How to De-Clutter papers and magazines and stuff like that?

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Help, somehow I have managed to have tons of "papers" and magazines and other such paper stuff that is now cluttering up my house...too much of it...and I know some of the stuff is important, but I get that terrible "overwhelming" feeling when I think that I really need to go thru all the boxes and stuff and sort it out...is there an easier way, and what to save or not? I just like to hang on to stuff..guess I am kinda a "hoarder", I still have some drawings of my daughters school work and she is 27... any advice or help is appreciated!
  7 answers
  • Shari Shari on Nov 17, 2013
    Sometimes when a person feels overwhelmed with a big job they need to do, breaking it down in small segments can make it easier to manage. Perhaps you could set a goal of cleaning and sorting one small pile a day. Once you begin to see some progress, you will likely become more excited about finishing the job. Or, if you have a friend or relative who likes to organize, you might ask them to help you get started.
  • Merrilyn merkley Merrilyn merkley on Nov 17, 2013
    I'm so so badI know i have a really bad problem and need help ! I have had lose in my life thats so hard to let go yet i hing on to things it makes me crazy ! I have fibromaigia which it makes it so hard .because i cn't do at others pace i just need help please!!
  • Carole Carole on Nov 18, 2013
    I agree with Shari about breaking it down. You could say do 30 mins per day and make three piles. One pile is stuff you might need to shred if it is something that is paperwork with your private details etc that you don't want to fall into the wrong hands if you were to just throw it in the bin. Second pile could be keep - stuff you might need to keep for tax purposes or for reference. Third pile is stuff you can put in recycle bin. As for the magazines, if they are stuff you have read and no longer absolutely have to keep - what about donating them to someone who might appreciate reading them? That way you won't feel like you are wasting them.
  • R.V.R. Farris R.V.R. Farris on Nov 18, 2013
    My daughter took Art class three years running in junior high and we ended up with lots of projects. I found a portfolio at The Container Store several years ago and picked another up at the campus book store here in town recently. The art work is tucked safely away.
  • Debbie Harris Debbie Harris on Nov 18, 2013
    For papers and stuff... Get notebooks for each category. IE: Projects, Medical, Kids, taxes, etc.. sort by category until you made the first pass through everything. At least then it can be found easily. Then go back through and sort each book into keep, give, trash. Get the piles down and then have an in box (a location where you throw stuff that needs to be sorted but that you don't have time to do right this minute. Each week, month or whatever take a few minute to sort to the notebooks again. Update books at tax time. I'm a professional organizer at home...A place for everything and everything in it!!!
  • Diane Woods Diane Woods on Nov 18, 2013
    Conquer the monster... Bring all of it into one room of your house, mess and all. Take one basket or bin full of items each day that need looked at to another room that is no longer cluttered. Have 4 boxes in the decluttered room ready and marked "Trash", "Keep", "To Do" and "Misc" box for items that need put away somewhere else in the house. Go through the bin and take out large things first, like magazines, stapled together papers, etc. and throw them in the appropriate box. If you pull out larger items first you will see immediate progress and have incentive to keep going. Make yourself a promise that you will go through that entire bin in one sitting with the 'one touch' rule. Once you put it in your hand, it has to be sorted into one of your 4 boxes. That way you aren't waisting time revisiting it. After you are done sorting the daily bin, shred or dispose of your "Trash" box immediately. This will give you a real sense of accomplishment! When you are done with ALL the cluttered paper sorting put the "Keep" and "Misc" boxes aside for later. There is no urgency so they can sit. Address the "To Do" box into piles ... phone calls to make, bills to pay, errands to run. Tackle that one pile at a time..... After everything feels in control, go back and put away "Misc" and "Keep" boxes. Be sure to keep one area of your house that you put everything from now on that needs sorted, and do the same process once a week or so to stay on top of it. I have 3 kids that were very artistic. Each of them picked a few pieces they made that had stories or sentiment to them, and I pulled a couple that meant something to me. The rest we got rid of or took pictures of. The only reasons to keep something is if it means something, is valueable, or has a CURRENT purpose in your life. I am extremely organized (my clothes are sorted by color, etc), and moved several times with my children for hubby's job. I had to purge every time we moved and learned that a lot of what I was keeping, my kids had no interest in. That was liberating and helped me get rid of a lot. Maybe your daughter needs some input to help liberate you. Hope this helps!
  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Nov 19, 2013
    Any catalogs or magazines with pictuesI'd offer the local elementary school art teachers.
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