7 Steps to Reduce Paper Clutter in Your Home

We’ve all been encouraged to go paperless, but it seems like our world has more paper than ever! In fact, the most common organizing struggle I see among my clients is how to keep paper from becoming an overwhelming clutter monster. Even I have occasional paper piles. Organizers are not perfectly neat all the time. :) While it’s probably not realistic to go entirely paperless, it is certainly feasible to reduce the amount of paper coming into your home. That is the key. Stop the paper from entering your door.

Here are my seven tips for tackling paper!

7 Steps to Reduce Paper Clutter

1) Maintain an daily mail habit. It only takes 5 minutes a day, once you have a routine. Recycling junk mail and shredding documents after transferring them to electronic format can reduce most of your paper problems.

2) Go paperless with your bills. Paying your statements online or using automatic deduction is relatively safe, especially if you keep your passwords secure. (My favorite software for password security is 1Password.) Companies have an interest in keeping your information private – they want your money! They have mastered the electronic transfer of funds.

3) Limit the amount of paper from conferences or expos. Make sure what you bring home is actually relevant. If you don’t use the information within six months to a year, recycle it.

4) Only keep letters or cards that have deeper meaning. Only save your favorites in a decorative card box to thumb through when you need cheering up. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with Christmas and birthday cards. My rule? Don’t keep ones with just a signature. Sorry grandma. :)

5) Input events into your electronic calendar and toss the paper invitation.

6) Cancel magazine subscriptions that you don’t read. This will not only reduce paper in your home, but also save you money!

7) Keep your recipes online in a recipe organizer. Keep all your favorite recipes on your Pinterest page or put them into an Evernote notebook. Or click through this article to find the 12 Best Recipe Apps by Tom’s Guide or scroll down to discover The Five Best Ways to Organize Your Recipes by The Kitchn.

Can you think of other steps you have taken to successfully remove paper from your home?

Whatever method you use, I encourage you to lighten up and let go of paper!

8 thoughts on “7 Steps to Reduce Paper Clutter in Your Home

  1. If only I could get my husband to keep up with the daily mail habit. I can’t quite do the tossing of paper invitations though- I put those in my scrapbook.

    • 6 out of 7 is excellent! Plus, if you have an organized system for your paper recipes, then I’d say you are doing just fine. The problems come when people don’t have a system that works for them.

  2. Hi Tracy,

    We are packing to move into a new house, and I am going through paperwork and pictures. I have a lot of old Christmas card pictures from family and friends. I don’t feel comfortable recycling them because they often have personal information on them. I can’t keep them all. What do you do?

  3. Hey Tracy,

    I’m Megan and I work for AgileBits, the makers of 1Password.

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for including 1Password in your post about reducing paper clutter in our homes! We’re honoured to be included in the post.

    It’s great to hear that you’re sharing the secure habit by encouraging your readers to keep their passwords locked up safely. :)

    Keep being awesome!

    Megan O’Brien
    Level 60 Support Sorceress at AgileBits

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