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.