Organizing {some} of our Paper Clutter

One of the things I dreaded about moving from our old home was losing all of the organizational systems we had set up there. Obviously, some of those systems would transfer over to our new house; but not all. Many of those systems were based on the layout of our home, the size of a room, or the location of a closet or surface.

However, it's turned out that I'm actually really enjoying setting up new systems for our family, based on lessons learned from things that didn't work in our old home.

Lesson Learned #1:

Mike needs a spot, in or near the entry way, to drop off his paper clutter. This thrifted silver tray holds items like his checkbook, coupons and mail.

Lesson Learned #2:

I need a spot that I'll see practically every day to stash my in-process papers. If I don't see it, I'll forget about it. This wire tray {that I can see through} sits right next to my office desk.

Lesson Learned #3:

Not all paper items are 8.5"x11"... in other words they won't all fit in a file folder or magazine holder. This seems to include some special items like artwork, large photos, certificates and newspaper clippings.

I picked up these gold polka dot boxes at Home Goods after Christmas. They are nice gift boxes and are pretty sturdy -- not for everyday use -- but great for storage. Since they were a "Christmas item" they were on clearance! I picked up several boxes, one for my special documents, one for Mike and the others for the kiddo/future kiddos. Also, in full disclosure, I also have two scrapbooks from school years and senior year so this isn't all of my memory keeping. It's just the big and bulky stuff that doesn't work in other normal paper storage.

Lesson Learned #4:

We can be kind of lazy... if filing means getting the key and opening the filling cabinet, we are less likely to file paper away. So, our filing cabinet stores paper for the long term.... things like magazine articles we are saving for future reference, home decor and renovation ideas or resumes and work- related documents.

Lesson Learned #5:

Since we are lazy when it comes to the file cabinet we need a simpler filing method for the important stuff that actually has to get filed before we lose it. Things like info for taxes, receipts and medical documents are stored in decorative boxes that sit in our office on bookcases. They are easy to access and close to the computer.

Part of what makes these solutions successful for us is that they are simple to use and easy to maintain. They also work well with our habits and how we use our home. So, how about you? What simple paper storage solutions can you share? What type of paper clutter are you tackling this week?

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