I love getting thank you notes. I like reading what my friends have to say about the gift or service I have done for them. I like the beauty of the cards and I love getting “good” mail. The fact that my friends took the time to write me a note makes me feel important.

I received a call from a friend a few years ago who told me she was re-reading her thank you notes that she had saved forever. She came across one of mine and she called to tell me about it. It was sweet because I got to chat with her for a minute. At first I thought it was a dumb idea to save thank you notes and then for some reason I foolishly started saving my thank you cards.

As a professional organizer I am always giving ideas and organizing tips to people when I speak and also in my book on what to do with paper that comes into our homes. I’ve decided we must have a love affair with paper because we keep getting mounds and mounds of it and then we have a hard time letting go of even the simplest pieces of paper.

With my thank you notes I had even taken the time to fill up an entire book with cards which I placed in a basket. I filled up the book so I just piled the rest of the note cards I received around the book. About 4 or 5 years ago I actually looked at all of the cards and read some of the sentiments. It dawned on me this week that keeping the cards was just taking up space and they were a dust collector—a collection that never got dusted.

I decided it wasn’t worth it to me to hang on to these cards that were never read and I had no attachment to. I only thought I had an attachment.

I took a deep breath, got out my recycle bin and went to work. I read some of the cards that particularly caught my attention and ooed and awed and I put all but 5 cards in the recycle bin. It was a tad hard but I kept my goal in mind which was to get rid of clutter. Now I wonder why it was even hard to part with them. The five cards I kept I put in my folder in my filing drawer labeled “cards I like”. In that file I found cards there I was able to part with. It feels so good to get rid of clutter.

Do you let clutter live in your home like I did? Is it just there and it is contained so you never really see it? There is such a tremendous difference when you let it go. Somehow that space and the room seems lighter.
Here are 7 fundamental organizing tips to get rid of paper clutter:

1. Round up all the paper you have in your home that you don’t know what to do with and you don’t want.

2. Make a decision to get rid of as much of it as you can. You might make a goal of discarding 50%.

3. Organize into piles of likes to make it easier to sort through and file.

4. Get your name off junk mail lists so you don’t have so much paper coming into your home. You can Google junk mail or unwanted mail and you will get a plethora of places you can sign up to get your name off of lists.

5. Make some goals to get rid of paper clutter. That is how I was able to get rid of my old thank you notes that were just taking up space and creating clutter.

6. Set up a working filing system in a filing cabinet or a plastic banker box if you don’t have a filing cabinet.

7. When you handle paper make a decision right then regarding what you are going to do with it. Don’t put it down without making a decision.

We all know paper can create clutter in our homes and in our lives. By getting rid of paper clutter it frees up our time, space and lives.

Go to Marilyn's website to learn more time-proven methods to get rid of clutter from your home.

Author's Bio: 

Marilyn Bohn is the owner of Get it Together Organizing, a business dedicated to developing practical organizing solutions that help individuals and business professionals live clutter-free and productive lives. She is the author of “Go Organize! Conquer Clutter in Three Simple Steps” and is an experienced, enthusiastic public speaker, a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) and the author of hundreds of articles covering various organizing topics.

Marilyn takes the often stressful subject of organizing and breaks it down into a simple, easy to understand system. Her methods are both eye-opening and encouraging! She has a passion for helping others reach their personal goals and living a better, clutter-free life!

Marilyn invites you to discover her one-of-a-kind video workshops and organizing ideas at http://www.marilynbohn.com