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1. Minimizing paper clutter starts with mail.

When you enter your home with a handful of mail, sort it into two hands.  Immediately place your junk mail in the recycle bin or in the shredder.

Tear off the backs of catalogs you don’t read and cancel them when you have a break for a two-minute call (some are easy to cancel online too).

Techies, check out the Paper Karma app. Here you will take a picture of your junk mail label, and Paper Karma will take you off the mailing list. You can try this free or pay up to $19.99 for the year.

Be ruthless. First, all catalog companies are online.  If you ditch the catalog, you can still buy products online.  When you receive catalogs, you want to buy more stuff and more stuff results in more clutter.  It becomes a cycle.

Did you receive a package?

Open it immediately.  Break down the box and place it in the recycle bin.  Place the contents you just received in its rightful place.  Do NOT set it on the counter.

2. Drop Zone.

Where does your mail go that you keep?

Grandma used to say, “a place for everything and everything in its place.”  She was right!

I recommend a wall file for the mail and kid’s school/activity papers.  Label each slot.  It may look like: Mom/Dad, Jim, Tess or you may want labels to read File and Pay.  Calendar a time each week to pay and file bills.

If you have school-age children, I recommend a slot for each child to place school papers.  A parent can go through documents before the next school day, sign what’s appropriate, mark the calendar with essential school events coming up and recycle the rest.  This should be emptied each evening.

3. Picasso

What about Jimmy’s artwork you ask?

Artwork can become a monster itself if you let it.  Luckily, That Girl Organizes is full of solutions!

Each week place your child’s art on a magnetic board in the entryway for example.  Each Sunday he can choose his favorite of the week, and he puts it in a portfolio, or you take a picture of his piece, discarding the original.  Gasp!

My kiddos (ages 7-16) have always been kosher with this process, but we do keep the clay projects made throughout the year and then pick 1-2 favorites to hold onto after school is out. The remainder we take a picture of if the child deems it worthy.

Photographs of art can be placed in computer files with their name on it so they can look later.

Excel Automotive
  • Ann Marie Guenther, owner of That Girl Organizes is known as Naperville’s most organized woman and the face of Facebook! Ann Marie declares that clutter is unproductive and sucks the money out of your bank account as well as the time out of your day. That Girl Organizes keeps Chicagoland homes and businesses productive and peaceful. As a former teacher, she developed her own exclusive system to teach people how to organize according to their individual learning style. This system keeps their homes productive and organized, saving time and money. In addition to her organizing business, Ann Marie now trains other organizers on how to grow their businesses when she isn’t speaking at events, on podcasts, radio shows or writing articles. Look for her first book in 2019!

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