It is also pretty self-explanatory. Newspapers, to the extent that you even still get them, quickly grow too old to be very useful or interesting anymore.
That is kind of the point of "the news" after all. Once it gets past a certain age there is very rarely a reason to keep newspapers.
So why do we often keep them stacked up around our house? If you don't actually have time to read all the newspapers you receive I would seriously suggest you cancel or at least cut back on your subscriptions.
You definitely don't want the self-created stress of feeling the need to read all these papers if you are behind, or would prefer to do something else. There's no shame in starting fresh and culling out all the old ones, or even admitting defeat and canceling your subscription going forward.
So during this mission go ahead and clear out the big stacks of newspapers you have laying around, and then, if you don't already have a habit of disposing of older issues when you get a new one, go ahead and institute such a policy for yourself from now on.
It's as simple as one in, one out, so when you get the new one the old one goes into the newspaper recycling bin. (You can see a picture below, from a reader, who has a similar system, for ideas for yourself).
If you get a daily paper I suggest not keeping more than 3 days of papers for reading, and disposing of any older than that.
Also, please do make sure when you are decluttering that you do recycle these papers, not throw them in the trash. Just about all recycling facilities take newspapers, and if you don't know where in your community they do a few quick calls will quickly identify where you can take them.
Make sure your home recycling center, where you collect your recycling, has a spot for newspapers if you receive them, so they do not clog landfills needlessly, and you can properly dispose of them with your new one in, one out rule.
So grab a stack or two of these papers and get rid of them if you haven't read them and they're at least a week old. Happy decluttering!
Below I'm going to discuss briefly how to keep newspapers from cluttering your home from now on.
Designate Spot For Old Newspapers Until They're Recycled
As I suggested above, it works best to keep only a limited few days of newspapers in your home, so you want to create a spot for the old ones that will be recycled.
A reader, Paula, sent in this photo showing how she does this simple step to keep newspaper clutter at bay.
She said, "Newsprint and burnables go here, near back door. I can just drop whatever it is into the box as I walk by."
Make sure to institute a similar system for yourself, perhaps throwing them directly into the recycle bin each day, so these papers don't clutter flat surfaces and make stacks and stacks in your home.
The key is to have a storage space for the "to be recycled" newspapers that holds a few, but not too many, and then to make it part of your routine, perhaps as you take out the trash and recycling weekly, to empty this spot of old papers so they don't pile up there.
Ask Yourself, Do You Really Need To Get The Newspaper Anymore?
Along with actually decluttering your excess newspapers in this mission, I want anyone that needed to work on this mission for multiple 15 minute sessions to seriously ask themselves the question -- "Do I really need to get the newspaper anymore?"
As always, while it feels great to get rid of clutter in your home, it is even better to stop it before it comes in the door.
Some people genuinely enjoy receiving the morning paper, spreading it out at the kitchen table and digging in to the day's news while eating some breakfast. If you do it consistently and enjoy it, and are able to easily part with older newspaper issues, then you're fine. Don't worry about this.
But for those buried under piles of newspaper, why?
If your excuse is coupons, remember those typically only come in the Sunday paper, so you could easily cut down from the daily paper to the weekly or just Sunday paper and still get your coupons.
In addition, many coupons are now going digital anyway. You may want to explore this option instead of getting paper coupons at all, especially if you're not utilizing your coupons from the newspaper to their fullest extent anyway and often find yourself throwing out expired coupons.
Further, don't forget that these days a lot of news is online, and free. This includes local newspapers, so you can keep up not only with national news, but local and state level events as well.
Even some of the sites with paywalls, such as the New York Times, allow you to read a certain number of free articles before you are charged.
Online, if you can get used to it, can definitely save you from a lot of paper clutter, and may save you a few bucks at the same time! So if it took you a long time to do this mission definitely at least consider these alternatives to save yourself headaches and stress in the future.
Are You Ready To Declutter Your Home?
I hope this has gotten you inspired to get rid of your newspaper clutter.
When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!