How to Organize Papers & Documents at Home (Part 1 of 10 Paper Clutter Series)


Hi, everyone. I’m Alejandra from alejandra.tv and in this
video series, I’m going to be sharing with you how to organize all of your papers at
home. So we’re going to be talking about binders,
files, your most important files, sentimental papers, taxes, mail, papers to scan, any open
project papers, information you want to remember, and any articles that you have pulled out
of magazines to one day read. We’re talking about all of these things, how
to organize them so you can find them, you can stay on top of them, and most importantly,
you can focus on what matters most. But first, if you have stacks of paperwork,
you have piles of paper, documents are accumulating throughout all of the horizontal surfaces
at home and you feel overwhelmed and you’re procrastinating the task of going through
and decluttering and you can benefit from support, there is a link below to help you,
to guide you, and to give you any accountability that you may need so you can actually de-clutter,
let go, and get organized. Because it’s always easier to get organized
if you’ve first decluttered and gotten rid of all of the noise and made space for the
things that do matter. Okay, so the first tip is to declutter and
make space. And I know you’ve probably heard this a million
times, but you really have to make space if you want to begin setting up your organizing
system. So, if you have stacks of papers, piles of
papers on all kinds of horizontal surfaces, the best thing you can do is do a little bit
at a time. So, if you think about it, all of your papers
didn’t come in overnight. They took months, years, decades to come in. So the same way they came in as the same way
that they’re going to go out, although it’s not going to take you decades, but just do
a little bit at a time. For example, take one file folder. Maybe you have to leave your office because
there’s so much going on and you can’t focus, take it to the kitchen table or take it somewhere
else. Go through the files, figure out what can
be destroyed, which is shredded, figured out what can be recycled and just do one file
folder at a time and eventually you will make progress, eventually you will make space,
and it will be a lot easier to begin setting up your organizing systems. Okay, so the second tip is, you’ve probably
heard this a million times, but to give all of your pieces of paper a home. So it doesn’t have to be a fancy home, you
just have to have a place to put every single type of document that you have. And once you declutter and you’re left with
just the things that you need, it’s going to be a lot easier because there’s going to
be less papers to go through. So even a simple box like this that you labeled
the front Tax Documents for 2020, so now you have a place to put all of your tax documents
for 2020, can save you time and energy when it comes to looking for these documents. So give everything a home. It doesn’t have to be fancy. All it has to be is functional. Tip three is once you go through all of your
papers and you declutter, you let go, and you’re just left with the papers that you
need, then you’ll realize that all these papers fit into two categories. The first category are active papers. So active papers are things that require action
that you’re going to use like you’re using right now or in the immediate future. It could be open project papers, information
to remember, something that you want to hang up because it’s some kind of reminder or an
important note for yourself. So all these things are active papers and
you want to keep your active papers nice and visible within reach. If you identify as being an out of sight,
out of mind person, keep them open on surfaces so you are reminded to see the papers and
consume the information. The second category of papers are inactive
papers. So inactive papers are papers that you don’t
need right now, but there’s a good chance that you’re going to need them in the distant
future. So this is reference materials, any kind of
records, medical, financial, pet records, home, car records, all these things. Keep these things behind closet doors, keep
them in drawers, keep them out of sight, but keep them accessible, just not in prime real
estate. Okay, so tip number four is to take all of
your incoming papers, so any incoming mail, documents you bring home from work, from school,
any bulletins, brochures, literature you bring home from church activities, any other extracurricular
activities, as soon as you get home, take your stack of papers and you’re going to sort
them into recycle, trash, and shred. So you don’t have to take action on the things
they were holding onto but you just need to eliminate the things that you don’t need. Because once you get rid of these things,
you never have to look at them, you never have to shuffle them ever again, and it’s
going to make your life a lot easier. So I have this stack right here I’m just going
to quickly go through. Okay, I need to hold onto that. I don’t need this receipt. Receipts can not be recycled because of the
paper, so that goes in the garbage. This, I need to hold on to. This I want to read. This is action. This is action. These two are action. Okay, this is shred. Get rid of that. The envelope has my address so I’ll show the
envelope. This is a coupon. I don’t need that. Recycle. Recycle. Not going to read that. Not going to read that. A coupon that I’m not going to use can be
recycled as well. A credit card offer. I can shred that as well, and it has my address
on the envelope so I will shred the envelope as well. So I’ve eliminated about half the stack. I never have to deal with those papers ever
again. Now I can take all of the papers that I need
to open, to read, to pay, take this, bring it to my mail center or wherever you take
action, that could be in your kitchen, your office, a desk, anywhere in your house, and
then take action whenever it becomes a priority for you. But the biggest thing is to weed out anything
you don’t need right away or soon after when you get home. Tip five is to always be leaving notes for
yourself. So, anytime you have some kind of active paper
or really just any paper and there’s something that you want to remember so when you come
back to the document, you have clarity, you can eliminate the confusion, and just take
immediate action. So, for example, if there is a task that you
are responsible to get done once a month or once a year, and because it’s not every day,
chances are you may forget, take a sticky note to write yourself instructions on whatever
the task is so when its time comes, you have clarity on what needs to get done and you
don’t have to waste your time and your energy to recall all of those thoughts on how to
do a certain task. Another example is if you have a problem with
a bill or something and you need to call a company and you speak with someone and they
give you a confirmation number and they give you the amount you’re getting refunded for,
write yourself a note. When you check your account in a week or something,
you have your notes to fall back on if there is still an issue or if there’s some kind
of information that you still need to remember. Or another example is if you have a lot of
receipts and you went out and bought a gift for someone and you want to find the receipt
again because they want to exchange the gift, write down at the top of the receipt, Ed’s
birthday gift, or something like that, so when you are shuffling through all those receipts,
the one that you may need will just stand out amongst all of the other ones. So those are my top five paper organizing
tips. Again, if you have stacks of papers or piles
of documents and they are accumulating on surfaces and you’re having a hard time getting
started going through the paperwork, there is a link below if you need support and accountability
to begin your project. Thank you for watching and I will see you
in another video. Take care. Bye bye.

100 thoughts on “How to Organize Papers & Documents at Home (Part 1 of 10 Paper Clutter Series)

  1. ALEJANDRA!! Where have you been?! It's so great to see you again! I hope you've been doing well.
    Your office makes me happy — it looks crisp and clean and is so neat and organized.
    Paperwork is my nemesis…. I hate it so much and it's never ending. I'm really looking forward to this series! Thank you so much!

  2. Can someone recommend a free or inexpensive method of storing digital photos and video? Most of my stuff is on SD cards and I want to back them up. Are SD cards a stable method for long-term storage? Or do I need to invest in an external hard drive? Would storing them in the cloud be safer and if so, what is the least expensive? I'm reading conflicting info online about this topic. 🙁

  3. You have inspired me so much to keep my house organized!! Thank you 🙏😊. Wishing you a wonderful and happy new year.

  4. Such a wonderful surprise in my subscription feed 🙂 Welcome back!!! I have loved all your videos for years 🙂

  5. It’s worth the wait!!! Welcome back!!!You were definitely missed. Has anyone else noticed her cute doggy in the chair? At first I thought it was a stuffed animal.

  6. Your fans have really missed you! I still use organizational systems and your tips from two years ago. So glad you are back!

  7. OMG! I so missed your content! So happy to see you post today! Definitely looking forward to more! Thank you for sharing your expertise! 2020 just wouldn't be the same without you!

  8. Woohoo! So happy you're back! You're videos are so incredibly helpful!
    Unfortunately I found you in the middle of your hiatus, so I could only re-watch your old videos over and over again haha.
    So excited for the new content <3

  9. So happy your back! I enjoy watching all of your videos! Your office looks nice and orderly…thank you for your inspiration.

  10. So happy to see you back!!! I was thinking of you the other day and watch one of your first videos you made. It was the one about packing your beach bag. Lol… you have come a long way and worked hard at it! You were my first YouTuber I ever watch many many years ago. You have no idea how much inspiration and help you gave me and I still use some of your organizing tips. I hope someday I can meet you and thank you in person. Hope to see more of you here on YouTube in 2020! 😃

  11. So glad your back! could u do a daycare organisation and diy and what info to keep in a binder for it would help so much xxx

  12. She’s BAAAAAACK!!!!!! I’ve never clicked on a video faster than this. I needed this series sooooo badly. Papers is my weak point in the home. It’s so hard for me to let go of them… I need all ten videos out like yesterday! So glad you are back… THANK YOU!!!!!

  13. I keenly look forward to watching her videos. So good to c ya Alejandra after such a long wait..thx for the helpful tips… I have the most problem organizing my children's paperwork is their books , test papers, notices artwork .. etc.

  14. Paperwork is definitely my downfall. It's gotten better though, love your tips! "But" the things you put in your Recycle sounded like things that would have your address on it. Do you cut that part off and shred?

  15. Welcome home. I missed you. You picked the most perfect topic to start back with. I'm working on my paper monster this week, and probably will all year!

  16. Receipts .. if they are really important, for warranty purposes, photocopy them, as they can fade pretty quickly to a blank slip! .. ask me how I know? lol

  17. Oh wow, you were the first person I watched on you tube that got me crazy mad on organising and it changed my life! So happy to have you back!!! 😃😃😃xxx

  18. I had storage bins of paperwork. I literally did 1 to 2 inches of paper a day. In about 3 weeks I would say I was able to go through it all and got rid of about 85% of all my paper clutter.

  19. Yesssssss…… Finally my gal is back…….😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘…… Finally I can get back to getting organised…… Happy new year big sis…..

  20. You came at perfect timing, I was like what happened to my home girl, years ago when I first was on my organization journey, (before Marie Condo) but I fell off and I’m tryna get back on track, moving forward in year 2020, between physical, mental, spiritual organization and decluttering. So when I saw this I was like this is god sent especially since yesterday I literally just watched your video again! for the first time since years ago when you first posted about paper decluttering, especially at this time in my life between trying to mange work, school, relationships…etc (I’m talking a lot sorry for that I just had to let it out)

  21. great to see you back alejandra! Your organising ideas are amazing. You're so perfect though, sometimes I feel inadequate. I do love one particular video of yours on kitchen cupboard organisation where you have all the tea bags in the drawer. I love that. I do feel so overwhelmed with my own home though. Great to have you back! I had notifications switched on in case you ever did!

  22. Hi im new here… mother of twin boys from philippines and i really love your videos from the start! I wanted to finish all your videos… very inspiring! Im one of your fan now! I will watch your videos from gmail step by step..

  23. YAY! I'm so glad you're back! I've been re-watching prior videos over and over and over and over and…. 🙂 Thank you!

  24. ALEJANDRAAAAAA!!! I was soooooooo excited to see this, and immediately checked the date to see if this was a NEW video! This is the thing I struggle with most, and you are the BEST person to help with this! Your tips are genius. Thank you so much for devoting your time to this topic for your 1st comeback series. I appreciate it so much! ❤

  25. Need those other 9 episodes ASAP! Talk about decades…I found telephone bills from 2004 that my mother has been keeping in a filing cabinet!

  26. Hi there lovely Alejandra 🤗. Just wanted to say I really liked this video on sorting papers. Thank u for sharing! 💗

  27. I am so happy you are back Alejandra. you are such an inspiration to me, not only because you changed my life and turned me into an organised person, but also (mostly) because you (and Ed too) are obviously such a good kind person who cares about others and our environment, always advocating for less consumption and more sustainable ways of living. I wish i knew you in person.

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