One sheet of paper seems so small, so insignificant. Light and airy even.
A pile of papers, however, is heavy. A stack of envelopes and magazines, file folders packed with documents.
The genius of the KonMari decluttering method is that it teaches you how to declutter by category, not by room. We have so many items in our homes that alone do not take up much room but together become a mountain.
When I first decluttered my clothing I pulled it all together (from my closet, from storage, my car) and piled it on my bed. Seeing all of my clothing together like that was a real shock to my system.
It allowed me to see beyond closet space and showed me how much I really owned.
Paper is a category that can sneak up on you. Paper spreads around like snowdrifts, it’s everywhere and hard to contain. And eventually it starts to pile.
This week I worked with a client ready to tackle paper. She had gone through both clothing and books on her own and felt ready to gather the piles.
The KonMari method suggests decluttering all paper from your home. This does not include children’s artwork or sentimental items.
The truth is we do not need all of the papers that we keep. I held on to so many things that I thought I needed. I moved them from home to home thinking I would need them for something- I never did.
Now, the only papers I have are essentials like birth certificates and passports. I also keep one copy of each of our bills to reference the account numbers, that’s all.
Keep in mind that our homes are living space, not storage space. All of those piles of paper around your home weigh heavy on you. They are reminders of postponed decisions and things to be done.
I will admit decluttering paper for one is simpler than decluttering for a family, but it can be done!
Konmari’s rule of thumb for decluttering a home from papers is to discard all papers. Keep only the essentials.
My client was more than ready for the paper step. She has a clear vision in her mind of how she wants her home to feel. She and her family like to entertain. Their home is full of love and light.
Sunlight pours in and touches white cabinets and beautiful fireplaces. It’s clear that family and friends are always welcome. Their house tells their story.
I suggest the following tips for organizing papers you keep:
1. Keep all paper strictly in one location, where they can’t drift to other rooms.
2. Organize paper by three categories: needs attention, should be saved forever, and should be saved for short term.
3. Keep all papers together in the same folder or container.
My amazing client shared the following, “I have a Pinterest board dedicated to designing my ideal office space in my kitchen and in the course of 4 hours we were able to create it without spending any money! So grateful to have this dedicated space to keep my house in order and functional- thus freeing up more space for my boys to play and grow!”
All that paper, those big snowdrifts, can be overwhelming at first but it’s time to let them go. No more stacks, no more piles. Don’t carry what you don’t need.