Papers, junk mail, notes, and receipts can quickly become a problem when you don’t have a good system for organization. Learn how to tackle the paper clutter in your home with tips on sorting and storage for long term organization.


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Get a Handle on Paperwork & Create a System for Organization of ALL the Papers







Full Episode Transcription (not edited):

Papers junk mail notes, receipts. Anything that is classified. As some type of paper can quickly become a problem when you don’t have a good system for organization already in place. On this episode you’re going to learn how to tackle the paper clutter in your home with tips on sorting and storage for long-term organization.

 It’s a Tuesday. And that means I am answering questions that come in from listeners. Just like you. If you are struggling. Let me rephrase that. Whatever you are struggling with at home, whatever you are coming to this podcast and listening to find the answer for you are coming here for solutions.

I wanted to know what that is. Is it how to formation on how to organize a specific area in your home. Is it more detailed instructions on how to. Declutter something. Are you stuck in a place where you just simply cannot get started with a project or you don’t know what project makes sense To be the first thing that you tackle in terms of decluttering and organizing. In your house, whatever is the main struggle or a couple of the main struggles. The thing is that you are looking for the answers for, by coming to the intentional edit podcast and listening. I want to know what those are. right now go to intentional

The website, intentional [00:02:00] and there is a button that pops up. It says record now super easy. You click on the record now button and it takes you to a new screen where you will leave A voice message. You don’t have to have a microphone on your phone or your computer, whatever. You’re listening to this on a we’ll let you record you. Just press that record now. Button unintentional, and leave me a question. It doesn’t have to be perfectly written out. All you are doing is leaving a voice message. Tell me what this struggle is. Ask a question. If you have one, what are you looking for? The answers to? What do you want more information on? Because I want to answer your questions on a future tip Tuesday episodes. Sometimes I get questions. In all different formats.

I love this one of the most. When you ask the question on this button, I can hear your voice. I can hear your struggles. It makes it very simple for me to take the question that you ask. And turn it into a podcast episode where I give you some solutions, some strategies that you can use to get to those results that you’re looking for. And it took Hawker the problem, all of these problems that we have in our home with lack of systems, lack of routines, lack of structure, a calendar that’s too full, too many commitments, too much stuff, mess everywhere, toys all over the house.

Not being able to find things when we need them. All of those and so much more can be problems that we can solve. These are not huge issues. We just have to go through the three steps, the decluttering, the organizing, and put those essential routines in place. And I will help you do that. let me answer your questions on future tech Tuesday episodes, by going to intentional click on the record and now button and ask your question. Let me know what you’re struggling with. And I will use the words, the questions, the struggles that you have an answer that on a future [00:04:00] intentional edit podcast episode.

The question that came in for today says we don’t have a system for papers. The paperwork is literally everywhere and I don’t know how to begin. Filing it. I wonder if it’s necessary to keep also, what is your recommendation for organizing the papers and paperwork? Love it. Great question. And this is a project.

That so many people put off. And if you don’t have a system in place from the very beginning, it seems more overwhelming. Individual papers have to be looked at to get this organization. Doubt the truth. Is when you have a paperwork. Or papers. It does take time to sort them. This is not a quick project. Papers are small. They stack, they pile quickly.

And there are a lot of them in a very small space. And if you have these stacks and piles all over and container stuffed full, you are going to have to look at each individual paper. This is important. Once you get it under control, this is one of the easiest systems to may entertain. You can easily maintain the organization.

Once you take the time. To get it current and up-to-date and get rid of many papers. Most of the things we keep, we actually don’t even need to be heaving. You have to look at every single one of them to know what you need to keep or toss. And most likely with the papers it’s really recycle, you’re going to be recycling or keeping it.

There’s a couple of things you can do when you have a whole household full of paperwork. So tackle one, get four large containers. Start with these four large containers and start this sorting process. You always begin with gathering everything, removing it from wherever it is. And then you sort it. So each container will represent a different category, one category for each container.

The four categories that I recommend are [00:06:00] junk mail. Notes receipts, miscellaneous things would be in another one. Important papers that, you know, you have to keep, and then the sentimental items would go into the fourth container. So those are what you were going to label your four containers as, and this is where you start to sort.

You will also want to have a trash can and a recycling container. You could actually use a trash bag if you want to, or a. Specific here you have for recycling. It doesn’t matter if it’s a can or a bag, you just need to have a designated place where you’re going to put the trash in the recycling. In addition to the four containers.

If you have a shredder that you want to use to make this happen, and you are planning to stride Vegas. If you want to set this down where you are completing this project. And plug that shredder in, you can put the things straight to the shredder that you know, are not necessary to keep and you can put them in the shutter then.

The other option would be to. Take all of your items at the end of that, you want to go to a shredding location. If these are important documents with personal information, it take them to a location that offers the shredding and you can do it at that. One of those facilities and said have at your home, if you don’t have a personal paper center,

The second step of this process is going to be to get all your papers, gather everything. Get all of the sacks and go through them. separate them into the proper beds. So you will look, you will pick up and look at whatever the paper is and then you will decide, is this going, is this a piece of junk mail and going in the junk mail tote, is this a receipt?

Oh, this is something that I know I don’t need. This goes in the trash. It’s not recyclable. Then you move on, you pick up the next thing and the next thing and the next thing, and you pick up each [00:08:00] individual document and you put it into the proper containers. You’re sorting these containers.

The. Junk mail. Container sometime as it gets confused with the trash or recycle. And you don’t have to fill that one up. If you want to have like catalogs that would go into the junk mail thing. If it’s something you’re going to read, if it’s not something you’re going to read. Then don’t make it.

A item that you have to pick up a second time when we go through the containers. I immediately put it into the recycle or the trash. If it’s not something you want to keep for the future, do not waste your time by sorting it into one of the four containers, put it in the trash or a cycle. When you finish one stack of papers or one pile of papers, goal on to the next one, and keep going until you have gone through all of the stacks and all of the piles and all of the drawers and all of the containers of papers throughout your house.

You just keep going until you get it done. The third part would be, you’re going to now separate the subcategories. You have these four bins, which are essentially sub categories. So you separate the sub categories. One at a time.

The one with the, is the important papers. Container is usually the largest one. And it’s usually full of the, one of the things that you need to keep. They have the most thing is that you really do need to keep. And those are the things that actually get filed. These will go into file folders according to category, you should be.

Keeping these in some type of file drawer file cabinet file box. Ideally you could scan these in and all of the paperwork would be digital files so that you don’t have to take up any storage space that can take more time. And if you are not tech savvy, I understand not wanting to deal with that, but it, paper file system is just as important and it can be just as detailed.

[00:10:00] You are going to keep the paper files for anything that is a necessity, and that will be beneficial for you or that you are required to keep receipts and notes. Those types of things. They may need to be added to some of these vials, but remember that receipts fade. So taking a picture or scanning or receipt and having a digital file and discarding the original receipt is going to be a better option because receipts fade over time and some fade.

Rather quickly. Most junk mail should be easy for you to get rid of this pile should not be that big. If you were putting the things in the trash and the recycle that you don’t need to use again. If something that you put in the junk Camille. Container is more than a week old. if it’s an advertisement or a coupon that is expired, there is no reason to keep this. I get rid of it initially, if it somehow made it into that container. Toss it at this time, if there’s a coupon or a discount code that you put in that container.

And it needs to go into a physical store to be used. Take a photo and save it on your phone. You can save it into the notes section on your phone. And then you don’t have to keep the physical item or put that physical coupon in your bag. So you will have it with you the next time you go. I always check with a professional for how long you need to keep things like tax documents or specific items, because those rules.

Are different, depending on where you live. The reality of this situation is most of the papers we keep. We actually don’t use. It’s just like this stuff in our house. We keep things that we actually don’t need to keep. Anything you can opt to have in a digital format, a digital copy of instead of a physical copy that will save you from having to deal with the paper. You can store it on your computer and you can also have a backup system. So there’s no way of ever losing that or not being able to find that it, but whatever you do come up [00:12:00] with a system to deal with the incoming paper going forward so that it doesn’t pile up.

And you don’t end up in this situation where the papers have gotten out of hand. Hand again in the future. In the simplified home masterclass program, we go over all these details and a very detailed system on how you can set up good routines to implement in your home, to keep the paper under control and make sure it stays organized and it functions for your family to prevent it from piling up.

But that is an imperative step to the program. Once you have the things that you are keeping. In a file drawer or a file basket or a file box. You have these labeled. And you have the things organized. Then you needed to come up with a way to make sure these are things are getting back. Or getting put away in that file drawer or in the place where they need to be stored long-term and not piling up on your counters and desks and any surface that they can. Thank you so much for listening and now you have the tools to start organizing your paper clutter and if you want more information more details and everything you need to truly dial in the organization sign up for the simplified home masterclass if you have a question you would like me to answer don’t forget to go to intentional click on that record now button and leave me a message with your question so i can answer it on a future tip tuesday episode




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lauren - intentional edit

Lauren is the founder of Intentional Edit, a home organization and lifestyle company focused on consciously editing to create efficient and organized spaces.  Lauren believes that a functional home that looks and feels good has a positive influence on all aspects of life.  Creating systems that allow for the home to function more efficiently, therefore, eliminating most of the clutter and chaos is her priority.  While trends come and go organization is always in style!


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