Paper, paper, everywhere! Newspapers, magazines, notebooks, bills, art paper…the list is endless. There are very few homes that don’t face the problem of paper clutter at some time or another. When children at home during the holidays, the problem seems to get worse.
Reducing paper clutter in your home is just as easy as any other spring-cleaning you do. Here are some tips:
Newspapers and magazines
One of the main things that cause paper clutter is the daily newspaper. With so many dailies, most homes have more than one at their doorstep every morning. Avoid piling up newspapers. After the family has read the paper, keep it away the same day. If an article interests you, cut it out and store it in a file rather than keeping the entire newspaper or magazine. The same is true for magazines as well.
Mail is another thing that often clutters your table. When you open your mail, make sure you do so near a dustbin. This will prompt you to throw away junk mail. Keep all mails neatly in a shelf near your workspace. Respond to mails promptly and dispose or store away those mails.
File important papers together and label them so that you can find them easily. Having drawers and hidden shelves around the house can help keep your files safely and help reduce clutter. Another option is to learn to use the computer, if you have one, so that you only need to save soft copies of all your correspondence. Using the e-mail will not only save time but also clutter.
While you may want to encourage them to experiment and display their work, you may not want to see the clutter that comes with it. Make space for your children to work and provide them with space to display or store them. Once in a while go over their work with them and weed out unwanted stuff.
Most families today are nuclear families with working parents. Each one reaches home at a different time. Leaving notes informing each other of their whereabouts or passing important messages is a common practice. Keep a board or a magnetic clip where notes can be displayed. This can be cleaned on a regular basis. Decorating the board will make it look good too.
Children often bring home schoolwork, letters from teachers or cards from friends. Help clean your child’s bag regularly. This way they don’t lose them and learn to store it away in the space you have provided for it.
Carry your own shopping bag when you visit the supermarket next. Though most stores today try and replace plastic bags with paper bags, carrying one of your own will help you in your effort to reduce clutter.
When your children are done with their current academic year, give away the textbooks and notebooks, keeping only what they would require for the next year. Tear away unused pages in their notebooks and bind them together to use as rough books the following year.
Easy as these tips may sound, it is up to each one of us in the family to follow them and help make your home a ‘No Paper Clutter Zone’. The key is to make this a habit so that it remains clutter-free.