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Getting Out from Behind that Mountain of Paper

I have the bad habit of creating piles of paper, i.e., old paid bills, medical reimbursement claim forms, bank statements, etc.  Mind you, I have a two-drawer filing cabinet in my bedroom.  In the top drawer I have folders, filed alphabetically by name of bill, insurance company, mortgage, etc.  In the bottom drawer I have manufacturer's literature that comes with appliances, lawn equipment and such.  A friend of mine told me about a website Flylady.com.  For a while I would be organized and file the papers right away.  Then I would get lazy and just lay it on top of the file cabinet and once a month or so, I'd go through it, create piles of like material and then file it – this takes hours. 

Clara before Filing Blog 001

Two weeks ago I was up in my attic putting some things away and found four boxes of old bills that I haven't looked at in YEARS!!!  Some of them were dated back to the 1980's.  Needless to say, I don't need them. 

So in order to stay out from behind that mountain of paper, I have gone paperless on as many bills as possible and will only keep two months worth of the ones I still receive.  Normally, I would shred the ones I dispose of, but since I had four boxes and I don't trust bringing them to the recycling center, I used the old bills as kindling and burned them in my fireplace.  For safety sake, I am not encouraging anyone to use their fireplace, but if you do, please be careful.  For those of you who don't have shredders, I would encourage you to get a small one for at home.

And now my filing cabinet looks like this:

 Clara After Filing Blog 002

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18 Responses to Getting Out from Behind that Mountain of Paper

  1. Elvira March 13, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    I have an office that is disgusting! I clean it, try to get rid of papers, but then decide I must keep them in case I have to go back to court with my ex over the kids, and I need the information from when we were together and since. Add to that the same situation with my boyfriend, and you have papers from H#)$! I too have used the fireplace, and plan to do it again this weekend. I drive my boyfriend crazy, and myself too when I can’t find things!

  2. Clara Sapienza February 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Hi Janet, thank you for commenting on my blog. That sounds very interesting. I’d like to learn more about it. Would you please send me the name of your website or do you have a link you could send me? I’d like to check it out.
    Thanks,
    Clara

  3. Janet B February 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    Hi there. It looks like some of your organizational and filing needs could be solved with the use of some clever software! There are a lot of options for filing software. We do document management and filing for a living with clever twist. The Paper Tiger Filing System is a proven tool and we are ready to help you in any way we can to meet your filing needs!

  4. Ann Hayes December 10, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    I have not done the unclutter things yet, but have decided that it is time, cause there is to much of it. I have a mess and can’t find a thing without moving the papers around and around, so it’s time to clean up the clutter. Keep up the good work… NEW YEAR’S GOAL

  5. Clara Sapienza December 9, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    Hi Martha, thank you for commenting on my post. It is always a good thing to keep mom happy. I’m planning on having a yard sale in the spring, so I’ve been walking around the house and anything I want to sell, I box up and put in the attic. This way everything I want to sell is in one spot and the house is getting decluttered at the same time!

  6. Martha Pridgen December 8, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    Hi Clara, I try to visit my mom every other week, and also my shredder. I keep mom happy, and my house looking good by walking by and shredding the bills and etc. from the past 2 weeks. I’m proud of you and your cleaning Up!

  7. Clara Sapienza December 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm #

    Hi Linda, thanks for your comment. There is a website that you can go to in order to stop getting all those catalogs. I had done that a few years ago, but unfortunately, I don’t remember what it was. Maybe someone out there knows and can send it to us. I’ll also try and see if I can find out what it is again and post it.

  8. Clara Sapienza December 7, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    Thank you for your comment. If you’re talking about schoolwork that you want to keep; here’s what I did: At first I kept everything but, as you said, you’ll drown. I went through the papers and only kept a few items from each grade. I packed these in a box and put it in my attic to one day share with my grandchildren.

  9. Clara Sapienza December 7, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    Hi Phyllis..thanks for your comment. It is amazing how just getting rid of a pile of paper can make a difference. It’s definitely gotten me motivated to keep decluttering!!

  10. Clara Sapienza December 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    Thanks for your comment Joseph. I’ve been working on going green for a while. As Kermit would say ‘It’s not easy being green’ but getting there!!

  11. Clara Sapienza December 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    Thanks for your comment Donna Marie. I am determined to keep it that way!!

  12. Clara Sapienza December 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm #

    Thanks Pat for your comment. It’s taken me a while, but I’m determined to keep up with it!

  13. Linda December 7, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    I am recycling 2 bags of paper this week…did the big purge last weekend. And this time of year with all the catalogs..it’s easy to drown!

  14. Home Organization Tools December 6, 2009 at 10:55 pm #

    My home is constantly filled with paper. I have managed to get a system to keep on top of the bills but I’m still drowning in papers from my daughter’s schoolwork!

  15. Phyllis December 4, 2009 at 11:54 pm #

    Use to be just like you, but now I go paperless!It’s great not having the mounts of papers all over my bedroom! 2 cheers for the shredder!!!

  16. Joseph December 4, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    Welcome to the 21st century!! Going paperless and green is the right thing to do for our kids future. Plus it makes you bedroom look much bigger ;-)

  17. Donna Marie December 4, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    I too am a “packrat” and love to hang on to papers unneccessarily. Paperless is the way to go! Happy Shredding!

  18. Pat December 4, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    Very encouraging, we are all guilty of similar situations with paperwork, which never seems to go away!
    Keep up the good work!

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