Reasons to Take Control of Paper Clutter
Updated: Feb 13
Take a look around your home. No matter how tidy and organised your home maybe I'm pretty sure there will be some paper clutter.
Paper is a significant cause of clutter is most homes, and it's one of the categories that we find most overwhelming to deal with successfully.
Paperwork of all sorts comes into or is created in our homes every day. Whether it's the incoming post, school letters, work projects, receipts, printed emails, handwritten notes, to-do lists - each piece needs to be handled and processed in some way.
Unless you have a good system in place and regular routines and habits to deal with it, paper clutter can quickly build up. Eventually turning into large piles or spreading all over the house until it feels too overwhelming to tackle - even some of the most organised people that I know struggle when it comes to paperwork!
I don't think that having a completely paperless home is going to be possible anytime soon, but we can look at all of the paper cluttering up our homes, readjust our way of thinking as to why feel we need to keep so much paper in our homes and take steps to simplify as much as possible.
Here are some reasons for taking control of the paper clutter;
SIMPLIFY YOUR DAILY LIFE AND REDUCE STRESS
When you look around your home, your mind sees a constant physical to-do list all around you. Not only does it feel overwhelming, but it also makes us feel stressed, anxious, drained and not able to relax in our home. Our homes should be our haven, but if all we see is clutter and chaos, it's hard to relax.
The continuous flow coming into our homes means that paper clutter ends up everywhere. It floats and spreads from one spot to another - kitchen worktops, tables (in fact any flat surface is a magnet for paper), sofas, stuck to your fridge - it's no wonder we find it overwhelming! By removing the unnecessary piles of paper from our around your home, you can reduce the distractions and mental clutter and feel calmer.
PEACE OF MIND KNOWING THAT YOU CAN EASILY FIND WHAT YOU NEED WHEN YOU NEED IT
Knowing that all of your important paperwork and information is safely filing away and easily accessible when you need it brings great peace of mind.
When everything has a home, and you have regular habits for for keeping on top of the incoming flow, nothing gets lost or forgotten. No more panic searches trying to find your passport or event invite, worrying about misplaced items or the nagging feeling of whether you did actually remember to renew your car insurance.
TAKE BACK CONTROL
Lost paper and information create stress and anxiety. When we can't lay our hands on an important document or information or invite, we end up feeling frustrated, out of control and disorganised.
You become reactive rather than proactive, responding to everything at the last minute because the right documents aren't to hand, it all adds up to that drowning feeling.
Distractions are often caused by being disorganised. Having systems in place is crucial in not letting distractions get the better of you.
If you have paper everywhere, how do you know what needs to be actioned? A to-do list isn't going to be useful if you don't first understand what needs to be done and in what order of priority.
Having some organisation in place for your life admin and getting rid of all of those piles of paper clutter will bring clarity to your mind and enable you to focus on what needs to be done.
It reduces procrastinating on tasks because you haven't got all of the information that you need to complete it to hand - putting off making a call because you don't have the correct telephone or reference number.
Having good systems in place in your home, and life, shortens the time it takes to do almost anything - but with your paperwork, it's vital. It ensures that information can be found quickly and easily, so less time spent on life admin. No more wasted hours spent searching through random piles of paper to find what you need, or continually shifting and moving piles of papers to free up the space that they are consuming.
If everyone in your home knows where to find information, it will also save you time having to help them to find what they need.
Searching for lost each items each day really does add up. Time invested organising will pay dividends in the future.
If we can get this area of our lives working more successfully, then we have more chance of being able to be more organised with our life admin and therefore have more time to do the things that we really want to be doing in our lives.
Being organised saves you money - no more fees for overdue bill payments, or increased prices for late bookings or last-minute purchases.
Being able to find the receipts or warranties for big purchase items if they go wrong means that you spend less having to replace items that could have been replaced or repaired free.
Your home will feel more organised
As paper is a significant cause of clutter in most homes. If you can get the paper under control, then the rest of your home will automatically feel more organised. No more piles of paper all over your house, cluttering up the surfaces. Your home will feel like it runs more smoothly, and you can regain some valuable space.
When you have a simplified, organised system for dealing with paper, you can quickly sort through what you need, and you'll never have to clear paper clutter off the worktop so that you can make dinner again! 😉
Paperwork can take up so much space and nowadays a lot of the information, can be found and accessed digitally online. When you simplify, organise and gain clarity on all the paperwork you have, you will hopefully be let some of go and realise it's not that important after all.
PREPARATION FOR LIFE CHANGES
Life changes happen that you may, or may not, want to go through. New baby, new house, divorce/separation, bereavement, a new job or business... They are all areas where you will see a dramatic increase in the paperwork in your home.
If you are approaching a planned life change and know that you are approaching any of these key times, then now would be the best time to sort out what you currently have. It will only get worse if you keep leaving it.
Keeping good information systems about your life and circumstances also help you to plan and achieve your goals.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
During emergencies and stressful times, the last thing you (or a loved one) should be doing is trying to find paperwork. Sadly this is often the case as the information is scattered, or non-existent, or there's only one person who knows where to find documents.
The stress of trying to collect together all the details of your life, or the life of a loved one, during difficult times, can significantly compound the challenges for a family. Keeping your paperwork organised helps make this time more bearable.
Good information systems support personal information, financial information, health history and ownership.
I hate planning for the worst, but it's better to be prepared.