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19 Quick Things To Declutter From Your Paperwork – Right Now!

WRITTEN by CHRISSY, LAST UPDATED ON April 22, 2024

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It’s time to tackle the paper clutter and clear out your unnecessary paperwork! By decluttering these items now, you’ll make it easier to find the papers that matter, and have a tidier home overall.

19 Quick Things To Declutter From Your Paperwork Right Now!

Having piles of paperwork build up at home can be a daunting problem.

It’s all too easy for bills, receipts, junk mail, and other documents to accumulate, creating paper clutter and causing stress.

The sheer volume of paper you deal with in your daily life – from school notices to insurance forms to promotional leaflets – can be overwhelming, making it difficult to keep track of important documents amid the chaos.

Not only that but hanging onto excessive amounts of paper that you don’t really need, like outdated manuals or magazines you’ll never read again, takes up precious space and makes it challenging to stay organised.

The answer?

Regularly decluttering those paper piles – and staying on top of it as much as possible.

To help clear the decks, let’s look at all the items that you need to look out for around your house when decluttering all your papers…

19 Paperwork Related Items to Get Rid Of From Your Home Right Now!

#1 – Receipts from items you’ve kept and used

It’s sensible to keep the receipts for any purchases you make, for a few different reasons.

Firstly you can balance your books at the end of the month and check details against your bank statement.

Secondly – you need to keep the receipt in case you need to return the item or have a query etc… Sometimes your receipt can be your guarantee as well – so it’s worth checking this.

Lastly – you may need to keep them to prove your purchases for claiming expenses for work or if you’re self employed.

But once the time has passed that your receipt is useful to you – it’s time to let it go.

Shred and move on!

#2 – Files you don’t need in filing cabinet

If like many of us, your filing cabinet is full to the brim with paperwork, it’s worth going through it and checking that everything that’s been filed is worth filing.

After all, sometimes things get into our filing system that actually don’t need to be there at all. For example: paper versions of things you have the digital copy of, or files for things that you don’t own/use/need any longer.

Just let them go…

#3 – Papers in files that have an updated version

Every time you get a new insurance letter etc… – then the old one needs to go.

Trouble is – a lot of us (me included at times) find it easier to file the new one away without removing the old one at the same time.

This just leaves excess papers in the files that make it feel more overwhelming than it should be.

#4 – Out of date newspapers

.. or magazines!

There are always a few of these hanging around in living rooms, bedrooms, and possibly the bathroom too…

#5 – Old bank statements / bills

Most banks and utility companies etc… now do digital statements and bills, and should you ever need an old copy they can produce it for you (or you can print it off).

So really there’s no point in keeping paper copies of statements any longer, right?!

#6 – Junk mail

The dreaded junk mail comes through our front door each and every day. It’s frustrating to say the least, but needs dealing with just like any other paper clutter.

TIP: You can register to stop getting junk mail HERE (UK only, you can search for similar in your country in Google). Although this won’t stop that which is locally done – it will hopefully reduce the amount you get.

#7 – Product guarantees that have expired

We talked briefly about this in receipts – but maybe you have extra paperwork that’s purely related to a guarantee for something you’ve bought.

The best idea is to keep them together in a file and regularly purge those that have expired.

#8 – Invitations / tickets / programmes for events that have passed

Unless you’re keeping them for sentimental reasons (to record the memory) then they can go now – they’ve passed their usefulness!

Not only that, but have you considered letting them go and keeping the memory in another way?

A great idea is to scan them or take a photo of them – and add these pictures to a photo book instead?

This would help preserving the item as it wouldn’t fade over time, and you won’t be able to lose it either.

#9 – Out of date letters or forms

I once found a letter from 10 years ago in my pile of paperwork that wasn’t sentimental or informational enough to need to keep – and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why it was there!

Needless to say that if you have no idea what it is, where it came from or why you kept it – then let yourself off the hook and don’t file it away any longer.

#10 – Take away menus you never use

When you declutter paperwork, don’t forget the things you may overlook usually.

Things like takeout menus! These often come through the door and get pinned to notice boards etc… in case they’re ever needed.

Trouble is – do you really need them?

Most places have menus online now anyway, so take a few minutes today to check that out and then let go of the paper versions if you can.

#11 – Instruction manuals for appliances you no longer own

We all have that one drawer full of every instruction manual we’ve been handed when we’ve bought something tech / power related – right!?

Take a look through and get rid of those for appliances you no longer own, because let’s face it – if you ever needed to find the instructions again in the future, they’d probably be available online in a much more up to date format anyway.

#12 – Business cards / trade flyers

Again something that you take because you may need the details again, but often they just add to the paper piles and clutter up your noticeboard.

TIP: I like to add trades details to my Home File so I have the details if needed, but can let go of the card / leaflet. This also means I’m much more likely to be able to find the details should I need them in the future.

#13 – Old calendars / diaries / notebooks

I’ve never gone back through an old calendar / diary / notebook past the time I was using it and thought – wow what a great reminder!

If there are things to remember in there for future years then transfer them over to the new diary or calendar and then let the old one go.

#14 – Diary pages you’ve already used in current diary

By the time you get to October or November, you’re carrying around a lot of excess diary from previous months.

The majority of this, if not all of it, will never be needed again – so why not lessen the load and let these pages go?

It’s a little win – but can make a HUGE difference.

#15 – Educational notes from prior qualifications

I loved doing my Maths degree – and am hugely proud of the 1st I achieved. So much so that I kept all my notes from those studies.

But honestly – I’ve never looked at them again.

They’re bulky and just take up a lot of room in the loft.

Note to self (and you!): Unless you’re going to use them again, it’s time to let go….

#16 – Old schoolwork

When the kids are little – everything feels like a treasured memory and we tend to keep it all.

Trouble is – we have lots of school years and potentially more than one child – and so the school reports, notebooks, projects etc… soon build up.

Chances are you won’t think everything is important in the coming years – so make it a regular thing to go through what you keep and just save a couple of items from each school year.

That way you can see how they progressed over time, but in a more manageable way.

#17 – Greetings cards from past events

Cards are bulky – but can be really sentimental items.

Cue the fact that most of us have a few piles of the important ones from friends and family that we’ve been sent over the years.

I like to photograph them (the insides mostly) and add them to my yearly photo book so I have copies of what was written (and in their handwriting) but the card doesn’t have to stay.

After all – I’m more likely to pick up a photo book and take a look through than I am to pick up a pile of cards…

#18 – Excess kids artwork

In the same way that we keep all the kids schoolwork – so too do we keep their art.

Just scan or photo it, add it to that all important photo book – and let the original go.

After all – that original will fade over time. At least a digital copy will be protected more…

#19 – All receipts / expired coupons and bits of paper in handbag

Every time I look in my purse and handbag (usually when I’m changing over to a different one) I find SO.MUCH.PAPER at the bottom!

Old receipts, notes, leaflets, letters, lists, paper coupons etc… – I could go on… and the majority of this isn’t needed at all.

Time to declutter all this, for sure!

Don’t Forget To Hide Your Details…

Remember that if you’re decluttering paperwork with any personal information on it, you need to shred this to keep things safe from possible identity fraud.

TIP: If you don’t have a shredder, then you can get a handy little roller that hides important text.

19 Quick Things To Declutter From Your Paperwork Right Now!

And there you have it – get rid of all this excess paperwork from your home and you’ll feel so much better!

Not only will you be able to find what you need more quickly, but every room is bound to feel tidier with no bits of paper lying around.

So what are you waiting for?

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy being a little more paperwork-free from now on!

HAVE YOUR SAY...

  • Paperwork is a really tough one to declutter for sure, because we all have so much!

  • This hit too close to home because I have too much of everything mentioned.

  • The postal preference service for both charities and unwanted mail is really important to me. I have to check through my piles of papers and make sure that I fill in the form. This is my personal bugbear, documents and paperwork. It needs to be done and I am going to throw myself at it today. Thank you

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    This article was written by Chrissy

    Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on OrganiseMyHouse.com (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...

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