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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Scholl

Eliminate Paper Clutter Forever with the KonMari Method™

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

Most people tend to keep the papers that come into their homes, from magazines to recipes and from bank statements to invoices. And although a single sheet of paper doesn't take up much space, it won't be long before it accumulates and clutters your cabinets.

It feels safe to keep papers and documents. You never know when you may need them, and whatever is written gives us certainty.

Paper doesn't spark much joy and organizing papers can be overwhelming and boring. Yet, is it so rewarding and relieving once it is done. The KonMari Method™ is here to help you eliminate paper clutter and keep it organized forever.

My basic principle for sorting papers is to throw them all away.’

- Marie Kondo

To get started, gather all the papers you own in one spot. Make sure to retrieve them from all different locations in your house. Now go through each paper, one at a time, and decide whether or not you need to keep it.

You can ask yourself if the paper has served its purpose. Statements and pay slips for example are there to inform you, so once you're informed you can get rid of them. Manuals can easily be found on the internet, so just keep the warranty that may be attached, and chuck the manual.

Greeting cards are written to convey a message and have served their purpose when finished reading by the receiver. Keep only those that truly spark joy in your heart, and discard the rest with gratitude.

Papers can be sorted and stored into three main categories:

1. Pending.

Papers that require attention and action, such as invitations, bills, forms to be filled out, articles to be read. Deal with these papers as soon as possible and toss them once you’re done. A great way to organize your pending papers is a vertical organizer in which papers can be stored standing up. Designate a specific place for it and aim for the pending folder or box to be empty.

2. Papers you need to keep short term.

This category contains papers that are used on a more frequent basis or that need to be kept for a limited period of time. For example, study papers or tax papers for this year’s declaration. Organize and store these papers in a way that makes them easily accessible and usable, all in one spot. This category tends to clutter up, so make sure you either file or discard them once they are no longer needed.

3. Papers you need to keep forever.

Even though we aim for paperless, we also know that there are some papers and documents that need to be kept for an indefinite period of time. Examples are: social security cards, birth certificates, passports, marriage certificate, leases, insurance policies. You do not need to put a lot of effort into storing these papers, as you will almost never need to access them. A clear simple organizing system is enough, so you can easily find what you are looking for. Designate an area to store these important papers.

Working on this category takes a lot of effort, concentration and focus. Make sure you work precise and carefully, and always double check before you discard or shred anything.

From now on all paper that comes into your home can be dealt with immediately. Always open the envelope and then decide what needs to be done and in what category it belongs.

If you don’t need it, go ahead and toss it!

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