Kickstart to Clutter Free: Day 1 – Paper!

Here we go! I’m so excited to be doing Kathi Lipp’s Kickstart to Clutter Free e-course! Day 1 was paper. The assignment was to get rid of 100 pieces of paper.

Kathi thought this might be a hard one for people. Not me!!! Do you know why? Because I have gobs and gobs of paper clutter!

I am really really good at collecting and keeping paper that I don’t need!

Here’s a before picture of my “desk”:

paper clutter


I decided to go for a section where I mainly keep the kids’ school related papers, because I knew that most of them could be recycled. I grabbed a huge stack and started going through them quickly.

For this class, each decision counts as an item. So a stapled pack of papers would count as one if you just need to basically look at the top piece and decide, but one piece of paper can also count as one. I had both situations here.

To help me keep track, I grouped the papers I was getting rid of in stacks of 10. I am so distracted, I knew I would lose count if I tried to count all the way to 100 at once.

Here are the papers I recycled. There are actually 310 here! Yippee!

kids school papers

This is the stack of papers I am keeping:

keep papers

And believe it or not, I actually put these papers where they needed to go!

This “Stay at Home” tray is now cleaned out!

Paper tray for school papers

Here’s the “after” picture of the “desk”:

Some papers gone


Okay, so there’s lots more to do here, but 310 papers out the door is a great start!

If you are interested in taking the e-course, you can sign up here. It’s not too late! You can start anytime. You can read more of my thoughts about it here.

Have you decluttered any paper lately?

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Filed under Before and After, Declutter, Paper Clutter

15 Responses to Kickstart to Clutter Free: Day 1 – Paper!

  1. Sarah

    Congratulations on your success! How wonderful! A good start like that is encouraging. I’m doing a decluttering checklist again this year. Last year I managed to let go of well over two thousand things, but we still have way too much. So far this year I have checked off over one hundred fifty boxes, mostly on day one. I’m setting goals for different areas, and hoping to have things mostly in order before we move this summer.

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks for the encouragement, Sarah! And 150 boxes checked off is an awesome start to the year, so congrats to you, too!

  2. Yay!!!! You are doing awesome. Keep it up!

  3. Cattis

    Hi Elizabeth! I haven’t gone through My papers, but your last post got me inspired to start decluttering again! I’m Done with My hallway closet and about half of My kitchen (I did the Easy parts first 🙂 maybe I should go for paper next… Looking forward to your next blog post

    • Elizabeth

      I love it, Cattis! Sometimes doing the easy parts first gives us the momentum we need to keep going!

      • Cattis

        I’m happy to report 🙂 that I did sort through my papers this weekend and even though I have a system for getting rid of paper right away I was shocked when I saw how much I could get rid of! I feel happy and eager to get started on the next area unless IT is My closet witch I ain’t going sort 😉

        • Elizabeth

          Thank you for sharing your report! 😀 The next area is the bedroom, which I think would include the closet! Uh oh!

          I was literally on my way upstairs to work on it on Thursday when I got a call from school that my daughter was sick. So that has thrown me off. My son got it, too. I’m hoping it stops there!

  4. Hello Elizabeth, it’s great to have you back!
    Since we’re just two people here, and since we are in Germany, we do have a lot less paper clutter (no kids’ school papers, most monthly payments are handled by bank without further papermade notifications etc). Anyhow, it’s enough to make me let it slide until it becomes too much.
    What I do is this: I set 15 minutes aside each week to sort through and to put it away. I had my insurance counselor and then my tax accountant over one day to help me create a useful filing system, and now everything has it’s place, which has done loads for me. They also told me in detail what to keep for how long, so that every January I can burn one file of bank statements completely. Of course, this also works for most other kinds of paper work.
    Since I am a teacher, sometimes my kids make something for me (cards, letters, something handcrafted). When I take these gifts home, I take a pic of it and discard it instantly. Maybe this could help you, too?

  5. Congratulations!

    I am preparing for a big move, so I actually decluttered a stack of papers last week. I didn’t count the pieces but it was a good pile. I have been been slowly decluttering for about 6 months and have kept a list of the bigger items I’ve decluttered/recycled. I’m currently at abou 210 items.

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Melissa! Wow! 210 bigger items plus a good pile of papers rocks! I need to get moving! We all ended up with a stomach bug (so sad), so I have been out of it the last several days, but everyone is feeling much better now and I will be moving on to the bedroom to see what I can find there.

  6. Abigail

    Paper clutter is so constant it’s easy to get discouraged. I do like the idea of a regularly scheduled clean plan. But would I ever do it consistently?

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