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9 Clutter-Clearing Tips For Paper Stashers

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4. Other Peopleís Papers – Iíve been so surprised to hear how many of my clients and SOBS students have papers that belong to dead people in their piles. Itís everything from financial papers to doctors visit notes, get well soon cards to condolence cards, and from love notes to things like magazines and junk mail that would have been considered paper clutter even to the deceased.

Now, I know that itís hard to let go of things that belonged to our loved ones but let’s think about these papers. Are they helping you remember what you long to remember about that person’s life? When you look at those piles, are you consumed with fond memories? Usually not. These things arenít helping you remember them. You have memories, positive ones, and anything that doesnít support that isnít actually serving you. Letting go of that stuff isnít letting go of your loved one. In fact, it will free you up to remember them properly, in a way that honors the life you shared together. This stuff is in your way.

If there are papers that represent positive memories that youíd like to keep, go the distance to do it well. Make some sort of memory book, or even a simple file folder that you can retrieve from the filing cabinet every once in a while to refresh your memory. And if the papers represent action that needs to be taken, then be still, feel what needs to be felt, and do what needs to be done. Leaving things undone wonít help you heal… itís okay to release them.

5. Pictures – Not everybody does this but I’ve learned that lots of people have pictures tucked away in their stacks of papers (digital clutter is a conversation for a different day). Release what no longer serves you and then gather the rest of the photos into a single location to deal when once the paper backlog is eliminated, deal with your pictures as a single project.

6. Recipes – Oh how the recipes stack up around those with the best of culinary intentions! If youíre going to go through the trouble of printing, copying, and tearing them out, at least use them. Make them accessible in a notebook, on index cards, or a folder in the filing cabinet. If you’re feeling really savvy, go digital or virtual but whatever you’re going to do, do it. Donít let your affection for recipes take over your space!

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Read more: Feng Shui & Organizing, Home, Mental Wellness, Self-Help, Spirit, Stress, , , , , ,

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Christy Diane Farr

Christy Diane Farr is a catalyst. If that sounds like something you want more of in your life, visit 'The Greenhouse' at and join the Wildflower Evolution on Facebook.


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4:42PM PST on Mar 2, 2015

Uh oh, just read my post and I wrote "daub of PAIN' instead of "daub of PAINT'. Please excuse my attention to detail. I'll blame it on the stress caused by all my paperwork and clutter!

4:33PM PST on Mar 2, 2015

Shirley E., good comments about schools encouraging children to keep every daub of pain on a piece of paper. As you say, it all adds up to a lot of paper junk. Made me chuckle, remembering "I can draw much better than your kids - little kiddies drawings" on google - so funny.

3:54PM PST on Mar 2, 2015

Good advice. Thanks Christy :)

3:54PM PST on Mar 2, 2015

Good advice. Thanks Christy :)

3:37PM PST on Mar 2, 2015

Good to know, thanks Christy

1:06AM PST on Dec 29, 2013

I have lots of piles of papers everywhere .. currently tjrrou 2 rooms of the house. Mine tend to be of the "want" or "need" to do kind of things. I unfortunately find that if I file them away, these things even the important things never end up being done.. so the papers need to stay in my face (where they will annoy me till the day comes Im motivated to do the things Ive got to do).

Also have tons of piles of medical stuff.. things which need writing to doctors about due to wrong info in my medical notes, draft copies of letters I need to send, letters from disability organisations Im currently dealing with etc. (at least all my drug prescriptions end up being stuck on my fridge with a magnet or otherwise I wouldnt be able to find them amoung the other paper mess.

10:59PM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

and play Englebert Humperdink (Please Release Me) to get in the mood to clear some stacks!

1:03PM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

Great article.Thanks for sharing

1:19PM PDT on Jun 12, 2013

I do a good cleaning like this at least once or twice a year.

2:33PM PST on Dec 4, 2012


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