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9 Clutter-Clearing Tips For Paper Stashers

7. Contact Information – Take all of the business cards, envelopes with your cousinís new mailing address, note cards, scraps of paper, websites, phone numbers, and whatever other paper you have there with contact information on it, and do something with them. It doesnít matter if you use a paper, electronic, or virtual system, commit to a system and use it to manage all of that information so you can release the paper.

Also, someone recently asked me what to do with referrals. Specifically, she was holding a piece of paper with the name of a doctor that a friend told her to see when she was ready for something that it wasnít time for yet. I suggested that she could do anything she wants to, as long as she does something with the paper so itís not in the pile and she can find when she needs it. I suggested either emailing the info to herself with a description like ďeye doctor referral from jane doeĒ (so she can search for it later), enter the details in her address book with the explanation in the Ďnotesí section, or create a file folder for them and put them away in the filing cabinet. If they all go there, youíll know exactly where to go to find one when you need it.

8. Legal Papers – So far, all of the legal papers that my students have reported fall into three categories. They either need to take action on the papers (like divorce papers that need to be read to see if they are accurate before signing them), archive the papers (like birth certificates and such), or they simply need to be released or perhaps shredded and then released (like rough drafts of papers that were later finalized). If you have legal papers stacked up around you, do what needs to be done and free yourself from the daily reminders of the legal drama. At the very least, release what you can and then make a file for the rest and put them away in a cabinet. Leaving that stuff stacked up around you, isn’t helping you thrive. I promise.

9. Offspring Papers – My kids bring home lots of paper. There are things that need action, like permission slips and order forms. There are art projects and completed assignments they bring home to share with me. Thereís a great deal of it and itís easy to be overwhelmed. Itís important to release that which no longer serves you, and take the action that is needed. If there are events, put them on the calendar. If there are signatures, go ahead and commit and send the papers back.

As for the memories, each of my children have their own box right at the top of the attic stairs and we put our favorite things inside for safe keeping. I donít keep the fill in the blank tests and such, as they donít actually capture much of the children. I keep the papers and the stories they have to write. I keep the things that make me laugh or impress me. I keep things they are particularly proud of too. I’ve always told them that once they got too full, we’d go in and look for things that no longer serve us to release. So far, that hasn’t happened but we still have high school left. We’ll see when we get there.

What’s in your piles?
For each paper, you have to first make a decision about what to do with it–release it, take action on it, or archive it. Then, you have to do it. You have to either get it out of your house, take action (pay it/research it/call about it/do it/write about it/whatever), or find it a sensible home.

Itís not always easy–especially when there are lots of papers–but it is that simple, decide on an action and take it. Decision making and action are the two things that don’t happen when we’re stuck. Then, we get overwhelmed by what’s not happening so we accumulate more, make fewer decisions, and take less action.

As that cycle continues, your hole gets deeper and deeper until you’re here. But, I promise that you have the power to turn this thing around. You just have to check back in. You may even need support but it’s time to come off the bench and get back in the game. Your sanity… your freedom… your life is waiting for you.


So, here are 9 tips to get you started but certainly not a comprehensive list. What else is stacked up around you? Leave your paper challenges here and we’ll play with those next time. If you prefer to you can email me through my website below. And if you’re stuck (and sick of it), check out the program at

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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