Paper clutter is a huge problem area for so many. Mail taking over the counter, papers spilling out of bins, folders so full they could fall apart at any second – any of these ring true for you? Honestly, even I’ve fallen victim to the clutches of paper clutter. But with the right mindset, you can deal with your paper clutter, no matter how overwhelming it might seem in the moment. Sometimes a change in perspective is all you need and I’ve got 5 mindset shifts that will keep you motivated and moving.
If you’re ready to get to those need-to-know tips quickly, check out my latest video here:
Paper Clutter Mindset Shift #1: You’re Not Alone
If you don’t take away anything else from this post, know this: you are not alone.
I get questions about how to control paper clutter all the time. Seriously! You are not the only person struggling in this area. Myself included! (you should have seen my counter last week ?). So, take a deep breath, give yourself some grace, and let’s tackle this together.
Paper Clutter Mindset Shift #2: Paper is Not the Problem
One of the biggest obstacles when tackling paper clutter is the sheer amount of it we have in our lives. Cards, bills, invitations, documentation, the list goes on and on. And some of these are good and necessary things! Simply put, there’s a lot of paper because paper is an important part of life.
But paper itself isn’t the problem. The process is the problem.
Let me break that down. The key to cutting down your clutter is having a system. When there’s a system in place, then you know exactly what to do with every piece of mail that comes through the door, every document that lands on your desk, or every invitation that bookmarks your planner. Even if you’re not dealing with the clutter immediately or even that day, taking out the guesswork of how to deal with it will be monumental in success.
Sort your mail into bins based on category or commit to my touch-it-once rule and throw out anything you don’t need the first time you come into contact with it – whatever system works for you, stick to it! Whether it’s mail or old notebooks, the goal is to make space for the things you love. Hope is found in the right process.
If you want a couple tips on how to start decluttering today, check out my post on my top decluttering tips!
Paper Clutter Mindset Shift #3: Start Fresh
Start changing how you deal with your paper clutter today. No, I don’t mean go through every piece of paper you own today – in fact, I mean the opposite! It’s so easy to get overwhelmed in this process. So start implementing your paper clutter process today with every new piece of paper you bring into your home. Don’t worry about backtracking. If you try to go back through days, months, or even years of paperwork, you’re going to get bogged down before you have a chance to get started.
So start now. And if you need to go back through a backlog of paper clutter, do that gradually. Remember – slow and steady wins the race!
Paper Clutter Mindset #4: Consistency is Key
Here’s a big secret: whatever your routine is for dealing with paper clutter, nothing is as important as consistency. Consistency here means building a habit of regularly dealing with your paper clutter. Have both weekly and monthly plans for going through paper clutter.
These habits can be as rigorous or as loose as you need them to be – I’m not saying you need to sit down at your desk at the exact same time every single day and process paper. However, you should have a game plan in place for how to deal with new paper as it comes in and never let up on that system. You can get rid of all your paper clutter, but consistency is how you keep it away.
Paper Clutter Mindset #5: Going Paperless is Easy
Don’t get me wrong here – I know how important paper is. All the paper in our lives shouldn't be converted to digital, but there’s a good chance going digital in certain areas can drastically cut down on the clutter you have in your life and home.
There are so many benefits to going paperless. First, you can access information from anywhere. The workplace, doctors' offices, grocery stores – when there are so many things that need our attention, having files digitally may not be such a bad idea! Not to mention, getting rid of a couple bulky binders isn’t such a bad result!
If you want more, be sure to check out my ebook Your Day-by-Day Guide to Tackling Paper Clutter. Here, I’ll teach you how to set up a paper processing station, find a system for hard-to-track papers like receipts and coupons, and go paperless with your billing. All this and more with easy-to-do, step by step instructions to help you keep your paper clutter under control for good!
Not sure if any of these mindset shifts will work for you? I’d challenge you to try one anyway! I can’t stress enough the importance of changing your perspective. Sometimes even the smallest change can lead to the biggest areas of growth. And, who knows, maybe one of these mindsets will really surprise you!