Please Help with the Paper Clutter

Dear FlyLady,

I have been checking your website for years and trying to adapt your system to my life. I am a stay at home mother of six–age 14 to 3. This year, I finally decided to sign up for the e-mails and start wearing my shoes! I always resisted that one, but now I no longer have rough feet!! Thank you.

My biggest challenge is paper clutter. With six kids (five are in school), a lot of papers come into the house everyday. Plus, there are my husbands papers. I have a hard time figuring out whether something needs to be saved or not. I also like to save ideas, recipes, etc. I’m good about cutting them out of magazines and such, but I haven’t come up with the best idea to organize them–file folders? a binder?

Thank you for your website. My mom passed away 12 years ago, she was a wonderful housekeeper. You have been my source for advice on keeping my house in order. I now have two rooms in my house that are always clean–the dining room and our bedroom. I know my house will never be perfect and that is ok. As my mom used to say, “We live in
our house.”

Sincerely,

Suzanne
South Bend, Indiana

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FlyLady here: Papers are a mounting problem for all FlyBabies. We mound them up and the piles fall over.

I have an idea for the stuff you cut out of the magazines. Get a three ring binder and fill it full of sheet protectors. You can have a binder for recipes and one for other things. I did one of these once for my garden ideas. It was my wish book. Don’t get all carried away with putting everything in the sheet protectors perfectly. Just slide it in and go on to the next thing.

Here is the key to making this work. When you see an article you like and want to keep; tear it out right then and slide it in the sheet protector. “Do it now” saves hours looking for the article in your magazine stash.

Children’s papers are a piece of cake!

Get a bundle of 9 X 12 envelopes for mailing papers. Collect the papers each week from each child in a folder. On Saturday have each child pick out their favorite work for the week. Put that on the refrigerator/bulletin board or on the wall in the laundry room. This can be your wall of fame! Then teach the children to address the envelope to their grandparents or aunts and uncles. Poof! The papers are gone! Your family loves to see what the children are doing and the kids learn how to let go of stuff. You also have only 52 papers for each child instead of several thousand for their scrapbooks. You can
start those with sheet protectors too.

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