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It’s week three of Start Here. – I hope you’re still feeling motivated and like you can do this – because you totally can! If you didn’t see the first post and grab the free printable, go back to the post for the full overview and explanation here. If you want to follow along on Instagram or post your own progress, I’d love it if you used the hash tag #cmstarthere
This week the focus is on PAPER. Anyone else struggle with paper clutter? I know I do. Paper clutter is the reason I have clutter on the daily calendar, I need to deal with it on a daily basis to keep it away for good. And you know what? That’s what works for me. Deal with it daily, and don’t let it pile up. Today I’m going to offer up a little paper challenge for the week. It’s simple and my hope is that it helps you get started on muddling through your paper clutter, going paperless, or just clearing off your counter tops. 5 Steps – tackle them all at once or over the course of the next 5 Days – are you ready?
- SHRED – Buy a good shredder or find a place to shred your documents on a regular basis. Some banks offer this service monthly. We just upgraded our shredder to this one and it’s amazing how much of a difference a higher quality shredder makes. It can cut through the piles in record time. And just so you don’t think that I’ve completely got my act together with paper clutter, my husband found some old papers of mine circa 1993. We’ve/he’s been on a shredding tare and we’ve/he shredded bags (yes bags) of papers. That’s all I’m going to say about that. They’re gone and I used this free printable to figure out what to save and what to keep.
- CLEAR YOUR COUNTERS – Take a bag and put any clutter from your counters straight in it. Wipe down your counters and look at how nice it looks to have all that paper and those piles off the counters. Did you notice that I have both COUNTERS and CLUTTER on my daily task list (see freebie link at the bottom of this post) every.single.day. Why? Because I have to make a concerted effort to deal with it every day or it takes over. And if you’re like me, clutter makes me crabby. So it’s better to not have it hanging around to keep the crabby away. Okay, back to the bag – empty it, deal with it, shred, toss, file.
- DEAL WITH YOUR MAIL DAILY – Open, toss, pay the bills, shred, or put them in a file. If you love magazines (I do!), make sure that they go in a basket or on a shelf where you’ll access them. Take a couple minutes this week to weed through any magazines you don’t need to hang out any longer.
- GET A FILING SYSTEM – If you can go paperless with your bills and financial statements, I strongly urge you to – it makes a huge difference. I’ve converted what we can to paperless, but we still have bills and other papers that need to be filed. Get a box and some folders or go all out and get a filing cabinet. Create a system that makes sense for how you deal with important papers. You can see how I converted my file box into a grown-up file cabinet here.
- GET OTHERS INVOLVED – Figure out systems for the rest of your family. My kids bring home piles of paper daily. I have a system that works for them and me – we deal with the paper every day after school, important or special papers and artwork are filed, most papers and worksheets get tossed, and any permission slips are signed and sent back the next day.
I’ll be back on Wednesday with pictures of how I specifically deal with each of these areas in my house – in the meantime, tell us your most annoying paper clutter dilemma or spot in your house and what you’ve done to correct it or maybe you’re completely stumped – share away!
Want to join in on the fun? Grab a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for January and give it a go. Follow along all month for motivational posts and tips to keep up with the daily and weekly tasks.
Want to make 2014 the year that you cleaned and organized everything? Me too!
(If you like the calendar style of this freebie, you’ll love The Simplified Life Series in my shop!)
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