43 Folder System to Organize Your Paper Clutter

I just read about this great organization system over on a Twitter chat, and I want to share it with you! I’m just starting it, so I can’t give you a full review, but I think I like it.

If you’re like me, the biggest clutter problem you have is paper clutter.

I have papers everywhere. And because I homeschool, I’m constantly printing out stuff I want to teach at a later date, or that the kids may be interested in learning. Where do I put it? It sits in a heap on some table or counter somewhere, and I move it umpteen times before it comes time to use it, at which point I can’t find it.

And then there’s the mail. Bills that are due, letters I need to reply to, stuff I have to do something about. I have tons of different places I file such stuff, but it is trying.

So here’s the system:

43 file folders=Paper Clutter Solution

I know 43 sounds like a lot, but it works. Label 12 for each month of the year. Label the other 31 for each day of the month. Then, on the first of each month, you transfer all the papers that were sitting in that month’s file into the particular days you need them. Appointment cards, birthday cards you have to send, bills, homeschooling lesson plans, etc.

The 43 Folder System to Deal with Paper Clutter

You’ll still eventually need to put things in their permanent home, say in your tax files or credit card files–but the problem with paper clutter for me is that often I have papers that I need to take care of–just not right now. Or I’ll be thinking of something for a party coming up and I’ll jot down some notes, but then I won’t know where to put the piece of paper. This helps you store those thoughts and papers until you need them. I think it sounds brilliant. I have a small file box I’m going to use, and I think this may just clean up all my paper clutter problem.

And if you want more organizational help, I have some FREE household organization charts that you’ll get automatically when you sign up for my monthly parenting newsletter.

UPDATE: I’ve received lots of comments and emails saying, “but wouldn’t 43 folders just add to the chaos!?! Where do I put them.

Good point. I use a file box. I’m really spatially challenged, so it’s hard to tell you how big it is, but it seems square, so I guess that’s about a foot wide and a foot deep. It’s not that big. And it fits all the folders. It has a nice lid so I can just keep it where I work and get my filing done. I used to try to keep all my folders in the filing cabinet, but that seemed like a lot of work. I like having them in one small box I can cart around and rearrange. And you can get the boxes really inexpensively at Staples or Office Depot, and some are even coloured and decorative!

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