home office

National Clean Off Your Desk Day

National “Clean Off You Desk Day” is observed the second Monday of January. If you desk is always a mess then today is a good time to start a new habit to keep you desk clean everyday of the year.

So how do you create this new habit? One babystep at a time!

A good way is to take a timer and set it for 5-10 minutes at the end of the day (if you work there all day) or at the end of your bill paying/paperwork time.

File away the papers you have completed. Put the unfinished papers in a folder with current paperwork tasks. Keep that folder on a shelf, basket, or in a file drawer at your desk. Your goal is to have the desk as cleaned off as possible for the next morning.

A cleared off desk first thing in the morning will help put you in a brighter mood instead of feeling overwhelmed. Because you put the unfinished tasks in a folder you know exactly where to start working. No more digging through piles of paper to find what needs to be done.

Habits take time to develop but with babysteps you can have that cleaned off desk almost everyday.

If your your desk is piled high with papers you’ll want to read the article on “How to Divide and Conquer Paper Clutter” first. It will help you organize those papers so you can put them where they belong.

If your whole office is a mess then consider organizing it in zones.  This is also a way to help keep the desk cleaned off. Having a permanent home for the different papers will make it easier to put them away.

The article, “How To Organize Your Home Office” will show you how to organize with zones.


To a lighter load along the way.


CutClutterWithScissors Facebook Page


Home Office Desk Paper Clutter

It seems like the home office desk is the dumping ground for papers of every kind. We know if we put it on the desk we will eventually take care of it, plus there is less chance of losing the paper or bill. The problem comes in with trying to keep it organized with the constant influx of papers.


When the desk is piled high it is hard to work efficiently there. It is easy to miss paying a bill because it’s lost in the mountain of paper on the desk. Permission slips for your children’s school don’t get turned in on time. You lose out on refunds because they expire before you get them filed.

With the holiday’s coming up you want to make sure your finances are in order before you set your budget for holiday shopping. Take some time now to declutter your desk so you can take care of your bills and other important papers. If you send out holiday greeting cards and you use your desk to make your list, gather your addresses, and write out your cards, then you will want to get it cleaned off. It will be hard to get them out in time otherwise.

My weekly newsletter is currently giving a 6 step plan to simplify the writing and sending out holiday greeting cards. You can sign up here to start receiving these free weekly newsletters.

I wrote any article on eHow about how to “Divide and Conquer” paper clutter. Check it out for a step by step process to helping you get control of you home office desk.

Halloween is just over a week away. If you haven’t bought my eBook yet, it’s not to late to benefit from all the tips on safety, decorating, and storage of your Halloween decorations and costumes. Get it here: How To Have A Fun, Safe, And Decluttered Halloween.




How to Declutter the Junk Mail

When I opened my mail box today there was one lonely envelope in there. A sad feeling came over me for a second. Then I remembered this is a good thing! In the past I use to get all kinds of junk mail, catalogs, bills, and lots of magazines. Now it is reduced down to a few pieces of junk mail occasionally, a few bills, and a couple of magazines that actually get read.

I use to love getting a full mailbox because it made me feel like I was important enough for people to send me mail. But most of the mail was just trying to get me to buy their product or service. They weren’t giving me anything, they wanted something from me. Then there was the fact that it took so much time to go through that pile of mail to find the few pieces that really were important.

If you feel this way then it’s time to take the steps necessary to reduce most of the unimportant mail. The sites below will help get your name off the lists that fills your mailbox with mail you don’t want. It can take several months before you see a big difference so now is a good time to start.

To reduce general junk mail:   DMAchoice.org

To reduce unsolicited catalogs:   Catalogchoice.org

To reduce the credit card and insurance offers: Optoutprescreen.com


To a lighter load along the way


P.S. For more support on getting control of your paper clutter, please join the free Facebook group “Controlling Your Paper Clutter Support Group”.



How To Make Room in Your File Drawer

This week I went through several files in my file drawer. Here is the pile of papers I decluttered from the draw and put in the recycling bin. It measured over 3 inches. There’s a lot more room in the drawer now!


Below is this weeks’ newsletter on how I went about decluttering the files that contained warranties, instruction manuals, and other papers on products I own. This project is easy to do while watching TV. Doing a little each night will make a big difference before you know it.

Decluttering Tip Newsletter – Paper Clutter (stuffed file drawers)
Volume 2, Issue 28
July 28, 2009

I’ve been working on my ebook on paper clutter. It should be ready for purchase mid to late August. While doing the research I come across many ideas to help control the paper clutter. One of the main questions that keeps coming up is how to declutter all the papers we store in our file drawers or boxes. If your storage drawers are anything like mine then they may be stuffed to the gills. It is time to declutter them.

I figure I have to walk the walk to be able to help you with the best tips. I decided to start with the file folders containing all the warranties, instructions manuals, and other papers for all the products I own. With separate files for kitchen appliances, outdoor/lawn equipment, small household appliances, toys/game instructions, TV & stereo equipment, and small personal appliances, it took a few days to get through all of them.

I now have a pile of papers almost 3 inches thick to go into the recycling bin. That has opened up a lot of room in my file draw.


So how did I do it? It’s easy. I worked on the decluttering while watching TV in the evening. These kinds of papers don’t take a lot of concentration or big decision making. If you have been in the habit of filing all the papers that come with a product then you probably have a lot of papers you don’t need to keep.

Follow these steps to a less stuffed file drawer.

1. Tools you will need: scissors, stapler, and a staple puller is helpful if you have one.

2. Take one file folder that contains warranties and instruction manuals for products you own.

3. Pull out all the warranty cards that have never been filled out. I fill out warranties online for major purchases. Your original receipt with date of purchase is usually the only paper your need.

4. Pull out all papers for products you no longer own. If you haven’t gone through your files for a while you will probably find a few. I know I did.

5. Look at each instruction/owners manual. Most are in several languages, one part English, another part Spanish, and possibly more languages. Tear or cut out the languages you don’t use. This is were a staple puller comes in handy along with the scissors. Once you have separated the papers then staple the ones in the language you are keeping and recycle to rest.

6. If you want to eliminate even more papers you could just keep the information on the model you have and contact information. Most manuals can be found on the product’s website. Check first before you get rid of the information on how to use the product and the trouble shooting page. These are the main pages you may need at some point.

If you have any other ideas on how to declutter these kinds of papers please leave a comment.

Please feel free to forward this entire blog post to friends and family that may benefit from this tip.

Also, if you are going on vacation soon and are traveling by car with children you will want to check out my blog post : http://organizebythemonth.com/?p=236
I have a lot of websites listed for car travel games. Plan ahead to keep boredom from ruining your trip.

To a lighter load along the way.

Janice Scissors

Paper Clutter – Receipts

After I finish my taxes I work on getting my files in order for this next year. I have a file folder in my cabinet where I put most of my receipts. These can be for clothing, misc. household items, and most charge card receipts.

At this time of year I go through all those receipts from the previous year. It’s easy to do while watching TV in the evening. I only keep those that are for products that have a warranty or if there is a reason to know when an item was purchased. If there is a warranty card or instruction book for a product I will staple the receipt to it. If the item belongs in a specific folder such as “small household items”, or “TV’s, Stereos”, it’s put in there for easy retrieval.

All other receipts are kept in a manila file folder labeled for the year. They could also be kept in an envelope if you don’t have too many.

The ones I throw out or shred are for the athletic shoes that are already worn out or the receipts for the groceries and household products that are long used up. It’s an easy decision to throw away those receipts.

Janice S.