Clutter Coach Newsletter: Paper is your enemy


January is Get Organized month, naturally. If getting organized was on your new year’s resolution list, start by declaring war on paper.


Do you learn better by listening? Check out my audio program, Five Ways to Seriously Get Things Done. Includes a set of worksheets along with the 22 minute audio. As with my other offerings, I keep it short and to the point.



Paper is your enemy. It wants to take over your life. It seeps into every crevice and spontaneously generates over night.

Like kudzu, it seeks to cover every available surface. It skulks in a small pile on your desk and then stealthily creeps sideways when you aren’t looking.

Gangs of paper line up on your dining table and dare you to mess with them. They jeer.

Kitchen counter piles smirk at you as you pass by. Paper knows you are helpless and that it is now in control. Resistance is futile.

Wait! It doesn’t have to be that way! But you must be willing to wage war against paper.

Pick your battles.

Be on the defensive by preventing paper from coming inside at all. That means canceling some subscriptions, getting off junk mail and catalog lists*, signing up for electronic communications from your bank, and refraining from printing out material from the Internet.

Take the offensive by routing old magazines and newspapers, even if you haven’t read them. Don’t let your file cabinets harbor paper you don’t truly need. Get ruthless about what paper is really important and necessary and drive back the rest into the recycling.

Peacefully coexist with paper by confining it to trays, identifiable piles (piles are not all bad!) and files. Paper can stay around as long as you know what it is and where it is. Make sure it’s contributing by being useful or necessary.

The war on paper may go on forever, so gird your loins to deal with it every day. With practice, using these techniques will help you hold the fort easily.

* Fill out the form here for junk mail: For catalogs, there is usually information in the masthead or table of contents about unsubscribing.

~ Claire ~