Paper Clutter: The root of the problem

stack of papers


Paper piles are no fun. They clutter your counter surfaces and take over your life.  What do you do about it?

In order to tackle your paper problems, you will need to get to the root of the problem.  It’s really easy and can be summed up in 2 words: fear and indecision.

Yes, my blogging friends, your paper management issues lie in these 2 words ~ you have too many papers lying around because you are afraid to get rid of anything because what if you need that receipt one day?  Or you’re afraid if you store an important document somewhere you might not remember where you put it.  And most importantly, you just have no clue what to do with that piece of paper so you do nothing (aka indecision), leaving it on the counter hoping that one day you’ll figure out where to put it.

Sound familiar?  Or does it scare you that I can pinpoint your problem exactly?  That’s because you are not alone! Most of the people I meet who have paper piles overtaking them all share these same struggles.  The good news is that now that you know the reason for your problem, you can finally do something about it.

Problem #1: Fear

First let’s deal with the fear.  If you are afraid to get rid of any papers because you think you will need them again someday, then you need to realize that you will never be able to store all your papers for that someday.  Although there are a few options for you, such as digital filing, for the most part you are going to have to let go of your fears and your papers.  Ask yourself:

  • What is the worst thing that could happen if I got rid of this paper and needed it again?
  • Is there someone else that could help me retrieve this information at a later time?
  • Do I still own the item that this paperwork is referring to?

If you are holding on to piece of paper because you don’t want to be inconvenienced or you don’t want to have to hassle with the issue later, are you any happier now than you would be then?  What if nothing ever comes of the issue and you are miserable and overwhelmed now for something that will never come to pass?  None of us can know what we might or might not need in the future, but living in fear is not really living is it?

As for your fear of not finding the paper again so you just leave it where it is, then that is just a matter of creating a filing and retrieval system to relieve you of your fear.  Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing a few systems with you very soon that will help you in this area.

Problem #2: Indecision

The second part of your problem may be indecision. That, too, is linked to not have a sound filing/retrieval system.  If you knew exactly what to do with your paper and where to put it, then there would be no decisions to make.  You just have to learn that every paper you come across has a decision attached to it. Once you have the confidence to know what to do with a piece of paper you will eliminate your paper piles for good!

In order to overcome your problem, you generally have to get to the root of the it first.  Hopefully today’s post enlightened you a little, and gave you a glimmer of hope when it comes to your paper piles.  We’ll spend a few posts looking at our paper issues from different angles so you can combat this issue once and for all, but if you have any questions or would like to see me address a certain aspect of paper management, please feel free to email me at or leave a comment below.  I always love hearing from you!

And don’t worry…you will tame your paper piles ~ one sheet at a time!

Your organizing friend,

Go 2 Gal









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