17 of the greatest tools to get your paper clutter under control

Are you desperate to get your paperwork organised and under control, but feel unsure about which products will actually be of any help?

Have you ever purchased products before, only to be disappointed that your paperwork still felt out of control?

While there are no 'miracle' products out there, there definitely are ones that will save you so much time, energy and effort when it comes to your paperwork organisation. It all comes down to how you actually use them and the types of paperwork systems you have in place.

So, with my big focus on this topic of late, in the lead up to the release of my new paperwork program, today I'm sharing a list of the 17 greatest tools for paperwork organisation, so you can feel in control when it comes to dealing with your paperwork, and reduce the stress, worry and frustration around this task. Let's dive in!

17 of the Greatest Tools to Get Your Paper Clutter Under Control - if you're ready to get the paper clutter piles under control in your home, you're going to need some handy tools to help you! Click through to read the list of the top 17, and get your free guide on how to deal most efffectively with those paper piles!

1 | A Paper Inbox

A paper inbox is an essential part of any great paper organising routine. Take 5 minutes each day to quickly sort the incoming paperwork that you need to take action on. Then designate one day of the week as your 'Paper Admin appointment' where you can tackle all the action tasks in one sitting. The simple act of sorting papers within your Inbox will take a lot of the headache out of dealing with paper-related tasks!

2 | File folders

Teamed with your Paper Inbox, file folders are a handy way to sort your actionable paperwork into specific categories e.g. to pay, to file, to fill out, to send etc. You could even have a separate file folder for each family member, and any task that relates to them can get popped in to the file to be dealt with on your Paper Admin day.

3 | Wall racks

Lacking surface space for sorting your paperwork? Have a look around your house for free vertical wall space to attach some simple mesh baskets or slimline boxes. Pop a label on the front and use this system for your Paper Inbox. Just be sure to clear these every week so you don't accumulate too much visual clutter.

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BONUS: Need some guidance on how to tackle those paper piles? This guide walks you through the exercises you need to do first to identify the source of your paper problems. Get your copy on the button below!

4 | Magazine holders

Magazine holders are a great way to sort and hold paper in your home office, or command centre. You could use these to store magazines or articles you need to refer to later, a household or finance binder, paper for printing... The great thing about magazine holders is you can hide away those more unsightly paper categories, and make everything look neat and streamlined on open shelves.

5 | Shredder

If you're serious about getting rid of as much paper in your home as possible, a shredder will be a great help! Any documents that have your personal information on them should be shredded or ripped up before you place it in the recycling, so a shredder can be a worthwhile investment. Hide it away in a basket if it's a bit too 'functional-looking' for your liking, or get a more slimline desktop version.

6 | Scanner

If you're ready to create a paperless home, you'll need a scanner to digitize your files and create a digital filing system. The Fujitsu ScanSnap comes highly recommended, and has a really good name, as it scans fast, has WiFi connection, and a large capacity. 

7 | Binders

An easy reference binder contains all the important information you need to refer to regularly in an easy-to-access spot. A household binder can be used to store account and policy numbers; contact details of the companies you're with; medical records; household information; and your child's important school information. A finance binder is a great way to track your bills, debts and savings in an organised approach. Binders can be used in any way you like to organise all your important info in one easy-to-use system.

8 | Baskets

Baskets are a stylish yet practical way to organise those loose paper categories that you need to corral in one centralized spot. This could include notepads, notepaper, sticky-notes, scrap paper, blank labels etc. Be wary of stacking too many baskets on top of one another, as it will make the items less accessible. Either use open baskets, or only store things you don't need frequent access to in stacked, lidded baskets.

9 | Labels

Labels are integral for making any paper organisation system easy to follow. This includes binders, file folders, your filing system, baskets, boxes, magazine holders... Make it as easy on yourself as possible with a clear label or colour-coded system!

PSST... Have you grabbed your copy of the free guide for tackling your paper piles yet? Click the button below to grab it now!

10 | Memo board

Whether it's cork, chalkboard, dry-erase, magnetic metal, mesh... a memo board is essential for keeping track of upcoming events, important reminders, and your weekly planning. 

11 | Calendar

Whether you go for paper or digital, a calendar is a must for keeping track of your schedule and upcoming events. One with separated columns for each family member makes it easy to can see at a glance what's coming up for each person on different days.

12 | Family Scheduler

If the members of your family are here-there-and-everywhere throughout the busy week, or you're always having to remind your kids what's happening and when, a family scheduler could save you a lot of stress and effort! A nice big colour-coded one that's easy for everyone to see makes keeping on track of your 'busy-ness' a breeze.

13 | Filing cabinet or filing drawer

Unless you're creating a digital filing system, a filing cabinet or drawer is the best way to store and organise your archival papers. Not sure what to hold onto and for how long? This episode of The Organised You TV will give you a starting point and some ideas of what you can safely purge.

14 | Multi-coloured files

Team your filing system with multi-coloured files to create a clear distinction between the various filing categories i.e. work; banking; household; important records etc. Read more about this system here.

15 | Storage tubs

These large tubs are a fantastic storage solution for your child's school memories and special artwork. You can also use a transportable tub like this for a filing system, so they really are multi-purpose! This video will show you the 5 simple steps for setting up a School Memory Box - it's actually a fairly easy process!

16 | Sturdy paper boxes 

Not only can they look stylish in a home office or command centre, paper boxes are a great way to hide away any loose papers that you don't need access to regularly. In our household, we use these Ikea boxes as memory boxes for each family member, and to hold photos and cards. 

17 | Wallet divider 

If you're a coupon-collector, or like to follow an envelope system for budgeting, a wallet divider is a must. With clear categorized labels, and the ability to easily slot inside your wallet or purse, it's a simple system for corralling all the loose papers or receipts. 

Let's keep the conversation going... 

I'd love to hear from you in the comments below:

  1. Which of these essential items is currently missing from your paper organisation that you think could be helpful?
  2. Which one of these products is your favourite and why?






How to overcome your fear of throwing paperwork away {Q & A}

Do you have anxiety, worry or fear around which paperwork you should be holding onto, and which is safe to get rid of? 

Does it make you feel stressed to go through your archival papers, or paper backlog, because you're not sure where to start in terms of throwing things out? Or how long you should be keeping certain documents?

One of the main reasons a lot of people don’t have their files organised is because they actually don’t know which papers they should be keeping, and for how long. Therefore, they hold onto everything 'just in case' they need to refer back to it, resulting in stuffed-to-the-brim filing cabinets, or completely disorganised systems. 

Can you relate?

If you want to have less paper clutter in your home, and a really effective and efficient filing system - whether it's paper or digital - it's essential to know exactly what is safe to get rid of! 

This is a topic that comes up a lot in my private Facebook group Home Balance (join here if you're not already a member!) and in emails from my subscribers. So I thought I would cover it in an Organised You Q & A episode! In this video, I'm going through 6 easy steps that will help you overcome your fear of throwing paperwork away.

I'm also giving some examples of documents you should be holding onto for different amounts of time. But my free paper purging guide, which you can grab on the button below, goes through every category in greater detail, so be sure to get your copy!

Let's keep the conversation going...

I'd love to hear from you in the comments below:

  1. How do you feel when it comes to getting rid of paperwork?
  2. Which of the strategies listed in this episode could you start implementing today?

What's your 'paper personality'?

What's your 'paper personality'?

If you've ever said to yourself...

"I know I'm not dealing with my household paperwork in the right way, and that I could do it better, but how do I go about making changes?"

Today's post is for you.

Even if you feel overwhelmed about taking those first steps, or keep saying to yourself 'I'll get around to organising it one day', please keep reading.

Because there’s little point trying to change your habits around dealing with paperwork without first identifying how you currently deal with it. You can then learn the right strategies to make shifts in the right direction, which will be the basis to your long-term success!

5 Simple steps to creating a school memory box {Video}

5 Simple steps to creating a school memory box {Video}

I imagine all the mamas of school-aged kids would be nodding their heads in agreement when I say the amount of work that comes home from your child's school-life can be a little overwhelming! But it's also difficult to actually decide what to keep, and what to get rid of, when it comes to your child's wonderful creations.

When my 6 year old son (who has just started school this year) comes home with a new certificate, piece of writing, drawing, or painting, I feel incredibly proud of him, and he is so proud of himself. And that is something to be celebrated in life, right?! Which is why we have an art display in both our kids' rooms, and a cork-board for their certificates and awards.

However, I also knew that with each new keepsake that entered our home, I really needed to create some sort of streamlined system for sorting and storing it all. Something that would keep the paper piles at bay, while preserving the special memories, report cards, work, and achievements collected throughout the school years.

And that is how I decided that a School Memory Box was a must in our home! It's a system that I am already loving - both for the ease of setting it up, and maintaining it...  as long as you keep the word 'streamlined' in mind!

The 7 most common paperwork mistakes... and how to solve them!

The 7 most common paperwork mistakes... and how to solve them!

Today I want you to take ACTION. Action = progress, and whether you realise you're making mistakes with your paperwork or not, taking action to fix them is going to make a huge difference to the way you run your household, and stay on top of your paperwork.

As you read through each of the 7 most common paperwork mistakes, I want you to really think about whether it's something you're currently doing, or that is currently happening, in your home. If you can relate to any of the scenarios, I want you to take action today to try and fix it - schedule it in your calendar, start researching, make an adjustment, start sorting, ask for help.

Whatever action you take is going to equal progress, and that is absolutely the aim here. You can also get your free checklist of what you should be keeping, and what you can safely get rid of. to help you with your paper purging journey. Are you ready, action-taker?!

3 guaranteed ways to stay on top of kids' papers {Q & A}

3 guaranteed ways to stay on top of kids' papers {Q & A}

Being a primary school teacher, I know that A LOT of paperwork goes home to the parents of our beautiful small people on a daily basis, particularly at the start and end of the year.

But it wasn't until this year, when my son started his first year of school, that I got a taste of just HOW MUCH paperwork that actually entailed!!

Those first few weeks of school (along with the orientation sessions leading up to it) felt like we were inundated with forms, important information (don't LOSE it!), invitations to upcoming events, letters, parent homework... you name it, we received it! And trying to stay on top of it all became a little overwhelming.

So of course I did what I always do when I begin to feel overwhelmed - I worked on improving my organising systems! In this case, that meant getting our command centre up and running (along with our daily paperwork system); refining the household binder; and getting the kids' artwork into a better system. 

Today's Q & A episode answers a question specifically about this topic, and I'm detailing 3 guaranteed ways to stay on top of the kids' papers and artwork, that are working particularly well in our little abode...