Paper Clutter, Binder System, and Avoiding Library Fines (!)

Occasionally, a bank charge will pop up on my statement because I wasn't  paying enough attention to the rules. (Note to self:  Don't forget to use the business debit card at least once a month to avoid a service charge.) A similar thing happens at the library. We always have a LOT of library books at our house, and I would need a staff member to truly keep track of the due dates. My daughter has taken on that role. (I'm so thankful for that!)


Online banking  and online access to my library account have, of course, helped me keep track of things much better. I also now keep lists on my phone, as opposed to paper ones. Virtual sticky notes on the computer work best for others.  I used to think I had to have things out in front of me to remember to do them (which means for years I was a piler, not a filer.  That changed  somewhat when I discovered binders for filing and for organizing my paper clutter. I use them in much the same way as this from The Happy Housewife.  This system has CHANGED MY LIFE.) 

Does it bother anyone else that the Cooking label is the only one that is horizontal?
I will always tend to be a piler, though, and I have to keep the daily mail and paper clutter controlled, or the piles will grow.  The reality is, there are many systems out there, and it took me a long time to figure out which systems work the best for me.

The following ideas have helped me organize my daily life:

  • Handle each piece of mail or paper only once. (Toss or file immediately.)  I hear this one a lot, and it's a lofty goal, but I have to say, working toward it (although I'm not there yet)  has helped me tame the paper.
  • Don't try to stick your To Do list, coupons, schedules, etc. on the fridge with magnets so that they're always in your face. (I've tried this, and it doesn't work. The fridge clutter  just becomes a part of the kitchen scenery and makes me nervous. It's amazing how peaceful a clean, blank fridge front can be.)  
  • Go over the next day's tasks and schedules the night before. You'll sleep better. 
  • Set aside a time each week to declutter and file paperwork. If it's on your schedule, you will be more likely to do it.
How about you?  Do you have any tips for organizing your daily life and keeping paper clutter down?  I'd love to hear them!

13 comments

  1. Hi Pam,

    Thanks for visiting my blog today. I have a Kindle too and I *LOVE* it. I wish I had an odometer on it, so I could measure how many happy hours it has given me. I'll have to check out the notepad feature. Mine is a bit older, so I hope it will work on mine.

    PS: A tip for phone lists and other potential fridge clutter - I tape them up INSIDE my cupboard doors. That way I know exactly where they are and I don't forget to use them, but they aren't in my face all the time!

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  2. **Handle each piece of mail or paper only once. (Toss or file immediately.) I hear this one a lot, and it's a lofty goal, but I have to say, working toward it (although I'm not there yet) has helped me tame the paper.

    ~~I love this advice! Thank you ~~

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  3. Great post. I need to be more organized. I try to write lists but then I lose them.

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  4. What a great posting! Sadly I'm a piler too, as I type I'm surrounded by a whirlwind of sticky notes; I'm great at writing them but not so much at reading them afterwards, hah!

    Thanks for the alternative, more organized solutions!
    ♥Sharon

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  5. I'm totally the wrong person to ask for organizing tips!! LOL I'm good at hiding all the clutter though LOL

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  6. So many good tips - I too use sticky notes on my computer and also use my phone to put reminders etc.

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  7. Wow you are really organized! these are great tips!

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  8. Hi Pam and thanks for visiting my blog "art journal in my PJ's".
    I have finally found my way here and see that we have lots in comman! God as our heavenly father, Home schooling, trying with the emphasis on "trying" to be organised, preferance for all things organic and we also share a love of plumroselane! Oh Sharon will kick me for that! LOL Many thanks and hope your journey into art journalling is a fun one as I am slowly discovering with my children too.
    Have a blessed day!

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  9. Love your organization ideas!! I have one main binder with important household info, and then a recipe book. Try to do keep track of other stuff on the computer...we will see as my kids get older though I am sure it will all change. :-)

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  10. Thanks, everyone, for the comments and for the additional tips!

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  11. Hmmm the library fines, seem eerily familiar. So much so that I now prohibit my son from checking out his beloved tornado videos. Isn't that awful of me? Forbidding my son to use the library?? I must come up with a better plan pronto!

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  12. Patty, we can just see it as supporting our local library--ha! My daughter just informed me recently that there is a program called Library Elf at our library website that will notify us 3 days before our books and videos are due. I just signed up for it yesterday--joy! Maybe your library has something similar.

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  13. Thanks for stopping by my blog today!! :)

    I am OCD when it comes to clutter...especially paper clutter. I would let my mailbox get full to the brim if I could....I just hate dealing with what's inside...I never get good stuff anymore haha! Who sends REAL letters anymore! :)

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I appreciate every comment. Thank you!

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