The Decluttering Quick-Start Guide, Part 2
1. Declutter a pile of paper.
- Catalogs, coupon circulars, and junk mail should be recycled immediately.
- Bills go to a designated spot on your desk.
- Papers that need to be kept (insurance or tax documents, for example) should be filed now.
- Invites or appointment reminders should be put on your calendar now. Recycle the notices.
- Magazines should be put in a designated place. Consider whether you actually make time to read them or if you should cancel your subscriptions.
- Children's school work should go into a designated file or box. Once a week, choose the best and recycle the rest. Every month or two, choose the best from that saved pile and recycle the others. At the end of the school year you'll have a handful of top-notch items to store permanently in a keepsake box.*
- "Real" mail, such as greeting card or a letter, should be savored, but unless it's a marriage proposal or a letter from your grown child thanking you for being such an awesome parent (yay!), display it on a bulletin board for no longer than a week. Then recycle it.
Now that you've taken care of the pile, promise yourself to handle the incoming mail and other papers every day. This habit will take only a few minutes, and then no more piles!
2. Clear off the top of your dining or coffee table.
3. Put away the toys.
4. Pare down your dishes and cookware.
5. Tackle one junk drawer or closet.
6. Clear out your car.