am going to take one of the piles of paper in my computer room, and make a decision on each piece right then and there – scan, shred, or trash! I’m already excited about making even this little bit of progress!

  212. Marianne says

    I have 5 little peoples special papers from school, church and home what to do with them all. Thanks for all the little helps.

  213. monica says

    Thanks for all the tips about organizing paper.Now I just gotta get busy doing it!
    Love the tote!
    monk5 at charter dot net

  214. Joan V says

    Thank you for this assignment. I worked from home yesterday and as I sat at my desk, I was totally amazed at how much paper there is sitting on and around my desk. It seems like a few weeks ago that I purged all old paperwork and took it to the recycling outlet, and now it’s growing again. It is a bit overwhelming. I will take to heart your suggestions, Glynnis, and try to gather up one specific type of paper and put it in it’s rightful place. Much Mahalo (thank you) for this book. It has got me thinking of organizing and/or reorganizing my home.

  215. Shonda says

    I write lots of recipes on random paper and it’s all over the place. I want to organize it at some point!

  216. Susan Gillispie says

    So love what I am learning. This week and weekend I am tackling my home office paperwork. It is so freeing to see the difference and I have also put and am putting in place the daily disciplines to keep it organized. Thanks so much!

  217. Kay says

    Help! I am organized in so many ways, but, paperwork gets the best of me. More comes in than I can keep organized. I would love to win the tote. Thank you so much for your posts. I’m gonna make a difference in my home this summer.

  218. Heather P says

    I tackled part of my paper clutter during Spring Break and created a notebook for each year of school for my daughter. When school was over, I emptied the plastic container and created another one. I already quarter and half paper for scrap paper or daily lists.
    Thanks for the ideas!

  219. Heather G says

    Boxes..of paperwork to be gone through. I did spend an entire evening several weeks ago going thru the stacks that were more current. I threw out 2 paperboxes full of stuff to be shredded. I love the 31 Totes..I have three of the Large Utility totes that are GREAT for when we travel..each kid gets their own bag and the line up so nice in the trunk. I was eyeing this bag the last time I was able to order….

  220. Aggie says

    It’s really scary here with all the precariously perched piles of paper. One big gust or tremor and there would be an avalanche ! With God’s help, I will make a change and start to declutter , 15 minutes at a time. Thanks for your encouragement .

  221. Alli Knowkes says

    Theres so much paper in my house its unbelievable! I do not have the organizing mind, so im reallybad at stacking things… :( hopefully i can break this!

  222. Liz says

    I sat and said, ‘yes… yes… uh-huh….’ and nodded reading through the blog today LOL It is soooo me!!! I have been trying to tackle the endless paper monster that lives here. Thank you for the encouragement. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Funny how that works ;)

  223. Veronica Nightingale says

    Would love to have the tote – I love totes! I also love baskets. I have one on the table that’s by my phone in the kitchen. Here I put coupons I’m going to use and, all too often, paper I think I’m going to act on or put -SOMEWHERE. Of course, it sits in the basket instead. However, you have given me several ideas of what to do with that in the wonderful book you’ve written, so I cleaned out the basket the other day. Little by little, I’m working on the file cabinet I already have. It needed to be purged, so that is what I’m doing, folder by folder. One of the most helpful things I learned from you is that I’m keeping some of the paper too long!

    Another helpful thing is to know I’m not the only one with this problem..Thanks again for writing this book!

  224. michelle h says

    my son’s schoolwork is the biggest thing – he wants to save every little piece! I can only imagine it will double when the 2nd starts school in Sept. I have a bin the stuff goes in but things seem to creep out or never make it there!

  225. Becky Eisemann says

    The paper battle never ends! Keeping important papers separate is a key.
    Still in the workforce at 62, I not only come home to my husband’s and my paper clutter, but been helping my 89 year old friend for years and more recently my widowed dad, as well as encouraging my hoarding brother to take baby steps towards getting uncluttered. Appreciate your “unclutter” series. Would love to win the drawing.

  226. says

    ….I still struggle with “paper” i have them everywhere!!!! my “office” and my bedroom……. TONS OF PAPERS!!! I am afraid one day I ll need those all bills …. : ( Thank you for all your advice!

  227. robin says

    i am always trying to de-clutter my paper and often end up filing things where they can never be found again ;( any suggestions

  228. Theresa says

    Paper clutter is a constant chore at my house. I get through the bills and need to attack the school papers and then have the daily newspaper and it never seems to end. Every tip I can find to make the process quicker/easier is helpful. Thanks for your insight.

  229. Angie says

    I am having a terrible time with all of my sons school papers. I want to keep everyone of them (he just finished kindergarden). Any ideas what I can do? I just cherish all of the things hes done and feel guilty when I throw something away.

  230. Kirsten says

    I definitely have the magazine pile and I need to clear out the old papers in my file cabinet so I can find the more recent ones. Would love the organizing tote. I can imagine so many uses for it.

  231. Deb V says

    Paper is one of my biggest clutter problems. I try to shred all the junk mail as I come in the door but I still have trouble deciding what to do with everything else paper that comes in my house. I liked the idea of giving everything a home. I will work on this on the weekend.

  232. tabitha says

    I keep a plastic expandable file folder by the kitchen cabinet/freg whenever there is something a kid or I want to save I place it in the folder. At the end of each year I take out all the papers, decide what needs to be kept and what I can live without. Then I take a picture of all the “keep” items (that I put in a scrapbook the kids can flip through – they love admiring their own work) and throw everything in the folder away, so I can start fresh again:)

  233. Janny says

    Thanks Glynnis! Your email was an “ah-ha” moment for me. I’m going to work on finding a home for my paper & being diligent about putting paper in its proper place.

  234. Laurie says

    I am amazed how many paper my two boys got from their school year long!!! At the end of year and end of exams especially, I let my boys put their papers in bonfire as a celebration of the end of their grade!!!! Cool?!

    I would love that bag!!!

  235. says

    Last week I had a pile cleaned up in my sewing room. This week it looks worse! I tell myself I stirred the pot and after reading today, I am encouraged to continue with the baby steps.

    Thank you for tackling these things!

  236. Carol says

    recipes, recipes, and more recipes, I cut them out of magazines, I print them from the internet, I have a box full and a basket full and a stack on the counter and I am always finding another one that I want to try sometime. The ones I have tried are mixed in with the ones that I want to try and when I try to find a particular recipe it takes me longer than it should and I mutter something about someday I am going to get them organized

  237. Kimber says

    Thank you for the help suggestions! I need help!
    I ignored your emails all week because I didn’t want to deal with this problem, but finally today decided to read this one because paper is a big problem.
    Thank you.
    One thing that helped me with my kids school papers this year…my mom offered to help me evalute what was important to keep and what wouldn’t be treasured later. That was a great help because I value EveryThing my kids do. Now all of the important papers are in a bin and others are gone! Sometimes a good friend can really help me with perspective…thanks mom!

  238. April C. says

    I’m drowning in paper and school’s about to start and it’s going to get worse and my kids aren’t even in school yet!!

  239. Amy Wallace says

    Ugh-paper-recipes, notes by the computer, school papers, and on and on! I like the accordian file ideas. Could be very useful.

  240. Catherine says

    Thanks for all the great suggestions! I am glad I am not alone in the paper challenge. Last night I tackled receipts and coupons. Thanks for the encouragement that we don’t have to do organize everything at once. Even that small step I made feels less overwhelmed.

  241. Holly M says

    I’m always drowning in paper! Everytime I clean off my desk, more and more paper piles up again! It is a never ending battle here!

  242. LIsa Smith says

    I need some help with all my paper. I do a little, but seems like I stay behind. I loved your idea about the Christmas cards, birthday card etc.

  243. Priscilla says

    I am overwhelmed in paper! I have been intending on decluttering it for the past couple weeks and have been putting it off. This weekend I will tackle it – I take your challenge!
    Would love to win the organizing tote!
    Thank you for your blog!

  244. Dana M-M says

    Thanks for the tips!! I use a 3 ring binder with pockets. It sits on top of my fridge. I put school schedules, menu’s, Teacher contacts and things I need at hand but don’t want lying on my counter.

  245. Allison Kemp says

    My biggest challenge is keeping the incoming mail organized. It piles up on the kitchen desk in no time at all!

  246. Pam C says

    I am always looking for ways to organize my paper. I get good ideas but then can’t remember where I put something when I need it.
    I am looking forward to reading the posts and maybe coming up with new ways.

  247. christina says

    Help-I’m not thru wading in last year’s homeschool papers and another year’s about to begin-mwaaah!

  248. kristen says

    I have folders full of papers that I need to keep for various reasons. There is no organization to them at all. I am working on making room in our living room for a make shift desk area. Then I will get some office supplies to help organize these different papers. I keep a paper and put it in a folder and then I cannot remember which folder it is in. Thank you for sharing all of these great tips!

  249. Kristi S says

    I have to admit paper clutter has been my nemesis. I will blame it on sentimentality since I seem to save everything. Some of those items are boxed and others are bagged with a strip of tape with a title like “Austin, TX-2005″ so that when I do want to “remember when”, I can do so.

    However, I think my most difficult problem lately has been that I am “portable” and most of my items are stored in the car. I need to read back through the comments later when my schedule permits. However, I wonder if any of you may have been in a similar situation. I can’t dig through my car for this or that so I usually throw everything into a folder but then I try to recall what I have filed correctly. Or, the worst situation: in which folder did I place that number for that cute guy I met (Well. I don’t think I would lose that if that occured. Haha) But, I could definitely use some advice. Always love these comments. Y’all are great and this study has been such a blessing Glynnis! Thank you for reminding me that you have to just keep persevering and don’t give up. If we are faithful in the little things, we will find peace in time and, often, in the moment, simply by taking action!

  250. Cherilyn says

    I find all the piles of paper I keep, when I eventually go through it, I only keep a very small amount. Working on just tossing it the first time I touch it.

  251. Dara Herman says

    I have a 3 in binder with clear page sleeves i keep all bank statements, bills, receipts, insurance, etc. It’s awesome at tax time, I just take my binder and I have everything!

  252. josefa says

    I have so much paper that it is rediculous. I am in the middle of a move and have no idea where to begin!

  253. Rachelle says

    I have kept so much paper because I just didn’t know what I was able to get rid of!!! After reading your book I feel so much more comfortable knowing what to keep and what is ok to throw away. I have been going through mountains of paper and I have made a dent but I have plenty more to go. I am hoping to start a system where I keep up with it all better and shred things as soon as I no longer need them instead of letting it hang around for years just taking up space.

  254. bari cordia federspiel says

    I’m an artist, a scrapbook maker. In my free time (ha) I make cake pops and gourmet cupcakes to give away. I have stacks of recipes – piles of watercolor paper, unfinished paintings AND finished paintings. I have managed to whip the scrapbooking supplies into shape (and it’s not just the PAPER… it’s the embellishments, ribbons, glue, scissors, on and on ad infinitum), but my piles of recipes lie around while a really CUTE scrapbook with a cupcake on the front lies and gathers dust. Watercolor supplies are somewhere in the middle.

  255. Lynn says

    Between my son’s school papers, my husbands’ refusal to part with anything paper, constant mail influx, receipts, recipes, I am drowning as well. I have made an effort to go paperless with my smartphone and iPad, but haven’t had too much success! Lots of good tips on here, though!!

  256. Deborah says

    I am trying so desparately to get rid of paper in my house, but my 2 and 3 year olds keep bringing more “Mommy Pictures” every Friday from preschool. Boy – Do I need help!

  257. kara says

    I have the magazines in a pile to read. Bills are in a pile now. All i have left it to deal w a folder of bills that need to be filed correctly.

  258. Barbara W says

    Magazines are a huge problem for me! I subscribe to them in a weak moment, then don’t have the time to read them….but I don’t want to miss something ‘important’ in them. :-) So I save them thinking I will get to them eventually. However, since many are years old now, I’m going to pass them along this weekend. Thanks for the push! :-)

  259. Tina Gillenwater says

    Thank you for the post! I am so overwhelmed with paper clutter!
    I never know what to keep or what to throw away. I attempted
    to do something about it a couple years ago by getting a filing cabinet
    but as you mentioned in your post I need to clear it out to be able
    to file current papers! Procrastination is my biggest problem. Thanks
    For the advice and encouragement!

  260. DolliN says

    Piles of paper everywhere! I have my pile on the end table in the living, my husband has a pile on the kitchen counter, then there are piles in the kids’ rooms – and I even have a filing system, but the papers are piled on the files waiting to be filed! AAARRRGG!!!!

  261. Delia R says

    As a teacher, I pride myself in keeping my desk, papers, and classroom organized. My problem is dealing with paper clutter at home! I am learning to sort my mail as soon as I get it out of the mailbox and discard “junk” mail. I have a wicker basket on my desk that has become the home for my bills. I am able to keep track of what mail is important. Next on my list is getting in control of my magazines! Thank you for your wonderful organizing ideas!

  262. Anita says

    Wow, lots of comments here. Will I have time to read through them all if I follow the technology suggestions. :) Stacks of paper everywhere is my nemisis also. Magazines, newsletters that don’t get read before the next month comes, bills, etc. trying to keep everything in control. Thanks for all the ideas

  263. Christine Craver says

    Thank you so much for all the helpful suggestions! We get a lot of magazines and I am so overwhelmed with not only not being able to read them all, (my husband enjoys them). I used to take them to my daughter who took them to her Dr’s office or hospital but don’t have that access now. They would bless others I’m sure! Thank you for giving us hope!!

  264. Ginny B says

    I used to be inundated with school art projects. With 4 kids I was running out of wall space to display it all! A few years ago I started taking pictures of the projects instead. Then we can display them all in a digital photo frame and I don’t feel guilty when some make their way into file 13 aka the trash can!

  265. Andrea Baker says

    Electronically storing lists, information, etc. has been the only way I can survive. I still have piles – confined to my desk at least. I use Neat Receipts and electronic readers (kindle) for my books and magazines. I have subscriptions but immediately throw out the hard copies and read on the Kindle

  266. Jackie says

    I just shredded the weeks mail for the guinea pig’s cage and it filled up two 5 gallon buckets. I think I need to reduce the amount of mail that comes in the house.

  267. Christy Acre says

    I have been very much enjoying this study and your book! I have realized a lot of different ways I could be handling many areas of life, both spiritually and physically. I am actually off to the store tomorrow to purchase some items that will help me in the organizing of my desk. I have had some bins on my desk for years and that system doesn’t work for me because everything still gets buried horizontally. However, after reading this chapter I realized that I don’t have to continue to use a system that doesn’t work! I am going to get slot dividers that will hold items vertically and I hope this works better for me. I also need to purge, purge, purge! This is the most unorganized physical area of my life – paperwork, filing, paying bills, keeping up with the checkbook, etc. Thank you for your helpful advice and I hope to be putting it to use very soon!

  268. Pam says

    Hi… I’m posting a second time because I found a new way of looking at the problem. I was reading at http://jewishspectacles.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/ruth-shows-us-importance-of-threshing-discarding-bad-retaining-good/ and wanted to copy a few sentences here. Somehow it helps to realize we are not so different than our heroes in the Bible. “In Megillas Rus [the book of Ruth], we see the account of Rus gathering the stalks of grain in order to keep herself and her mother-in-law alive. The first day of work was done, and the Megillah tells us: “Va’tachbot es Asher Leekaytah” [she beat out what she had gathered] (Chapter 2, verse 17). Bearing in mind that Torah never contains a superfluous word or sentence and that each line has a meaning for our lives, we must ask ourselves, ‘what do we learn from Rus sitting there threshing out her day’s haul?’

    Many are the hours of our life, crammed with many experiences. Much is the knowledge we pick up, from formal teachers and from society around us. Many are the things we hear and see. Some of what we gather is pure gold. Some of it is just trash, plain and simple.

    My father, may he be well, taught me that verse from Rus when I was at the point of graduation from elementary school, and he instructed me I must sit there, reflect on past years, and thresh it all out, separate the good from the bad. Let the chaff fall away so I’d be left with only nutritious kernels.” Like Ruth, let’s be diligent and do our threshing. Let the chaff (of paper that is not useful) fall away so we are left with only the essential kernels. That helps me…

  269. says

    About a month ago, at the beginning of the study, I made a 3 inch notebook into a paper catch all for my prayer time, bible study notes, weekly menus, prayer lists, scripture topics; one for different struggles I have such as fear, peace, freedom. I also made the notebook cover into a God Board about me that says: I am free, I am safe, I am loved, on and on. i decorated the notebook and take it pretty much wherever I go because I have so much information in it. I have really taken advantage of the study and learned so many wonderful ideas through others as well. Thanks for the book.

  270. Leigh Ellen says

    Honestly, I am making this comment, because I am about to have a baby, and I think this tote would make a great diaper bag. As far as paper clutter goes, my personal rule of thumb is to handle each piece of paper as soon as I get it. I throw a long of things away as quickly as I can.

  271. Karen Massey says

    Thanks for these excellent tips to reduce paper clutter. As hard as I work to stay on top of it, papers accumulate on one corner of our kitchen counter and it never seems to be as organized as I would like it to be. Thanks again!

  272. Christa says

    I’m working hard on taming my paper!! After needing to return several things recently and not being able to find the receipts, I got a 13-pocket accordian file last night and started organizing my receipts.

  273. Tammy says

    Every year, I promise myself that I will stay ahead of the constant pile and trail of paper on my counter, my desk, and wherever I’m sitting trying to finish up some form of work. But every year, there’s the pile, sure as shootin’! Please help me to be a little more successful this year! Before my kids are out of school and then I’m only responsible for my own clutter!!! Thanks!!

  274. Robin Still says

    Paper, paper and more paper…will the ocean of paper ever end! I have piles of paper, recipes, addresses, newspapers, magazines, etc EVERYWHERE!!! I am trying to be organized, really I am. I have found that I have a bankers box (plastic) and each child (I have 4) has a set of hanging folders…one for school, one for church, and one for sports. Each child also has their own bulletin board hanging in the kitchen. The bulletin board shows off their work and grades and also holds important papers from school. Once it moves from the bulletin board it goes in their hanging folder. At winter break and at the end of the school year, I go back thru and decide what is important to keep and file away in yet another box with all their school memories. Magazines…if I have not read it in two months I donate to my local nursing home for them to enjoy. I also have cancelled most magazines because I just don’t take the time to read them so why waste money. I am trying to make an address box where each family has their own index card with info on it. Recipes…I may never get caught up on. I try to make a new one each week…then the family decides if it is a keeper or not. If not, toss. If yes, then I put in sheet protectors in a giant notebook divided by sections.

    Despite my best efforts…paper keeps coming back again and again. I know that some day i will defeat it…until then it is a one day at a time battle.

    May you all have a blessed day and keep smiling!

    Smiles & Blessings, Robin :)

  275. Lou says

    How timely could this be?! I do not believe in coincidence! I’ve always been “organized” — in my mind at least! I do have a place for everything but somehow, it doesn’t seem to get there on a regular basis which means that I then have to rethink where it is . . . too much trouble so the piles just grow until I can’t stand it anymore! Of course, then I get behind on keeping up with the most important things that need to be done!

    I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to “de-clutter” and had told my daughter that one task for my weekend was to clear the table! Well, this has give me the encouragement I need!

    Thanks!

  276. says

    I need help w/ my paper clutter too! so badly… This weekend I am going to start to work getting all my contacts into Outlook on my computer.. It really IS so much easier when you need to adjust & edit their info.. Got my spiral notebook too & I’m ready to make lists of tasks & projects for months to come.. Due dates will come after I see all of what I’m looking at… Thanks Glynnis.!! Love all the inspiring ideas.

  277. Marlene says

    I can definitely relate to all of this. I am a “saver” and if there is a horizontal surface around I WILL start a pile on it. But something that has helped tremendously is a bookshelf close by the desk where the computer and printer are and where bills are paid from with a vertical file and labeled folders in the slots for the most common things that I cut out, print and save, or whatever. Food, Travel, Computer, Sewing, Church are the major ones. The goal, of course, is to empty them monthly and permanently file the tidbit, or recipe, or sewing hint. But in the meantime, if I need to find something in any of those categories, I at least know where to BEGIN looking.
    I realize that this is handling paper twice, but it works for me until I can actually prevent myself from saving the articles in the first place !

  278. Kelly says

    I wish I had a solution especially with homeschooling. Thanks to you, at least I’ve started looking at clutter a different way. I joined your email when you were doing a weekly email to get organized. I was impressed that the first several did not mention anything about getting sorting boxes etc. You pointed us toward looking at clutter through a completely different perspective and it has really helped me. I am making progress. :-)

  279. says

    Hi Glynnis, Thank you for being an inspiration to me! I would love the bag to help me with my clutter:) Organizing could be less of a chore with a cute, pretty bag!
    God bless you, Donna

  280. Trudy says

    Paper is one of my worst nightmares. I’m always trying to get rid of one pile, while another one accumulates.

  281. Yvonne says

    Hello Glynnis. I truly enjoy your articles. Thanks for using God gifts to serve others. My organization is bad, due to me working on time managment. However, what I do with most of my paper when I make the time, is I scan as much as I can. Then I file electronically just as I would paper. I create electronic folder per correpondence such as name of bank(s) then
    I create sub folder for per year then accounts, etc… I do as much electronically as possible and I back up my records on an external hard drive.

    My next goal is to scan and catogorized my paper pictures and negatives.

  282. Maureen James says

    Junk Mail ! I’m overwhelmed by it. I can’t just throw it away, because dumpster divers might steal my identity so I’m told. I have so much of it & it is way to time consuming. HELP!

  283. Nancy B says

    You all have great ideas!!! I still have left over paper from elementary school home mom projects from my children, now 24, 17 and 15! I also have old work related books and project materials. Many old books. All just taking up book shelf and closet space. Time to clean up! Thank you Glynnis for this study to help our hearts and spiritual walk with Jesus, even more than organization skills! Praying for God’s blessings upon you and your family and to all the lovely ladies in this study!

  284. says

    Oh paper, how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways. I’m already in school and have currently printed 500+ pages for one graduate school class…not to mention the pages I’ve read. I used to think I knew something about the New Testament, but apparently, I was wrong!

    I also imagine myself scrapbooking in all my spare time (yeah right), and I really want to learn couponing. I recently admitted to a friend that I have a real desire to be superwoman. To which she (absolutely lovingly) replied, we all do, get over yourself! But I really think that if I could keep it all organized, I could do it all. I could be right, right?

  285. Jenn says

    I love all the ideas about scanning. I try so hard to recycle or shred before the paperwork even hits the counter, but for some reason, there are still always piles. My girls both have a very hard time getting rid of papers from school or artwork so I’m constantly trying to find a place for those. Even if I come up with a system that works for me, it doesn’t seem to work for anyone else in the house which means piles accumulate. Time for an intervention!

  286. Melissa says

    Paper clutter is a big problem for me. I am learning from all of you and this study how to do better. I have begun to notice my bad habits and am working to change the bad habits that have caused me such grief.
    Thanks for all the great ideas.

  287. Andrea M. says

    I do pretty well with keeping most paper under control. One place I need to work on is my daughter’s artwork. She is 4 and I know that not every drawing is worth keeping but I have a really hard time throwing it away.

  288. says

    dunno if this has been said already, I came to the party late. my suggestion is to place a recycle bin/trash basket by the door you use to bring in your mail- automatically drop the spam/envelopes/catalogs – anything that can be recycled without being shredded. that will relieve you of all of the junk mail and it never makes it to a pile/stack/basket that will have to be gone through; later you just dump it into the big recycle bin for the pick-up. N

    http://wordsfromthehomefront.blogspot.com

  289. Lori D. says

    I dream of living in total organization–I have the desire and some of the skill but I’m so busy with life homeschooling 2 high schoolers and 2 elementary kids plus being mommy and wife and chef and and and…you get it! Organization feels like a pipe dream! Finding your blog has been so helpful because I feel less overwhelmed taking and applying one suggestion at a time. Last week I bought an accordion file for my receipts and came up with a system of when to get rid of them! Thank you! :) i bought a cute Thirty-one storage cube that says “Mail” on it so my kids will stop throwing it wherever they happen to come in. My family recipes are in a notebook in clear protectors nice and neat! next, I’m moving onto personal cards!

  290. Emily says

    I keep a family binder with separate dividers and folders for can family member so we can easily put important papers in the binder so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

  291. Rebecca Portteus says

    I really do not like piles and I am married to a piler (if that is a word). So, I have worked on some ideas for making it just as easy to put it into a home (even if it is temporary) as it is to pile it up on my counters. I have had some success, but I need to work on a couple more things. Small steps I guess.

  292. Tee says

    My paper problem is with “middle of the road mail”! I can handle junk mail – I open it all at once and just pitch it. I can handle bills – pay them when they come or place in wire holder on counter until I can pay them. But what I struggle with the most is the mail that doesn’t fit into those categories such as the thank you card that I want my husband to see or the 20% off flyer for my favorite department store that isn’t effective for another week or the newsletter from a ministry that I really do want to read…one day soon etc. etc. Where do these things “live” while they’re waiting to be handled??!!?? The kitchen countertop is the lucky space in my house!!! =0)

    • Angie Hite says

      I have a file in my file cabinet for coupons. Then when you have time (haha) you could organize them like I did when I tried doing major couponing (I have not had luck with that) but when I did it I had a binder that had baseball card plastic holders for small coupons and then sheet protectors for the ones like %20 off bed bath and beyond big coupons. I had my baseball card protectors in categories of like paper products, condiments, frozen food, personal products, etc. Right now it is just in the file and I go through it every few weeks to take out expired ones not used.

  293. Sue R says

    Lots of great ideas…I use a business card insert for my Household Binder and put the cards in according to category: Medical, household services, etc…

  294. Linda M. says

    Part of my paper problem is that my husband doesn’t deal with his papers! How or where do I put his papers?

  295. Latrelle says

    YES, I am drowning in paper too!!!! Where does it all come from??-it multiplies like rabbits !! Seriously, time spent grouping & deciding is a worthy investment. But….I have to do it over &over & over EVERY day just to even resemble keeping up. Hope I might win that beautiful bag, but even if I don’t–thanks for being so helpful & supportive.

  296. says

    “I’m drowing in paper”…(and books and magazines) pretty much sums it up for me! Seriously, paper on the bar, paper on the microwave, paper in baskets, paper on my desk, paper piles on top of the printer and wherever there is a flat surface. It accumulates very quickly. I try to stay on top of it but things just get shifted around or stuck in drawers never to be found again. Thank you for your HELP and encouragement! It’s nice to know I’m not alone. :)

  297. Marcia S says

    I appreciate all of your organizations articles. Part of my problem is I work 2 jobs to pay my bills and I’m exhausted the little I’m home. I keep reading but I don’t have the energy I need to put it into action.

  298. Rohna Harkless says

    It’s funny that your blog would be on tackling the paper monster, because today I cleaned out a drawer that was full of miscellaneous paper. I separated it and plan to use about 2″ of it to print drafts on since it’s only used on one side. Some of it will become shopping lists, too.

  299. Wendi R says

    I’m keeping up on the study and it has done a great job of motivating me. I’ve cleaned the clutter out of the kitchen and my desk is cleaned off and much more organized. I keep reminding myself to follow through with putting things where they go rather than putting them in the temporary stack. I’m hoping that it re-trains me to do things now rather than later. Thanks for the motivation! It’s working.

  300. Laura says

    paper is an organizational enemy! lol! It is never ending..and it piles so quickly! I agree that having a place for it solves a lot of the issue though. Finding the time to deal with it is definitely a conscious commitment.

  301. says

    I am a work in progress when it comes to paper piles! I love to clip pages from magazines and keep them for “someday.” then a few days ago a friend sent me an invite to Pinterest and now I can clip to my hearts content and NO PAPER PILES!!! What a great idea! I’ve said good bye to over half my book collection since getting a Kindle and I use a calendar on my phone instead of lugging a day planner around. But Pinterest is going to top them all in my effort to minimize my paper clutter! Now to find a way to conquer financial records…

  302. Ellen N. says

    I just discovered these great plastic storage boxes at Staples that are waterproof and hold hanging file folders. I have one for each of my kids, and there are thirteen hanging file folders in them, one for each school year. I keep the file for the current school year in a conveinet place and will place special school papers, artwork, and certificates of achievement. If the art project I want to save is too big for the folder, I’ll take a picture of it. If the folder gets too full, I throw out the least important papers. It’s a great way to eliminate paper clutter. At the end of the year, I place that year’s folder in each of their boxes.
    Thanks for all the fresh tips on being on top of the paper clutter!

  303. Nancy says

    There is so much paper in so many forms within my home I would be ashamed to take a picture & share! Will work on at least one area this weekend. Thank you for the encouragement!

  304. Tari M says

    I appreciate the opportunity to learn the solutions and to incorporate the ones that work for me into my life. I appreciate Glynnis, Melissa and all the ladies contributing to leading this study… it is transforming my life. I do appreciate the words of encouragement from you as I feel overwhelmed or frustrated. I believe the Lord led me to participate and it is such a blessing. Thank you so much. Thanks to God for all of the incredible blessings.

  305. LaTara says

    Thanks for reminding me that school is just around the corner and how much extra paper I will be drowning in! ;) I guess I better get to work on all my paper clutter right away!!

  306. Angie K. says

    I am drowning in paper! Between my 4 kids, husband, and my countless volunteering projects, the paper is overwhelming me!!

  307. Lee Ann says

    I absolutely love this study. So many great ideas. Taking baby steps and getting started; asking Jesus to guide me down this path. I want my life back!! God’s blessings to you!

  308. Sandi says

    It is amazing how quickly paper clutter creeps back into my house! It is a never ending task that makes me crazy!

  309. Sue says

    “I’m drowning in paper and school’s about to start and then it will be worse!”

    (You absolutely read my mind!)

  310. Angie Hite says

    I do paperless billing when offered. I had a formal dining room that had many piles and no organization of all my papers. We knocked down some walls in our house and have an open concept so it forced me to figure out what I was going to do with it all. I bought a nice reasonably priced wooden double file cabinet and placed it between my kitchen and den area with a Longaberger rod iron double basket system for incoming mail and mail that needs to be dealt with like bills to be paid or things that need acting on etc. I go through the rest and decide where it needs to be. It is either filed, put in the trash can next to the file cabinet for paper that needs to be shredded, or the rest goes into recycling a basket near the file cabinet. I have ocd, depression, and anxiety and that caused me great anxiety. I could never find anything quickly before, but now I can and it is great. I have many files like coupons, medical, taxes, bills, church, kids school, receipts, manuals (I am going to organize these one day into a binder with sheet protectors in sections like appliances, kids toys, etc.),menus, etc. Anyway. I feel so much better when I am able to find things. I am proud of myself.

  311. Mary says

    I like the business card idea!!! I have cards everywhere…dresser drawers, jewelry drawers, my purse, the fridge, and counters!! Didn’t realize ntil I read this post and thought about it! Paper is definitely my biggest problem so I don’t have any solutionsto share. :(

    Just like the business cards I have birthday cards, kid’s drawings, report cards, certificates ( even my Kindergarten diploma…lol) etc stuffed everywhere! I need help in that area!!

    Doing the homework and purchasing clear thingama jigs and starting a binder for each child’s awards and drawings!

    Loving your book and this study!!!

    Mary

  312. Richelle says

    I’m drowning in paper – EVERYWHERE – and once school starts it will be even worse. Every time I try to organize it, I just end up with another group of papers set aside in a box, or file, or sack, or basket, or… I tackled the mail pile before our 4th of July dinner. I’ll try to tackle another pile tomorrow. Thank you for the encouragement.

  313. Erycka says

    Paper is a huge problem – yes! But having implemented some of these suggestions I now realize my bigger problem is not having a place to put my organization. I have binders organized with medical bills, kids papers, etc. that sit on the floor! We don’t have a large house and with several kids, I don’t have an office space or desk where I can put all my papers and boxes… I don’t know what to do about that, short of knocking down walls like one of the above posts was able to do!

  314. Christina Campbell says

    My trick I try to do to help keep paper down in size. I go through the mail as soon as I bring it into the house and recycle what I don’t need. I also get rid of magazines when I am done with them. I don’t keep them. There will be one out next year for that season & holiday. :)

  315. Christina Campbell says

    I go through the mail as soon as I bring it into the house. I recycle what I don’t need. I also get rid of magazines when I am done with them. I don’t keep them because there will be another magazine out next year for that season & holiday. :)

  316. Heidi says

    Wow, great topic! I am so encouraged by your messages. I was just thinking how much I would love tho hear your thoughts .on paper clutter. Paper seems to.reproduce faster than dust bunnies at my house

  317. Julie Masters says

    I’m very disorganized with paper! We are moving in 2 weeks so hopefully I can get it under control as we pack. Otherwise, they’ll be boxes of piles of paper…ugh!

  318. Trishka says

    We are leaving our apartment in Senegal for 5 months in the US — lots to do, so your thoughts on removing paper come at a perfect time. I’m going to tackle a problem area, some drawers by our desk and conquer that paper mess!

  319. Sue says

    Loving the study–Rolodex idea I love–I have taken some old labels typed up my information and will put the label on the rolodex card–this will be an easy idea so my hubby doesn’t have to go my excel spreadsheet for our passwords/addresses/numbers
    He has an older cell phone doesn’t need a new smart phone when he’s out in the field assisting farmers with their needs. I love Glynnis ideas of blending old with the new!

  320. Debbie W says

    My husband is babysitting the kids today so I can get my homeschool books and schedule organized for this year. I will be so relieved to have that done!

    I’m also curious, how do you manage to organize all the names for a drawing?

  321. Joanna Warren says

    Thankfully, I only have one paper pile, that I sort through a couple times a week… But, for some reason, it is in a very visible place, and it still frustrates me… Maybe I subconsciously leave it visible so I will clean it out more often! Hmmm.

  322. Tina says

    We moved about 2 years ago into a larger home in the country. This is our second summer and I committed to decluttering and organizing our home. I am a teacher and have more time at home in the summer to devote to this. The office was the room we put everything that didn’t have a “home” yet. There are only two boxes left so I have made great gains in this room but paper clutter is an issue. After the office only the craft room (which will take a while) and 5 closets left!

  323. Kim says

    This is definitely an area that I struggle with. I have piles of papers, bills, photos, kids awards, kids artwork, receipts, etc. that just keep piling up. We can’t find things that we need like appliance receipts or warranties which is very frustrating. I’m setting aside one week during the summer that I am going to tackle those stacks. Hoping to use some of the suggestions to help me get more organized.

  324. Sherri G says

    First, I don’t want to be in the drawing. I just wanted to say how much the book is helping me. I’ve made some progress already and am so appreciative. Of course, the problem for me is always follow-through so I need to really be praying about that. Thank you so much for what you do. I know it can’t be easy at times. My church doesn’t currently have a women’s Bible study group. Hopefully it’s a temporary situation but in the meantime, the P31 group and all the great books you all write are a lifeline to me and many others. Many hugs and blessings to you!

  325. Cheryl C says

    It’s an in-your-face moment for me to post this statement because it really is me….“I’m drowning in paper and school’s about to start and then it will be worse!” After years of saying “I’m going to buy a shredder,” I finally purchased one, but there is still the process of sorting what needs to be shred and what needs to be filed and then…. I get overwhelmed again. *sigh*. Deep down in side I want to be organized. I really do. :-)

  326. Mary Beth says

    I often make notes/lists of what i need to get done and then those papers clutter up my desk. I have 2 folders on my desk – one titled THIS WEEK and one THIS MONTH. i put the lists of things I need to get done into those folders and then when I have extra time to tackle emails or calls or whatever the list says I get it done, toss the note. It keeps my mind free because I have written down what I need to remember to do and keeps my desk orderly.

  327. Jill B. says

    Paper clutter has turned into my greatest challenge-especially working from home, and with lots of kid-related paper. This was perfect timing – we just got home from vacation, and I have a table full of accumulated mail, magazines, papers, and miscellaneous paper from the trip. I’ve been inspired to attack it right away, rather than let it sit and attract even more paper!

  328. says

    The kids school work and beautiful handmade art projects were taking over our house. I just couldn’t part with anything as each one was done by a very special little girl. So I started scanning into my computer what I could and saving on a flash drive. I also take photos of their larger art projects and then save on the flash drive for each of my three girls. Then I discovered I could use these in my scrapbooking too.

    Love the tote, please enter me.
    M. Waters

  329. Liz says

    I need organization, my hubby, not so much. His desk is constantly a pile of clutter. I need to ” help” him get organized. :)

  330. Stephanie W says

    You took the words straight from my thoughts! “I’m drowning in paper and school’s about to start and then it will be worse!” As a teacher, I have definitely enjoyed the slow down and focus on my needs time that I’ve had. I fear that as school starts back up I won’t have the energy to maintain + football season starts for my boys…as I write this I’m reminded that I’m supposed to be working on speaking positive words about myself. Does writing count as speaking…I’m thinking as long as I don’t read it aloud I’m good! Ha! Happy Saturday!!

  331. Melissa says

    Paper stuff on the kitchen counter = driving me crazy! It’s my husband’s dumping place. Ideas for a family message center = need some! Stuff in our den/homeoffice/schoolroom = slowly making progress = :)

  332. says

    Good Saturday morning to you ,Glynnis,I love reading your posts,I was suppose to receive the book “I used to be Organized” because I won one,however I never received it,for my daughter,Dariel..I would have bought one but I dont have the money to do that. I wanted the book for my daughter who has 4 kids and always has mounds of things to find places for,and with three of them in school she has so many nice pictures they have drawn for her,prizes they have won,awards they have been given both in school and sports. Her oldest boy has won many essay contests that have went to states…How does a mommy care for the mounds of paper received and especially the cute pictures,report cards,essay awards,and ribbons,and Trophys. Thanks for all your ideas!! Love from her Mom(Sheila Bard)

  333. Patti says

    Thank you again! Paper is definitely my nemesis! I have worked on it for so long and in so many ways that I am better off than some of the other posts. Also my kids are older-and don’t want the clutter so I am TRYING to toss some of theirs. I would dearly LOVE the prize for the rest of it. ONE TIP that has helped me is to take the papers that need to be shredded and pull out the part with numbers and name and then just put that part in the trash (with garbage or cat litter) and throw the rest in recycle. I do this with the 2 next to each other when going through older papers, and it is fast.

  334. Nancy Miksad says

    This was one of my hardest chapters, I really really dislike shredding papers, it’s such a waste of time!!!! There are papers every where in piles . . . and yes I am a student and am going back to school in a month not only do I have regular household papers but school papers. . . what to save what to toss . . . . . Magazines went away today . . . books . . . those may be hard to part with
    Time to Shred

  335. Terrie says

    Hi Glynnis,

    Your book and this bible study has gotten me to a place where I am now making all of my decisions based on my priorities. I felt so uncertain and unsure of what my priorities were or should be and your grid at the beginning of the book has helped me so much. I have found so much peace each day living within them. In fact, today…we are going forward with some big decisions and life changes to support my priority of being available and home with my two boys. With one in college, and finances a bit different, our current set up does not really afford me the peace to make decisions based on my priorities…the other two still at home. It has been so stressful this last year facing the demands and challenges this new season has brought, but I am ready to make changes to support this. Thank you so much for helping me!

  336. Rachelle Henthorn says

    This tote is cuter than the drawer in my office I shove things into to “get to later”…. Which only comes when I am desperately looking for something I need!!

  337. says

    We have just completed 16 years of homeschooling and there is soooo much paper around our house. Now that both boys are in college I am trying to wrangle the school papers, home papers my work papers and hubby’s work papers into a workable filing solution. It is crazy!

  338. Teresa T says

    We are remodeling the kitchen. It is a good time to eliminate duplicates… And that coffee mug with 1986 on it. Ha.

  339. Michelle T. says

    Hello… When I read the article and then you wrote just put “I’m drowning in paper….
    ” I thought of my home. LOL. I am a homeschooling mom. So paper is everywhere even in summer time when I’m trying to prepare for the next year all I see is paperwork to be done…. So, here goes…. “I’M DROWNING HERE, I NEED A LIFELINE!!!!” LOL. Thanks for listing all the good stuff we can do to recover from being covered in so much stuff. It’s greatly appreciated!

  340. says

    My dining room table is sort of the “paper trap” in our house. My oldest daughter is about to start 1st grade and I am homeschooling my pre-schooler. I have forms, books, games, etc. piled up on our dining room table. I need to get organized with all of this PAPER!

  341. Kim Neubauer says

    Hi I am very behind in organizing piles in my house. I used to be a scrapbooking mom and enjoyed get aways with other women to scrap memories. Now I work 2 days short of full time and needless to say the pictures and memories are collecting in boxes and not in all the albums wainting for them. My daughters will graduate in 3 years and well not sure I will have it done. I have enjoyed reading your blog. A friend of mine posted it on twitter and it was a great way to start my Saturday – so thank you!!

  342. PamelaM says

    Oh My goodness! I just put my shredder through the motions today. I shredded two grocery bags crammed full and I have lots to go. I have tax returns from 20 or more years back. They weren’t taking up much room so I never addressed them in previous attempts at thinning my paper. Hahaha. I started and that is a good thing. I left the shredder out and will keep feeding it until my paper problem is under control. I will find a way to attractively keep the shredder out so I can handle paper only once. I really AM going to do it this time.

    The bag is super cute and would make a lovely home office.

    Thanks for all you do to get us going in bite sized steps and motivating us to keep going!

    Pam

  343. Stephanie Pederslie says

    I am a scrapbooker so imagine what my paper organization is like! :)

    But honestly I think my issue is BILLS. They end up in a laundry basket in my office until the end of the year where I finally (maybe) get around to filing them.

  344. Tina says

    I’m hoping to finally start getting a handle on my paper problem…at least 10 years of saving things I might “need” someday. In that time, 2 precious girls born and saving all their things we may “need” someday. Saving much to much and ready to get rid of all we don’t need and want. Thank you for helping me get started!

  345. Michelle Watkins says

    Thanks for all of the valuable organizing tips…I have paper coming out everywhere between my business, day job, and home stuff.

  346. Tonya S says

    I’ve been working all summer on better organizational “systems” to make life easier when I head back to work for the school year. Enjoyed reading your book and am grateful for generous people who donate goodies for give-aways!!

  347. Kerry Harmon says

    You have hit the nail on the head! I am drowning in paper & school is getting ready to start. I thought I would get organized this summer, but I still have so far to go!
    Thanks for the helpful hints! Baby steps!

  348. Kathleen says

    So many good ideas. I have a rolodex but I think the three by five index cards will work better for me then I can have phone numbers/ addresses/emails as well as family information and important dates all on the same card for each person.

    Also, with children’s artwork, especially if you have a budding and busy artist, have them pick 2 or 3 pieces each week that they particularly like, scan or take a picture of each and let them keep them in a binder of their artwork. Really special pieces can be kept on display for a while and then kept as is in the binder or in a photo form.

    Thank you so much for great helps.

  349. says

    I’m an avid note taker. I write everything down, but my question is… what do I do with it all? I take notes when I read or do a study, and was thinking that I should start a notebook for each study that I do, but that could be a lot of notebooks. Often, when I’m in a hurry to write something down, I write on whatever is closest, whether it’s a notebook designated for something else, or another paper. I take notes on conference calls (guess that goes along with the study), things I read online and want to remember, etc…
    I’m drowning in paper. I have file systems for some things, but not sure what to do with others. I get overwhelmed and don’t touch it for weeks. I have piles on my desk, notes in a shoebox, and half of my coffee table is covered as we speak.
    I’ve actually sent my family out for a while so I can work on this, but I need HELP.

    Tammy
    http://www.latteblessings.com

  350. Jessica W says

    How pretty and practical! I’d love to carry this to and from the homeschool co-op where I teach. Thanks for the chance to win!

  351. Debbie K says

    This week’s lesson speaks to me so much! Paper is my biggest issue. Just this past week I spent so much time searching for some important documents that should have been easy to find, but over the past couple of years I’ve let things pile up instead of filing stuff where it should go that I was in a panic searching through tons of stuff. Things have piled up because I haven’t taken the time to clean out old files to make room for new files. The project has grown so much that I keep putting it off making it even bigger as time goes on. I’m definitely ready to begin getting all this cleaned out and organized.

  352. Jill says

    In handling paper clutter from school, after dinner each night I ask my children if they have any papers for me and I take the time right then to sign any permission slips and put important dates on the calandar. Then they put hte signed forms immediately into thier backpacks and this insures things get turned in on time. Any papers/flyers that are not of intererest get immediately put intothe trash. This eliminates any school paper clutter, because I do something with it immediately.

  353. Sherri says

    I am so disorganized and getting to the bottom of my desk is on my list of “to do’s” this summer. I would love to feel the sense of accomplishment by organizing my desk and finding a place for everything! This post has spurred me on…I can do it!

  354. Dawn says

    I need to go through SOO much paper clutterhere, mine, my husbands, and MY KIDS. My daughter even tries to keep the paper backing off of her stickers if I’m not careful (she is 4).

  355. Julie says

    I found when my kids were younger and at home we had several things going on as you do with kids, swim team, school, athletic events, church activites & etc. I found keeping things in a binder made things easier – you can put them by child or by a category. That way there were loose papers around as well as a central tidy place for them. You can also make it fun by have the kids choose a binder color or desiging something for the cover & etc.

    Another thing is I am a huge store coupon person. We live an hour away from stores like Bed Bath & beyond & Kohl’s & etc. However I get coupons in the mail or on-line. When I get them either via either email or by mail I have one bag that I put them in. Then when we happen to be going shopping I grab my bag & then out the door I go. If my husband is driving I will go through & organize on the way or take a small plastic bag to throw away the expired ones. Both these things have helped me over the years to be more organized. Like in the article having a place for everything is key & makes keeping on top of it easier.

    Also for those of you with younger childeren it is never to early to get your kids in the habit – it will help when they are gone to collge or living on their own – they learn by doing & seeing you do it. :)

    Blessings,
    julie

  356. Donna says

    I don’t have many “books” anymore, since I got my Kindle. I love having all the books I want to read in my purse all the time. I personally prefer the Kindle to the Kindle app because it is bigger than my phone and easier to read for long periods of time. I do want to say that I am really enjoying this study! Thanks!

  357. Gwynette says

    Grrrr…… Paper. I refuse to let the bills come online only, because we live in the mountains with sporadic computer problems. I am really trying to open, toss envelope and inserts, then put the bill with check book and stamps. I think my worst problem is printing quilting patterns and not filing them right away. Lots of good ideas for making head way with papers here, so thanks!!!!

  358. Donna says

    I love all your ideas about organizing! Keeping paper clutter organized is definitely the biggest need in our home! Thanks for your motivation! :)

  359. Melissa says

    I absolutely need to get this under control before school starts so that I am not overtaken by paper clutter!

  360. Kzach2 says

    Paper “stuff” is always a problem for me. I am now retired and papers pile higher and deeper. Some good thoughts here ofr cards, magazines and books!

  361. says

    I am ONE of those paper people. I have such a hard time filing, getting rid of paper. Sometimes because of time, but mainly because of not knowing where to put it. I am doing better….but when the schedule gets full that is the first job that gets dropped. THANKS!

  362. Mâché Higgason says

    This study has helped me conquer some piles, for sure! I even moved 2011 Christmas cards off my kitchen counter finally ! Knowing I’m not alone in this quest makes me feel even more blessed instead of stressed

  363. Missy M says

    Where do you put coupons? I don’t know how to keep these organized and accessible to filing and taking them to the store!

  364. Angie Rohrer says

    I have started going through a bunch of papers that are jjst laying.around on my desk. Anything that is related to church I put in a norebook. I love this study…opening my eyea to a lot. Thanks a bunch.

  365. Debbie says

    I have always had a pile of paper on the top of my dining-room table. This causes a lot of rearranging at dinner time. I have files, but can’t find the time to put things into their proper spots. I need to figure out how to either file or maybe buy a second table, lol. I know that I am not alone in the quest to be rid of a paper trail! Have a wonderful Sunday everyone, In Him, Debbie

  366. Mary B says

    Old bills, papers I think I should save from bills, insurance, the bank… I stopped a lot of them from coming, now I have old file cabinets with bills from the past 10 years in them. How long do we keep these things? Phone bills, electric bills, gas company bills… old checks I have a small shredder but it would take me a week to shred them all! HELP!

  367. Mary S says

    I had a friend visit yesterday and she saw a stack of my unread magazines. She asked if I would give let her read any of them that she doesn’t have herself when I am finished with them. Voila! I now have a way to declutter them—just need to get them read !

  368. Julie K says

    I keep my papers under control pretty well, except recipes I print off of blogs or rip from magazines. I have way too many, but they look so good!

  369. says

    It is so encouraging to know that we are not alone in this war on clutter, especially paper clutter. I recently took a clothes hamper and “got brutal” (as I call it) with my bookcase. When I realized that my first reference would be the Internet, all the books with hints, tips, and other bits of “needed” information went bye-bye! It was liberating. Now the shelves have more room for family photos. Thank you for all of the amazing ideas and encouragement to allow God to work first and foremost. I am truly worshipping Him through this study. :)

  370. Denise Whitley says

    I am getting there slowly, but surely! I was drowning in paperwork and clutter at both work and home, but after a week of vacation two weeks ago and thanks to this online Bible study, my home is completely organized! From the master bedroom closet and bookshelves, filing cabinet, kitchen drawers and pantry, to the outside storage closet and garage, my life is now organized once again. Now, to do the same in my office at school! I sure could use another Thirty-One organizational bag. Please pick me! What a nice reward it would be.

  371. Dorothy Longshore says

    HI Glynnis!
    I am drowning in paper and can use all the encouragement you have to share!!!
    Thanks!
    Dorothy Longshore

  372. Meredith Hatchell says

    I’ve been trying to tackle the paperwork clutter for quite some time, excited to read all the comments for tips!

  373. Lois says

    As a professional organizer, who is still human and dealing with excess papers coming into my home, I have been so encouraged this week, in the area of getting rid of papers. I am helping my Mother-in-law, and an elderly Uncle sort through years and years of magazines, mail, and various other papers. To see the relief as they gain space and dignity in their homes is worth all the work! Thanks for your encouragement Glynnis!

  374. Rosanne says

    I have on my desk post its and there are numbers on them. I know exactly where they are but it is when my husband moves them that I am absolutely stumped. I will get a Rolodex this weekend and work on putting the numbers on them. It is real frustrating when I can’t find what I am looking for. So, there are other women who do the same thing. Now, I do not feel like I am the only one. It is nice to know that it is a common thing. Thank you Glynnis for this study. I am enjoying it and I am encourage my 20 year old to read this book as well.

  375. Vanessa says

    I feel better knowing I’m not the only one with paper clutter. It’s taking over. Plus my five year old wants to keep EVERY piece of paper she comes in contact with. She even got upset with me one time when she noticed some of her papers I put in the trash. She dug them out!

  376. MissyT says

    Hi,

    I have big problems, specifically we keep banker boxes for our 2 children’s schoolwork. However, they’re just 2 overflowing boxes with paper each year. They are going into the 3rd & 4th grades and we’ve been doing this madness for years. I am emotionally attached to the idea of keeping… I don’t know what I’m emotionally attached to, but I need some help…What shall I do to get this organized and not shock my husband and children’s system?

  377. Melany says

    Paper is overwhelming! We are in the midst of adopting a second child, so I’ve got stacks sitting on my desk of all our important paperwork……

  378. Kelsey says

    I love getting rid of paper! I’ve been collecting recipes from magazines in a binder for years and it’s overflowing now and takes too long to find a recipe. So this summer one of my projects is to scan all the recipes and file them on my computer based on type, for example: Dinner: Chicken Recipes, Dinner: Pasta Recipes. This is one way to reduce the paper in my home & it gets me organized so I don’t waste as much time searching for recipes. Thank you Glynnis for all of your wonderful ideas & encouragement!

  379. Lana Palmer says

    Papers are my nemesis! I just discovered you and your blog tonight when I need to be doing something else! Tomorrow is full, but I’m hoping I can go back and read your suggestions. I’m of an age now when I want to have everything organized so my kids will know where everything is located when they need to step into my life and office!

  380. jenn r says

    paper is my nemesis..eventually I will find a “home” for all of it – my penninsula counter in my kitchen is a hotspot/paper magnet that I have to focus on multiple times daily. Prayer and Persistance, and a healthy amount of recycling and shredding!!

  381. Debra Ellis says

    As we become a “green, paperless” society, I’ve missed the boat. Last summer, July, 2011, my husband and I painted my office, put up wallpaper, purchased a couch, etc. and it really looks good. Unfortunately, that’s when I stopped dead in my tracks and have barely filed one piece of paper and its here in loads. I have two “jobs” and then I facilitate at church and pay our bills, etc…so I think you can imagine with me the mounds of paper…I’m convicted and will start today my filing even if its not but for 15 minutes…Thanks Glynnis and Melissa for this series…

  382. Joy Harrison says

    I keep all my magazines for one year, then every January I go back through and get any last minute recipes I may need, then get rid of them. I also deal with ALL mail everyday. That really helps. Thanks so much for your help!
    Joy

  383. says

    I’m trying to organize school stuff to do some preschool at home with my 4 year old daughter and I just can’t seem to figure out a good system yet with all the papers!

  384. Domanicka says

    Paper is my worst nightmare. I do not know where to put things or how long I should keep them. It is overwhelming and I want to get my office together before we begin homeschooling in August. Help!!!

  385. Jeni says

    I have a HUGE file cabinet that was that beautiful word “FREE!” Unfortunately, my lack of organization keeps it from living up to its wonderful potential. My goal is to tackle that and hopefully get my paper clutter under control.

  386. Teri says

    Paper clutter is the worst! Sometimes, I just want to pile it all up and light a match instead of deal with it. (Is it bad to say that?) Thanks for all the tips on dealing with paper clutter.

  387. Julie says

    Muchisimas Grácias, Glynnis!
    Getting something organized makes me feel like I’m joining my Master in maintaining an organized world and society ( namely my family) Our God is such an amazingly organized God! Thanks for all you do to keep us all helping each other out with our contributions to orderliness.
    Julie from Arizona

  388. Ginny says

    Paper can such a time sucker for me especially when I touc a piece multiple times. Thanks for the tips. Loved your book.

  389. Vicky says

    This time of year my mailbox is stuffed with political mailings–and it’s only going to get worse. Since I don’t read ANY political mailings (even if I love the candidate), preferring to do my research in less biased venues than what my husband refers to as “the daily postal rot,” I keep the clutter out of my way by walking it directly from the mailbox to the recycling basket!

  390. Teresa S says

    I really appreciate reading all of these great ideas and suggestions. I’m a teacher and paper hoarder…desparetly trying to do better at home and school. So thank you for all of your input to hopefully a “neater” and productive home life and school year :-)

  391. Jill D. says

    Paper clutter is the worst! I have so many piles (and boxes of previous piles that I’ve moved to clean). Help!

  392. Jamie says

    I have been trying to tackle unread magazines. I pretty much gather them by season, tear out pages I am interested in keeping, then remove them from my house. I have a long way to go to catch up. My one area of paper organization is with my kids school work. I have a filing system for each one, then go through it at the end of each semester once grades are posted and recycle any papers that are not important. Each year, the important papers (stories, drawings, excellent grade for something they worked hard on learning) goes into there file box in the attic to keep.

  393. Liz o says

    Oh yes I can!! Thanks for the encouragement that paper pile can be dealt with… I am now going to deal with magazines! Sorry to say some are as old as the hills and the recipes I thought I would use not so much any more. I am tossing the magazines in the donation pile.
    God bless

  394. Stephanie M says

    ok, there are over 500 comments, so if this has already been discussed, please forgive me, as I did not read all of those.
    The papers I don’t know what to do with are the one’s from church where I take notes and it has scripture I want to refer to later. I figure a binder would be the best idea, however, I envision a gazillion binders and needing to find a place for them.
    Is it still the best idea though? If I scan those papers and recycle them, I’m never gonna look at them again. I have to have it in my hand to look at it again.
    thanks.

  395. Christina R says

    I’m drowning in junk mail! I try to stay on top of it but wow! And I suppose the filing I need to do is pretty up there too! My files are too full because I fear needing something and not having it. But, as I read in the chapter, I don’t need to keep everything and can safely get rid of a bunch of what I have. Lots to focus on this week.

  396. Kathryn Miskell says

    Today is sunday, and I usually take an electronic sabbath for most of the day (cell phone and computer). I check email usually after everyone is asleep for the night. So it’s 11 p.m. and I am just reading this devo. My biggest challenge is: I have 2 kids and the school papers, newsletters, programs, and all other info from their activities just piles up! Help me, please!

  397. Kristen says

    This is something I struggle with on a daily basis because of all of the constant junk mail that comes in day after day. If I don’t take care of it immediately, I end up with little piles of junk mail all over, waiting to be handled. UGH. Most important I feel is to recycle any papers when you are done with them. Don’t just throw them in the trash – allow it to be re-used and help the environment.

  398. Joan Vanterpool says

    I am completely overwhelmed with paper and with everything going on in my life. I never used to be this way, not even when I raised my two sons and my granddaughter. Now everyone is out of the house and I can’t seem to get it together. I have paper all over my office area, and it’s a small space. My task today is to get rid of the sales flyers and file away my paperwork. wish me luck

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