As I recently gathered up the paper recycling in my household, it occurred to me that my frustrations regarding the paper clutter that collects on beds, floors, dressers, and surfaces of any type has been reduced greatly by doing something that seems almost too silly to post as a tip. I am posting it, however, because it took me so long to figure it out!
In over 12 years of mindfully decluttering and organizing, we have helped many clients keep paper clutter at bay. How do we do it? We encourage them to make recycling easier by re-purposing whatever bags they have on hand and using them as recycling bags (see above for examples from one client’s home!). Really, it’s that simple!
In my home, we now have recycling collection systems within close reach of every room in the house. There is one next to my husband’s dresser (formerly known as the “black hole”) one in the family room downstairs, one by the front door, and receptacles in my home office and close to each of our computers.
We have a relatively small house, so the recycling container in the dining room can also support paper from the living room and kitchen, and we only need one in the basement. But putting them in the bedrooms was something that never occurred to me until I was nearly at the end of my rope! Go figure!
Recycling collection system: anything that can hold 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper and wadded up receipts. Commonly used “systems” are brown paper bags with handles, bags that came with purchases from department stores, cardboard boxes that once contained cat food, and on rare occasions blue recycling bins purchased from retail outlets.
You could use any type of container you want, though! It could be an attractive basket, a laundry hamper, or some other receptacle that matches your decor.
Black Hole: That place where things that you are not sure where to file go to collect dust and create future frustration for both you and other family members!
Want to reduce paper clutter right away? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Place receptacles in every place in the home where paper clutter collects. These can be as simple as a brown bags labeled “paper recycling” or “shred” with a Sharpie.
- Visit our website for guidelines on what to shred.
Are there one or more “black holes” in your home? Where do unread magazines & unprocessed mail collect and multiply?
Discover more ways to mindfully declutter your home or office here! >>