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Simple Solutions to Eliminate Paper Clutter

Simple Solutions to Eliminate Paper Clutter via Clean Mama

This week our focus is on paper and paper clutter.  On Monday I suggested that you concentrate on 5 main areas to get started in the big paper purge:

  • shred
  • clear your counters
  • deal with your mail daily
  • get a filing system
  • get others involved

I know that one week isn’t nearly enough time to focus on paper for some of us, but with clutter being a daily task, my hope is that you work on that if you need to as often as you need to, until you’ve accomplished your paper goals.

Today I’d like to show you a few simple ways I’ve eliminated paper clutter in our home with the hope that it gives you some simple strategies and practical solutions that you can put into place or change to meet your needs.

Paper-less Office Organization via Clean Mama

We have a multi-purpose office.  This is my ‘office’ section of the office, we also have an elliptical machine, tv, and an organizer in here too.  I love how this little section is organized – it works great for me.  I went from a desk about three times this size to this smaller one and I love that it forces me to keep it organized and tidy.  I’ve labeled the different sections so you can see how I’ve squeezed things in and organized.  I’ve done posts on some of them before – you can click on the links below for more specifics.

Keep Your Paper Shredder Accessible via Clean Mama

Keep your shredder accessible (if you have little kids keep it unplugged for safety reasons).  Put it in an office or place where you’re sorting and filing to keep the paper piles away.

Hidden Paper Storage via Clean Mama

On the other side of my desk is this storage unit from Costco.  The top four rows are for the kids and the bottom row is business and blog storage bins are for me.  Each of my cuties gets their own bin with a clipboard, supplies (stored in a metal cup to keep it contained and so they can grab it and bring it into the kitchen when it’s homework time), and books or binders for school.  I have a large backpack basket next to the homework bins to keep everything accessible for the kids.

Stop Paper Clutter - Create a Space to Drop Items via Clean Mama

Paper clutter starts in the kitchen (or at least it does in my house).  Create a space or place to drop items to keep them off the counters.  A small organizer to contain simple items and charge phones or other electronics is helpful.  If you are old school like me and still like having phone numbers out by your phone, keep them in a rolodex or address book.  Use a small decorative container to drop your keys, chapstick, and other small items that would otherwise be scattered on your counters.

Magazine Storage via Clean Mama

I’m a big fan of hidden and sneaky storage.  If you’re a magazine and catalog junkie like me, keep them in a basket or bin.  Limit yourself to keeping the magazines in the basket and when it’s full, recycle what you’re done with and keep those magazines off counters and couches and in a special place.

How are you doing with this week’s focus?  Making some progress?  Have a challenge you need some help on?  Ask away!


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How to Declutter and Simplify Your Life

How to De-Clutter and Simplify Your Life via Clean Mama

I have been de-cluttering like crazy for the past month.  Yes, that photograph is my SUV loaded up with stuff to take to Goodwill – seats down and full.  Dealing with outgrown kids’ clothing, baby stuff, and other items that are taking up space in the basement has been my focus.  We have a large, unfinished basement so it’s easy to just stick stuff down there, but I want to know what’s down there and only keep stuff that is necessary.  Whatever you need to focus on to get things pared down and get you to a place that gives you room to breathe, start de-cluttering.  It’s so enlightening and best of all it doesn’t cost a thing.  Heck, you might even make some money by doing it!  Keep reading to see the steps I use to get moving on clearing out the stuff.

  • Use the new year as a starting point – chances are you have a sudden need or urge to organize and get rid of stuff – use it to your advantage and get started!
  • Sort in bins, compartments, bags, whatever – just sort!
  • My favorite sorting categories?  KEEP (because you love it and use it)  TOSS (because no one else could use it because it’s worn or broken)  DONATE (because someone else could use it)
  • Remove yourself from the situation – pretend that you are looking through a friend’s pile of clutter.  Would you tell them to keep, toss, or sell/donate?
  • When it comes to what you will do with the sell/donate items, you need to decide – is it worth your time to sell the items?  or is it more valuable to donate and have the tax deduction?  I sell large items (furniture, baby items) on Craigslist and I donate smaller items that are a big time suck to sell (like baby clothes, books, etc.)  Please note: you might have lots of luck selling clothing in garage sales or online, but I haven’t in my little neighborhood, that’s why I say it’s a time suck.  Hours spent folding, bagging, labeling, and pricing to only watch it sit on a table untouched for 2 days isn’t worth it for me.
  • Work FAST!  Working slowly leaves time for second thoughts and slows down your momentum.
  • Plan for it – I have clutter on the daily calendar – that’s because I need to deal with it daily to keep it away.  Would this help you too?
  • Set your timer – take 5-15 minutes every day to deal with a little (or a lot) of your clutter.  Take care of the mail as soon as it enters your home and do a quick de-clutter before you go to bed to keep things neat and tidy.

Have you been dealing with clutter on a daily basis to get rid of it and keep it away or are you avoiding it right now?  Take a couple minutes every day to work through it if you aren’t already.  You’ll be surprised at how good getting rid of stuff you don’t need makes you feel!

Want to join in on the fun? Grab a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for January and give it a go. Follow along all month for motivational posts and tips to keep up with the daily and weekly tasks.

Cleaning + Organizing Calendar January 2014 via Clean Mama

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for January 2014!

Want to make 2014 the year that you cleaned and organized everything? Me too!

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(If you like the calendar style of this freebie, you’ll love The Simplified Life Series in my shop!)

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BrightNest Guest Post: Clutter, Clutter, Everywhere! 5 Tricks to Fight the Mess

Have you seen the BrightNest website?  It’s a great website that puts a fun spin on taking care of your home.  We’re visiting each other’s sites this week and today I have a great post from Jessica at BrightNest to share with you.


BrightNest is a free site that provides tools and tips to homeowners to help them save money, get organized and keep their homes in great shape. Sign up for a free BrightNest account today!

We all have an Achilles heel of clutter – that catchall for papers, books, knick-knacks and “stuff” in general. Even if the rest of your house is immaculate, this spot (or spots) can be a serious stress zone. Clean it up, clear it out and fight the clutter with these tips.

1. Entryway. If you’ve had a long day, it feels great to drop your bag and empty your pockets at the entryway. The problem is, long days add up. And so does the clutter in your entryway. Creating a system is quicker (and easier) than fighting habits, so identify the problem and adapt: If it’s mail, create a mail system for your family to follow. If it’s shoes, place a shoe rack by the front door. And if keys are the issue, add a bowl to the entryway table or a few hooks to the wall.

2. Under the sink. Your bathroom may look spotless on the surface, but under your sink lurks chaos. Toiletries, hair products and cleaning products all work together to form an intimidating mess. The solution is simple: First, audit what you have. Then, toss what’s old or expired. Lastly, group similar items together in clear containers so you can see what’s there. Done!

3. Top of the fridge. Fridge clutter is generally caused by refugee kitchen items. Make room in your pantries and cabinets for the clutter that’s living on top of your fridge. Once you’ve made some room, move things from on top of the fridge and integrate them into your pantry system. If you can’t break the fridge habit, at least make sure that the items are used every day and organized so that you can see what’s available. Tip: Mason jars make top-of-fridge organization easier.

Go here to see the last 2 clutter-busting tricks!



Pulling Yourself Together: Implementing a Cleaning Routine that Sticks

In the scheme of things a cleaning routine can seem trivial, but without one your home can get out of control in a hurry.  My hope is to help you gain control over your clutter and start with a fresh approach to cleaning your home.  The tried and true methods and techniques I provide are sure to help you pull yourself together in a hurry.

I’m so excited to introduce you to my eBook…

Pulling Yourself Together:  Implementing a Cleaning Routine that Sticks

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What do you get when you purchase Pulling Yourself Together: Implementing a Cleaning Routine that Sticks?

Five Chapters sure get your home and routine in order:


The chapters have spots to write in thoughts and ideas and ways you’ll implement what you’ve read in your own home. 

Here’s a sneak peek at Chapter Two:


Of course a Clean Mama eBook includes great printables! 

Clutter and chaos taking over your life?  Ready to start Pulling Yourself Together?  This is a color PDF eBook (instant download) that you can print out (recommended method), read on your computer screen, or your iPad or tablet.  I know you’ll love the methods of de-cluttering your home and the simplification of a cleaning routine that this ebook will provide.  Priced at just $10, it’s an inexpensive way for you to put some order in your life.

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Want to do some spring cleaning anytime?  Check out my other eBook Cleaning Around the Seasons: Deep Cleaning On Your Schedule