As organizers, we tend to notice similarities and trends in the organizational challenges of our clients. Some are unique to certain people, some to the layout of the home. And other clutter causers are the same in every single household. Perhaps the most notorious of these is….THE PAPER TRAIL (cue imminent shark attack music).
The Paper Trail is easy to identify and oh-so-difficult to control. Without a system to process the constantly incoming bills, schoolwork, receipts, coupons, and other bits of paper, they can easily take over.
This blog is a series of four easy-to-follow household organizing tips that will address the Paper Trail and provide tips and methods to contain those pesky bits of paper littering your countertops. I hope these are helpful to you! Please comment below if you have any personal tips that have worked for you. Thank you and Happy Organizing.
Catalog and Phone Book Unsubscribe
Fact: if you have ever bought so much as a toothbrush holder online or from a catalog, chances are that you now receive the approximate weight of a small pony in catalogs per week.
In this blog series on paper organizing, we have addressed the issue of paper clutter in the home and how to coral and contain it. But what to do about paper that really shouldn’t enter your home in the first place?
One solution is to sort mail directly over the recycle bin, getting rid of catalogs before they clutter precious counter space. Now consider taking it one step further and doing your part for the environment by preventing those catalogs from even coming through the door.
To remove yourself from mailing lists, we recommend Catalog Choice. This is a free service that allows you to block specific catalogs from being delivered. Here is how to set up an account:
- Go to https://www.catalogchoice.org/.
- Sign up by providing your email address. They will then send you an email to confirm your membership.
- Click on the link provided and it will take you to their website, where you can immediately begin the process of unsubscribing.
To do this, simply type in the name of the catalog you wish to stop receiving. The site will give you a list of choices. Click on the correct catalog and it will prompt you to enter two numbers. The first is an account number and the second is a key code. Both are marked on the back cover of the catalog. Enter the numbers, click the Submit button and you’re all set!
A couple of tips: If you go to “my profile”, you can add the names of all residents living in the home. That prevents the companies from finding you via another name (sneaky, right?).
When I help my clients to organize their catalog unsubscribes, I advise them to simply tear off the back cover of the catalog and put it in a folder labeled “catalog unsubscribes”, then recycle the rest. When you have amassed a nice little pile, take 30 minutes and do them all at once. It’s more time efficient this way.
We hope this method helps you severely limit that catalog clutter and simplify your life!
Happy Organizing – and let us know how it goes.
Read all the blog posts in our series on the Household Paper Trail:
#1: The DIY Household Hub Organizing Binder
#2: The Quick Sort Station
#3: Catalog and Phone Book Unsubscribe
#4: The Tickler File
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