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I KNOW I am not the only one who feels like they are drowning in old school work, paper work and junk mail… I always feel like it increases 10x around the holidays because I’m always moving stacks of paper somewhere to clean for parties or guests coming over. I thought I’d give you a few tips that have helped me quickly get rid of that clutter including kids’ school work so that you won’t feel guilty recycling it! Ok so first of all it has to all be in one place. If you can keep your piles in one place you’ve won half the battle. If you can’t, don’t worry, you’re definitely not the only one. If they are all over the house then get them into one pile. There are a few pieces each year that are truly keepers and many more that are just too cute to toss right? For those papers in the latter I’m going to give you a tip to get them out of the house. Take a picture. Yep, take a photo of the work of art (you know the ones that won’t be gracing your wall but you want to keep forever). That way you can print it out, show it off or just keep it in a folder on your phone/computer for later. I LOVE using an old or extra phone for this. That way you keep all the digital “clutter” to one place. If you are sharing a cloud with that phone or don’t have an extra, make a folder for each kid’s school work on your phone to keep those photos. That way you’re not scrolling through them to get to those vacation photos you’re trying to show off. Once you have enough photos you can have them all printed in a bound book (there are tons of sites online that do this, I usually just find the best coupon or deal and use that for their school work books). Once you’ve gotten that photo taken that paper can go into the recycle or shred pile! I used to be a shred pile hoarder because shredding was SUCH a pain. I’m telling you, having the right shredder makes all the difference in the world. We recently got the Fellowes 79Ci shredder (you can get one on Amazon or office superstores with a suggested retail price of $239.99) and it has seriously cut down on the amount of paper clutter in this house. Mostly because I can throw up to 16 sheets of paper at a time in addition to staples, paper clips, credit cards and cds. I can put piles of junk mail through there with no problem at all & it has a 20 minute run time which is more than enough to get tons of paper shredded. It has a Patented 100% Jam Proof System that prevents you from putting stuff in it that’s going to jam it up so you don’t have to worry about losing time fixing a jam! Not only all of that, it’s also really quiet (it even has SilentShred™ Technology so you know it’s ultra quiet). Our last shredder was so loud that it scared the dogs, plus I had to unfold everything and take all the staples out etc. So much of a pain that we would just bag up tons of papers “to be shredded” at a later date. This one stays out, plugged in ( because of the Energy Savings System that maximizes shredder energy efficiency all of the time whether you’re using it or not) and gets used constantly which means less clutter and less cleaning to do last minute to get ready for holiday visitors! As an added bonus, I don’t have to worry about leaving it out when my nieces are over because it has Patented SafeSense® Technology which automatically stops shredding when hands touch the paper opening.
Since it’s close to the holidays you can use the shredded paper to pack away fragile holiday decorations for next year! They pad glass better than just wrapping it in paper so not only are you cleaning up your clutter, you’re protecting your decorations! Win – win. Some other tips for clearing out the clutter:
- Donate toys that haven’t been played with.
- Go through any dishes or serve wear or small appliances that haven’t gotten any use for over a year and donate them.
- Clear out the linen closet and move torn towels or older sheets to the garage (or the fort building box).
- Go through the kids’ closets (WHY do they grow so fast?!)
- Clear out those magazines! I love to donate mine to schools or libraries before recycling.
I know I’m not the only one who has to clear out the clutter before the holidays! What do you do to prepare?!