How to Reduce Paper Clutter

Many people have paper piles that appear on their desks and counters, seemingly out of nowhere. Have you had enough of it? This article will tell you how to tame paper clutter and reorganize.


  1. Image titled Organize Your Desk Step 1
    Get ready. Clear off the table or another space and bring out all the magazines, bills, letters, and other papers. This way you can see what you have to deal with, and you'll be able to see your progress as time goes on, as well. It will also be helpful to have a recycling bin and paper shredder on hand.
  2. Image titled Conquer Your Paper Piles Step 2
    Designate spaces for a few piles. Useless papers can go straight into the recycling bin and old documents can go right into the shredder. For papers that don't fit either category, make a few areas for stacking: "Important" (for bills and documents), "Helpful" (recipes, addresses, and phone numbers, for instance), "To be reviewed" (papers you aren't sure about; you can look at them more closely later), and "Other" (for irregular papers, like ones that belong to other people).
  3. Image titled Conquer Your Paper Piles Step 7
    Begin to sort. Start taking papers from the mess, looking them over, and putting them in their place. In the case of the piles, be sure to stack neatly.
    • Be ruthless. You want to have far less paper on your hands by the time you're done, so be sparing when putting papers on the stacks.
    • Take breaks if you like, especially if you have mountains of papers to deal with.
  4. Image titled Organize Your Desk Step 4
    Organize what you're left with. Once you only have the stacks sitting in front of you, move on to organize them. This is the time to look through the "to be reviewed" papers and decide which to keep and which to throw out. After finishing that, move to the important papers. Get some file folders together and put the papers into them appropriately. Put the "Helpful" papers in places that make sense (coupons in your purse, recipes in the kitchen, etc.) and figure out what to do with any "Other" papers.
  5. Image titled Conquer Your Paper Piles Step 11
    Make a plan to keep the clutter at bay in the future. Resolve yourself to put things away in their proper places, toss what you don't need, and swiftly clear up any clutter that appears.
    • Keep getting junk mail? There are online resources that can make it stop.
    • Consider paying bills online, if you can. You'll save paper and avoid clutter at the same time.
  6. Image titled Decorate Your Desk Step 2
    Enjoy your decluttered space.

Article Info

Categories: Clutter Busting