It is a fact that the number one violator of clutter, is paper. It is coming into our homes at a faster rate than we can sort it! You can’t prevent the invasion of your bills, but you can opt out of the magazines you know you are never going to read, catalogs and product solicitations, etc. by going to www.catalogchoice.org and www.optoutprescreen.com for removing your name from pre-approved credit card lists. Type in unsubscribe in search bar.
As for the other incoming mail, try to create a nice consistent landing place, so that the papers requiring your attention will be easily found. Weed through often and isolate the junk mail. Toss it, recycle it, or shred it….just get it out of the house. There is certainly enough paper that we must keep, we surely don’t need to hold on to paper we will never want or need. You may even want to do the junk mail sort at the mailbox and toss it before it even enters your home.
As for the mountains of other kinds of miscellaneous paper, you need to be honest with yourself. If there is literature that you haven’t referred to in a considerable amount of time, you need to let it go. If you are holding onto sentimental paper (like old greeting cards, invitations to old events, children’s art, etc.) evaluate carefully, select and store just a special few. There are papers, however, that never should get tossed and should be kept indefinitely, like vital records, tax returns, legal documents, etc. There are other records suggested to be kept for at least 7 years, like bank records, deductible receipts, credit records, any tax-related documents, etc. Since the IRS may go back 7 years to audit your tax returns, you should have those papers in order and organized. There are papers that can be tossed after 1 year, and those that can be tossed just after your payment is verified on the next bill. What to to keep and what to toss is a personal decision, but if you are overwhelmed with paper, it is time to manage it. Get the help you need, it’s here if you need it.