More Magic of Tidying Up ~ Papers

The magic of tidying up continues! 

I've been working through the KonMari Method, the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo. Last month, I wrote about  sorting and tidying my clothes . I then continued with books, and also helped my husband sort through his clothes.  You can click on the highlighted links to read about my experiences. In the last post, I had just started a little bit with papers in my desk. 

Papers include bills, old files, school papers, newspaper or magazine clippings, etc... All the paper we "save" that accumulates so easily. It does not include friendly letters, journals, or any sentimental papers. 

As Marie Kondo mentions in her book, papers can be found in different parts of our homes. I found that to be very true. I started first with my desk, as I mentioned in a previous post.  

The next area that receives a lot of paper is a corner of my bedroom. Our small filing cabinet is next to my night table and this has been a cluttered area since we moved in. I applied the tidying method but first I had to put away some of the things that didn't belong in this space! 

All papers were put on the bed and I sorted everything. It was pretty ridiculous to see what I found. So many papers that could have been recycled right away after reading them. After tidying, I ended up moving the filing cabinet to our closet, since there was space there after all our tidying of clothes! 

Papers are either recycled or saved. Marie Kondo explains that her basic principle is to throw all papers away. The papers that can't be thrown away can be sorted in 3 categories: currently using, needed for a limited period of time, or to be kept forever. 

There are papers that I wasn't sure were fine to recycle. I searched online for some guidelines as to how long certain papers needed to be kept in Canada. I found several places online that listed this information. A quick google search will bring you to several lists online, for wherever you live. 

After tidying the little corner in my bedroom, I did a quick tidying of the kitchen junk drawer. This little space was filled and contained a lot of paper, such as take out menus, receipts, business cards, etc..

It also had a lot of things that did not belong in a kitchen. Once I cleared out what was not needed and put away things in their right places, the drawer was tidy and only housed a few things! 

A lot of our papers can be found in bins in the basement. I decided to tackle this large portion of papers earlier today. I brought upstairs two bins that contained old files as well as old homeschool papers. 

There were two dark blue file boxes with old bills, statements and home related papers. One small bin was filled with papers I had several years ago for an at-home business. Four larger bins were filled with homeschool papers, one for each child plus one for projects we did together. 

By homeschool papers, I mean old school work, loose papers, notebooks, workbooks, projects, art, lapbooks, etc...not curriculum that can be re-used or textbooks. 

This was a big job! I remembered about half way through to take a quick photo of the progress. My family room floor was covered with papers. I took several trips to my recycle bin to dump loads of paper! 

I started with the home papers and from that sorting I am now left with about one quarter of one box. I will follow Marie Kondo's advice and put these papers with the rest of our home files in our closet. 

The boxes after tidying still have the hanging files but almost all are empty! I will be able to pull out these papers and add them to our filing cabinet. 

The homeschool papers I thought were going to be difficult but once I started, they were easy, just time consuming. It was actually really nice to see all these again, remembering the fun moments learning together and also the frustrating moments with certain curriculum! We have learned a lot over the years. 

Once I sorted through all our homeschool boxes, I divided what was left into only a few small piles. There was one pile of a few workbooks that could be used again by either Celeste, sold or donated. Three small piles for each of my kids with work they did that I think they would like to keep. 

There was also a small pile with all the lapbooks we have done over the years, another with unit studies and special projects, and a last pile with my records. 

I have several empty bins now! I used the shallow clear bin to store my kids' work I wanted to keep. The white bin in the photo above is over filled with papers for the recycling and shredder. The rest are empty! 

Paper was a tidying job that seemed overwhelming at first, but ended up being very do-able and rewarding! It took some time, about an afternoon for me, but once I got going, I was able to stay focused and tidy up a lot! 


  1. Your tidying up posts are very inspiring. I'm really curious to check out the book and make some changes in our household. Thank you so much for sharing your progress.

  2. wow, after seeing your progress (awesome by the way) I'm interested in that book. I'm constantly trying to make things more simple but with my tendencies towards bringing home rocks, feathers, shells and you know stuff. Plus I'm so sentimental and I just want to hold on to things but this seems to go deeper. I can imagine also I'm holding on to silly papers I don't really need.


Post a Comment