Decluttering & Shredding Paper Piles {15 Minute Mission}

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Today's mission is all about decluttering and shredding paper piles.


This is actually a mission that I've listed several times on the declutter calendar each year. The reason is pretty obvious -- most of us can't clear away all these paper piles in just one 15 minute session.

Paper piles up in your home, but it didn't get there overnight, so tackling it , and shredding paper 15 minutes at a time is key to get it done without being overwhelmed and without making a bigger mess in the mean time {#Declutter365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
This is the kind of mission you just have to do, over and over again, slowly but surely, and those piles will diminish little by little.

It can feel overwhelming going through huge stacks of paper. That's why I suggest breaking it down into 15 minute segments. Work on it for 10 minutes, and then clean up, file or dispose or papers for the last 5 minutes.

After that 15 minute session if you want to do another one, go for it. But if not, be done for a while, and enjoy that you cleaned up your mess as you went so things are not in a worse state than when you started.

Here's some resources for you to use when you declutter paper:Once you've decluttered and shredded paper there should be a much small stack of papers left that you want to keep.

To help you with this part of the mission -- filing -- here's the main challenge article on how to organize your home filing system.

Below I've also attached some pictures from others who've already taken on this mission. I hope these photos will help inspire you to tackle your own paper clutter and slowly, but surely, get rid of it!

Top photo courtesy of Liz West

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Shredding Receipts To Get Them Out Of The House

by Joan

How to declutter receipts to get rid of paper clutter
This photo, above, was provided by a reader, Joan. She said, "Shredding old receipts...it feels good to get it out of the house."

Yes, it sure does feel good to get all the clutter out of your home! Great job Joan!

If you'd like to learn more about decluttering receipts, in particular, you can check out my article on how to declutter receipts here.

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My Paper Decluttering Progress

by Cindie

All to be burned! To give away plus some.

All these pics are from a reader, Cindie. She says, "I'm getting there."

Yes you are Cindie! So proud of you. I can tell you've put in a lot of work, with lots of 15 minute sessions, but you definitely are making great progress!

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Cleared Paper Clutter Off Landing Zone

Zena sent in this before and after photo, saying, "I'm so excited. I de-cluttered our "landing zone" and made a tickler file too!!

The photo on the left is before.

I explained the file to my friend and she said it is organization on crack. I'm so excited to use it. Wish me luck!!"

Lots of stuff that's been decluttered, including quite a few bags of shredded paper! {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}


Once you've done quite a few of these missions you'll begin to accumulate a lot of paper for the recycling bin, and for the shredder.

Above is a photo from a reader, Clarissa, who shredded a bunch of her paper clutter, along with doing a bunch of other decluttering. She said, "Those four bags in the front are full of shredded paper! Yay!!!"

Are You Ready To Declutter Your Home?

declutter 365
I hope seeing these pictures has inspired you to declutter and shred your paper piles.

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.

I've got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.

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!

How to tackle your paper clutter 15 minutes at a time in the #Declutter365 missions so you can see real results {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Clutter Free 15 Minutes At A Time Hall Of Fame

Getting Rid Of Paper Clutter Hall Of Fame

Paper Organization {Series}: Take Control Of Your Paper!

Go From Decluttering & Shredding Paper Piles To Home Page

Comments for Cleared Paper Clutter Off Landing Zone

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Best tip ever
by: Jackie

You see stuff on Facebook all the time but this site and the 15 minute decluttering is the best! Was totally amazed how you can apply it in everything you do and it keeps you going. Everything gets done without a ton of stress, try it!

Taking care of paper piles to shred
by: Maura S

A while ago I started my mission of decluttering my filing cabinets. The amount of paper to destroy was enormous and I did not think that my shredder would keep up with it. I thought about burning the papers, but my son reminded me that I would pollute the air. So, I found another solution. I soak the paper in a bucket full of water and a little amount of glue. When there is enough of it, I take it out, just as if I was doing papier-mache', press it altogether and let it dry. Then I can safely put it in the paper recycling bin and nobody will be able to read what's on it. I hope this will help someone.

just thinking of all the paper makes me go argghhhh!
by: Sandra

I just know my file cabinet is filled with unnecessarily kept bills, etc, and then the piles of kids' schoolwork and artwork ---- argh!

chuck it!
by: Jennifer

If you can get it online, chuck it. If it's outdated, chuck it. If you can't immediately think of how you could realistically use it, chuck it.

great info!
by: Paula

Thanks everyone for your great ideas! I am going through 30 years of boxes of papers and feel totally overwhelmed! This is good information!!

decluttering school and art papers
by: Lizbeth

I keep tax documents, medical and dental related stuff and rent and utility receipts. Any of my banking or bills which I can access online I shred. Having some of it online or scanned onto my computer helps.

Growing up my mom had us sort though art and school work to decide what to keep and what to give away to grandparents, aunts and uncles. It got paper out of her house and kept the extended family in the loop with how we did in school. She usually had us do it on weekends or school breaks. The stuff we wanted to keep she put in frames on the wall. We kids each had 4 frames and as we grew we wanted to post new or better art or grades anyway since we saw it everyday. The work taken out of the frames was stashed in a box until the end off the year when we decided what to keep long term. I'm 28 and still have the box of my proudest K through 12 schoolwork; except for not wanting to fold some of the larger art it all fits in a shoe box.

shredding company
by: Susan

Check to see if your town has a shredding program. Ours sets up a truck a couple times a year that is free or reduced for residents. When disposing of 30 years of paperwork it's much nicer to take a carload of boxes and let them shred them!

scanning is the way to go
by: Vicki

I keep a portable hard drive where I save scans of all important papers. No need to save the actual paper unless it's an original document (deed, car title, etc.)

Purge regularly
by: Yvonne

One file cabinet, go through it once per year. Paperless billing and pay bills online, best way to cut down in paper and save in postage. :0)

I'm bad about not filing what I keep
by: Alivia

I'm HORRIBLE with paper! I want to ban it from my house! I just leave them in a few piles stacked (try anyway). Another problem I have though is after I go through all of it and throw out the trash I leave them in a pile to go put in my filing cabinet and it doesn't seem to make it there. I'm going to check out the links that are on here. And try to follow others' advice. I'm so sick of clutter!!

I found some really old papers!
by: Janie

I just found medical bills when my daughter was born. (She turned 17 last month).

F.A.T. It
by: Gerald

Start at the beginning; when it comes in only handle it once.
F.A.T. it: File, Act, or Trash it.

scan everything
by: Stephanie

I went through Hurricane Katrina. So, since then I scan everything (fujitsu is the best!!) and save to my computer and backup to the cloud.

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