October Habit #17 Learn How To Handle

Dear FlyLady,

I have been reading about our new habit of clearing paper clutter. This has been a huge issue for me my whole life! In the last few months, I have started to scan the documents I need to save, and some that I just want to save (sentimental papers) into my computer. I bought a great system three years ago, but never had the routine to use it!

Now, I have an 9″ x 12″ plastic box (3″ deep) with a lid, that sits next to my computer. Instead of having piles of paper, I stash my current important papers in this box as they come in the mail. When the lid won’t close, I know it is time to deal with what is in there. So I set my timer for 15 minutes at a time, scan papers I want to save, then shred them after filing in the computer. I don’t have piles of papers all over my counters and tables anymore. If I am looking for something, it’s either in the box or on the computer. I hope to graduate to
scanning things daily!

I used to spend lots and lots of time looking for receipts and other information. I had boxes of papers to go through. Now, I do not allow junk mail to collect anymore. This is my house and I only allow what I need and want in here!

Today, I worked on a box of cancelled checks from 1991-1994 that has been taking up room in my DS’s closet. By setting the timer, I went through the box in a healthy way – not doing too much at once. I wanted to look for any checks that related to house repairs and improvements. By doing a little at a time, I found all those checks and shredded the ones I don’t need. I will scan the ones I need to keep. That box is gone from my life forever. Tomorrow, I’ll tackle another. (There are about 10 boxes like this, but I know I can do it!)

As encouragement, I find it’s faster and easier to go through and get rid of old papers. If you’re stuck, my fellow FlyBabies, start with the old stuff! (We know we don’t need those expired coupons and other offers, right?)

Thank you so much for helping me to learn how to handle my paper clutter. My family and I are so grateful!

Flying High in Illinois

Please share your Paper Clutter stories, tips and routines with me.

Send them to FlyLady@FlyLady.net with PAPER CLUTTER in the subject line.

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