Declutter

How to tidy paper

My rule of thumb? discard everything. keep only those for which there is a clear purpose.

Marie Kondo

The paper category is not a fun category. I’ve been asked by my client how to know what to discard, as none of her papers spark joy for her. She was right, papers don’t spark so much joy, but the final result of tidying this category will spark joy for you.

The pile

Like with the clothes category, start by collecting all your papers from all over the house and put them all in one place. Then, remove all the papers from it’s folders and binders. 
 
collect your papers from all over the house and put then in one place

What to keep?

It will be easier to know what to keep if you sort the papers in the following categories: pending, frequently used and infrequently used.

Discard, Discard, Discard

Discard as much as possible, but make sure you know your country’s rules and regulations regarding how many years you should keep papers like tax, property and such. Keep only what you really need. It’s very important to check each paper. Remove stack of papers you find in an envelope. Go over all the papers, one by one. If along the way you find a paper that is sentimental to you, leave it aside to deal with it later. Handling sentimental items it at this point will only delay you. 
Incase you are planing to scan all the papers that you will keep and discard the hard copy, make sure that you know the rules and regulations of your country.
 
Sorting papers: what to keep and that do discard

Storage solutions 

That’s were the fun begins! Find yourself storage solutions that spark joy for you. Marie Kondo is saying that when it comes to storage, vertical is best. also with papers. I love the box file. All the sub categories and papers are visible. For the pending papers I use metal envelope filer. 

metal envelope filer to store pending papers
file box to sort papers

Before & After 

binders before tidying the papers
file box and binders after tidying the papers

This category can take time to finish and it’s also very tiring. Make sure your windows are open to have fresh air, play some music you love and take breaks. In case you can’t finish it in one day try to come back to it the next day. Don’t delay and postpone. The end result will give you so much joy.

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