Be a paper clutter cleaner upper

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By Maryellen Garrison

Despite our best attempts at home organization, and despite the fact that we hear about our paperless society, many of us are constantly bombarded with paper. Paper is the most common type of clutter. When you think about it, this is not really surprising considering the amount of junk mail, bills, coupons, completed schoolwork and publications that many of us have lying on tables or stuffed in drawers at our homes.

You can get a handle on this type of clutter by following these tips:

• Immediately act when you get a new piece of paper. Read it, file it, shred it or throw it in the trash.

• Keep a shredder or waste basket near the area where you go through your mail so you can immediately eliminate junk mail.

• Sign-up for online bill pay so you get fewer statements in the mail.

• Take your name off of direct mailing lists and magazines and catalogs that you no longer want.

• Determine a day of the week to organize papers around your home and workplace. It doesn’t have to be the same day.

• Set aside one day during the year when you can purge your files.

• Keep your kid’s mementos, such as crafts or memorable school assignments, in a container. At the same time, realize you don’t have to keep everything your child does.

• Organize your credit card receipts by putting them together in a container so you can match and attach them to the bill when you pay it.

• Keep your coupons in a container.

Don’t get discouraged if you have years of papers to go through. Start small; set a goal of cleaning out one drawer. Once that drawer is completed, move on to the next one.

As you go through your papers, decide what you need to keep and how you are going to store it. Put what you need to keep in some type of container; it can be as simple as a cardboard box. Then label the container so you know what’s inside. Shred or throw away unnecessary papers.

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