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November 16, 2011

Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays: 28 Day Challenge – Day 21

28 days-simplify101-1

Day 21:  Declutter Paper

I find that one of the most common sources of clutter in the home is paper clutter. And the worst part about paper clutter isn’t how it looks, it’s how it feels. Stacks of paper create a very unsettling feeling, especially if you really aren’t sure what’s lingering at the bottom of the pile, or if you know an important piece of paper has gone missing somewhere in the stacks. This is anything from the relaxed and welcoming feeling we are in the process of creating for ourselves and our family members.



Today, let’s make some progress on this paper clutter. This is a terrific time to pull out your timer, and set it for fifteen minutes. Don’t worry if you can’t get it all under control today, any progress you can make today will make you feel better and make your home feel more holiday-ready.


If you haven’t done so already, download a free copy of my mini guide “How to Create a Home Reference Binder.” This guide shows you how to gain control of a very common form of paper clutter —papers you need to get your hands on and refer to often.   



If you already have functioning paper systems set up in your home, spend a bit of time today getting caught up on your paperwork by doing a task that is lingering in your midst (or maybe on your kitchen counter.) Do the filing. Make those lingering phone calls so you can file away (or recycle) the paper that’s sitting out reminding you to do it.  


I’d love to hear about your current paper situation. Is this a trouble spot for you, or do you get to pass on today’s challenge? Thanks for sharing!

Happy organizing!



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Gabriel Francis

Hi Aby,

I found your blog while poking around on the internet and have spent the last half hour reading through your posts. I really like this one on paper management. The fifteen minute egg timer strategy is a good one for keeping paper management, well, manageable. I work with clients who get so overwhelmed by all their backed up materials that we usually have multiple sessions devoted to just attacking paper pile-up. But once they're together again (or even nearly together again), your suggestions are really good for staying on top of things.

I'm a professional organizer in New York. If you're curious about me, please drop by my blog (I just launched it recently) at


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