Paper Cluttering and De-cluttering – Causes and Actions

Two things accumulate very quickly in any place, papers and mails.  Advent and usage of emails have reduced papers and mail cluttering to a considerable extent, but the cluttering still continues.  If you self investigate the reason for paper cluttering problems, you will mostly end up with the result that you are a person who procrastinates. You may be the person who keeps deferring things because clearing your papers on a day-to-day basis is not a priority work on your agenda.

Some of the points listed here will help you to understand the causes and organize yourself from paper cluttering problems.

Paper attracts papers – The moment you start piling up papers on your desk, you tend to create an attitude that you will clear it later. Leave alone the existing mess, any new papers or mails which arrive on daily basis too get added to the mess irrespective of the importance.  You will promise yourself that you shall de-clutter it on the coming weekend, but that weekend never arrives, and the papers simply get piled up.

Do it once and close it forever – You should make it a habit that when you open a mail and read it, action on it immediately, if required file it, put it in a folder, or trash if is not required for your future reference.  But do one something or anything, other than keeping it on the table for clearing it some time later.

Spend less time doing now:-  You should realize that doing things on an ongoing basis is faster than doing things at a later date.  When you clear the papers which is related to your current activity, then the content and the action you need to take is fresh in your mind. The related files, tasks, persons whom you need to contact are closer to you.  If you defer your action for a month, you need to study the content again, search for the related files, get in touch with the related persons whom you need to contact regarding the content, freshen up their memories.  You will be required to spend more time doing it later than now.

De-cluttering, do not make a habit:- Remember de-cluttering is a lazy man’s job.  When you actually manage your papers, files on a day to day basis, as and when it comes, you will never have a separate task of de-cluttering.  You start this discipline of handling the papers which come to you or to your desk on day to day basis.  Keep doing this religiously for the next 21 days; you will be amazed to see yourself that it has become a habit for you.  And habits die hard. You will never like to defer your paper management.

Regain huge amount of Time and Self satisfaction:- What will happen if you discipline yourself  managing your papers on an ongoing basis.  You will realize you have lot of time, and energy to do your other jobs.  This habit will get infected in a positive way on your other tasks too, like managing your files on your computers, managing your wardrobes etc.  You will suddenly realize that you have too much of time, and too little task to do.

If you already have papers that require your attention, declutter paper immediately.  You action it in such a way that you do not have tomorrow and today is the only day left.  Once all papers are de-cluttered, develop a simple habit of doing it now and closing it once for all.  Enjoy your time which you gained from some simple paper management discipline.