OK, I’m sure most of us can agree that paper can get messy real fast. It’s not something we want to deal with until we are looking for something and have no clue where it is. I am super guilty for this. I usually am good at keeping things where they need to be, but sometimes things get away from me and I turn into The Hulk when I can’t find that one paper I need. It is stressful and irritating. I have found a system that I am very pleased with and wanted to share with you. I hope it can help you like it has me!

I didn’t think I could see the difference until I put both photos together. I see more folders than paper!

First: Collect all the papers around the house. The ones that are hiding in random draws, in the mail stash, at the desk, in the children’s rooms, and in the extra closets. Get all of those random notes and extra junk laying around and put it in a pile on an open floor or any other open space.

As you can see, I love paper!

Next: is to figure out what type of paper system you would like, you can do a binder with dividers, a file cabinet, or whatever else you think would be best and easy for you to get to and is simple enough for you to continue filing. We don’t want to organize and work on something for no reason, right?

Here come the categories: Everybody’s categories are different which is why I can’t tell you what to put on your categories, but I can give you sone ideas of what is best for important physical files that I believe everyone should keep. Remember, this is about decluttering so make the categories are things you feel is super important to physically keep. Here are some examples of categories you can use to start a filing system.

Automobile- Titles and important documents

IOUs- Loan documents/ Unpaid bills

Warranties- With receipts

Bank- Statements (if you can’t access to them online)

Insurance Policies

Medical- Documents that you might need in the future

House- Deed or anything that is important to keep

Certificates- Birth, marriage, divorce and social security cards

Taxes- Three years prior or more depending on special circumstances

Valuables- Physical papers that truly bring you joy.

Labeling is your friend: This is the part where you get your dividers ready and start labeling them with the categories that fit your lifestyle. Once those are done, the rest is mainly up to you. I like subcategorizing folders within the file and each person having their own folders. I love this kind of stuff but not everyone does. I feel it easier to find things rather than pulling the whole file out. This is your solution to decluttering your paper so do what’s best for you.


Make a digital pile: These are things that you can scan or take a photo of and keep on your computer or online so you can throw away the physical paper. This will be able to help you declutter some of the extra things that are just wasting space that doesn’t need to be.

Other receipts

Business cards (Be honest if you are actually going to need them in the future.)

Manuals (if you can’t find them online)

Random, but important notes (can be written down in a notebook or scanned on your computer. I like notebooks and writing things down because it helps me remember what I wrote and if I need it again, I know where it is. Whatever works for you is what works.)

Everything else (most likely trash.)

The last step: to make all of this work worth it is to minimize the paper that comes to your home. Go paperless with everything as much as you can. Pay your bills online, unsubscribe to mailing lists and anything else you can go paperless for, do so. If you don’t need that receipt or note in the future, throw it away as quickly as possible so it doesn’t find an unwanted spot in your home.

Make sure when you do bring papers in your home that it goes directly to the filing system. Procrastination is one of the reasons why people tend to have paper messes around their homes. This is why it is important to have easy access to your filing system. Don’t let all that hard work be a waste and keep organized to have less paper clutter around your home!