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Organize + Energize: 6 Reasons You Can’t Get Rid of Your Paper Clutter

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


The majority of people that are disorganized have issues with paper management. You have paper scattered in every room. It’s in the entry way on a table, it’s stuffed in baskets, boxes, and bags, on your nightstand, in drawers, in your pocketbook, and the list goes on. 

Some will say they know exactly what’s in their heaping piles. It never fails, as I help clients go through their piles, we always find something important in there.  We also find things they forgot they had and let’s not forget all of the cash, checks and gift cards that are found. If you want to find money, start going through your paper piles. 

Here are 6 reasons you’re paper piles keep forming:

No systems in place. When there is disorganization and chaos at home and work, it’s because there aren’t any working organized systems in place. When there are systems in place, life has a better flow.  Create a working filing system for every piece of paper that enters your home. 

You continue to work with broken systems.  You may have made attempts at creating systems with your paper, but the systems have failed. Re-visit your system 3 months after you implement it. If it’s not working, it’s time to re-evaluate and tweak your system to work for you.

Postponed decisions. You may have a piece of paper in your hand and you don’t know where it belongs, so you place it on a table. This will continue to happen on a daily basis. Before you know it, all of these postponed decisions will lead to piles and piles of paper. 

A life-changing event occurred. You may have had a death in the family, a newborn baby, or you are going through a break up or a divorce. A life-changing event can turn your life upside down. Routines that you practiced before now get pushed to the wayside and you let things slide. Before you know it, the paper management system that once worked really well, has turned into paper piles all over the home.

Not enough time in the day. This is an excuse many people use. Do you have 5 minutes in your day? Once you have systems in place, it’s a matter of taking your mail when it arrives, sorting it and processing it. Tackle it when it arrives, take less than 5 minutes, handle it and be done. Create that routine, the routine will become a habit and it will become an everyday way of life. 

It’s too overwhelming. You may have tried to tackle this before and it was too stressful, so you just decided that it was easier to continue to pile than to actually tackle the project.  Believe it or not, there is a way out. How many attempts have you made to tackle this project? You may find you get distracted and lose focus easily while tackling this project. Break the process down and take it one pile at a time. Decide what to keep, toss, shred and categorize what you’re keeping. Create your systems from your categorized piles. Remember; take it one pile at a time. Move out of the room where the paper is and take it to a clear space so you can stay focused. 

After you tackle this project, you’ll have a fresh start. You’ll have a process and a system to handle every piece of paper that enters your home. Your mail will arrive, you will take less than 5 minutes, process it and be done with it. 

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE with Molly O’Brien.


Related Slideshow: Organizing Products For Your Closet

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Drawer organizer

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Shoe rack

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Are you hanging your clothes on the wire hangers from the dry cleaner? Those hangers will ruin your clothes. Get rid of them and store your clothes on the hanger of your choice, but be consistent and stick with one type of hanger.

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How are you storing your handbags? Are they stored all over your closet? Are they in bins or crumpled up on the floor? It’s time to organize your bags. There are many options depending on the space you are working with. You can stand them up on a shelf, you can hang them, or if they are small, you can store them in a canvas bin. The choice is yours. Think about how you function and develop a system from there.

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Baseball cap organizer

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Function over flash

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Kristin MacRae

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. She has appeared on air on Patricia Raskin's Positive Business Radio and her articles have been published in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and New England Home Life. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to start. She is also available for organizing workshops. Tune into her weekly radio show, Organize, Energize! on Mondays at 8:30am on www.talkstreamradio.com.


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