Project: Simplify: Paper Clutter

I was on vacation from work for two weeks during Christmastime. I used that time of to de-clutter and organize my house.  My husband and I went through tons of plastic tubs in our garage, and tossed a ton of stuff.  On one of the last days of my vacation, I organized our file cabinet.  I had a ton of paperwork that I no longer needed. Let’s just say that the shredder was my friend.

I’m usually pretty good about tossing things, but I have a pile problem.  I like to leave little piles of paperwork, mail, and magazines throughout my tiny house. It drives my husband crazy, but he does the same thing.

I’m participating in Week 2 of Simple Mom’s Project: Simplify.  This weeks challenge is paper clutter. I noticed that there were several little piles of paperwork scattered throughout our house this week.  Of course, I was totally lazy and waited to clean up the piles.  I’ve been busy this week, so I worked on this task today. I ran around and took these pictures tonight, so it was quite dark inside. Forgive me for my poorly lit photographs.

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This is what our kitchen counter looks like most days. My husband checks the mail and places it here on the counter.  It is my task to go through all of it.  I’ve been walking past it since 10am.  Really, do I want to check out more bills?

Dining Room Table Clutter

Our dining room table is also the catch-all for many random things.  I see kindergarten homework, art projects, Legos, old clothes belonging to Angry Kid, iPhone chargers, a camera, and my camera bag.  It tends to stack up. This is probably two days worth of stuff.

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Angry Kid has his own art/craft table in our office.  It is a lovely table from Pottery Barn Kids.  Kids are rough on furniture and we got it discounted because it was scratched and dented.  It was an excellent deal.  I think the chairs are in the garage.  Angry Husband’s computer is out there, and Angry Kid tends to play on that computer.  But all of the paperwork, well it is not crafts and most of it belongs to the adults in this household.

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Our desk is pretty clean and free of paper clutter. Because all of the clutter is on Angry Kid’s table.  I found a random Nerf Gun printout and Down East catalog on the desk.  Angry Husband’s and my laptops are also on the desk.  There is also a desktop computer. We have “computer” issues.

TIME TO CLEAN, and ORGANIZE THIS PAPER CLUTTER!

Paper clutter is pretty easy to organize.  There are only a few things that you can do with it.

1. Toss the paper into the trash or recycle bin.

2. Shred the paper.

3. File the paper.

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Almost all of the mail in the pile was useless.  I placed the Netflix video on Angry Husband’s desk, and the MacLife magazine went on my nightstand. I’m a Mac addict.  Look how shiny and pretty the counter is now.

Dining Room Table Cleaned.

I put everything away in the cabinets, closets, and dressers that they belong in.  I went through all of the kindergarten artwork and homework.  The artwork ended up on the bulletin board in our office, and the homework needs to be turned in.  This actually looks like a table that you can eat on now.

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Angry Kid really loves paint. Can’t you tell? I think he went on an unsupervised painting spree while daddy was on duty.  The paper clutter is all gone.  I just need to remove all of the paint that is everywhere (rug on floor included).  My awesome Lazy Susan Craft Caddy is on this table.  I need to do a tutorial for this.  It is EASY.

Desk top all clean

The bin that is on this desk was full of random paperwork on Angry Kid’s craft table previously.  This is actually the spot where it goes.  I organized the random computer cables also.

I feel so much better that I tamed all of this paper clutter.  I’ve really cut down on the excess paper.  I get most of our bills electronically, and rarely print those out.  I only save a few of Angry Kid’s art projects and leave them up on the bulletin board for about a month.

Like I said before, the shredder is my friend. We have a good long lasting relationship. Just don’t ask me about all of those baby pictures that I shredded a few years ago.

13 comments
Anna O'Reilly
Anna O'Reilly

Wow, you helped me a lot. Only 3 things I can do with paperwork: toss, shred, or file. It's so simple!

Dana
Dana

Man....I needed to see this post today.....I am the "paper pile queen"!! You inspired me.....I need to get busy. Maybe meet in person at BLOGHER in Aug?.....San Diego? Have a great rest of your Sunday and thanks for popping in to say hey!

Cindy S
Cindy S

My problem with the clutter is it always creeps back in a day or 2 later. Can't wait to hear about your lazy susan craft caddy.

Megan
Megan

ugh. the counter. its where out piles happen. its about three times as long as your counter and piled 5 times as high. makes me nutty.

Nikki
Nikki

My eyes were drawn to your craft caddy. Share you tute sistah!

Lee-Ann
Lee-Ann

It looks great, come do mine next! I can't keep the clutter away, it drives me nuts!

pdxhadey
pdxhadey

I LOVE to declutter. We also live in a small house with 4 people, and a 3 year old who loves to do crafts and art projects (not to mention a 45 year old who refuses to get his bills/bank statements, etc. online, but I digress). My 3 year old has a 6 drawer rolling cart that has all of her crayons, colored pencils, markers and paper in it. We've been keeping it in the kitchen so our 19 month old doesn't eat the crayons and markers, and it has been collecting paper, coloring books, etc. Just last night I cleaned the entire thing out; threw out dried out markers, random caps, and paper that had been drawn on, and sorted the entire cart. It felt SO GOOD! Little-by-little these decluttering projects WILL get done! BTW, where did you get your dining table? I want to steal it from you.

KellyC
KellyC

You really did an amazing job and can see real results. Way to go!

Cheri
Cheri

Wow Julie - you did a great job! And don't you just adore a clean table?!

Toni Stevenson
Toni Stevenson

I'm sure it wasn't easy with so many to pick up after. I salute you. I'll get there soon. I have to organize my place soon.

Cheryl M
Cheryl M

Scrolling through the pictures my first thought was I NEED to know where she got that lazy susan on the craft table....so yes I second the 'need to give a tutorial' on it. And depending on the finish & type of paint I have found that diaper wipes, good old Dawn dish soap, alcohol or Mr Clean Magic Eraser all removed paint without destroying the furniture/finish. The one time paint got on the real wood table I was able to get it off with vegetable oil & a microfiber cloth.

Nicole
Nicole

WOW! You kicked some major paper clutter butt. I love the little craft table. :) Nice work!