First Steps to Organized Paper

Once you create systems for your paperwork you will be less overwhelmed and feel more in control of your day to day schedule.

This post includes affiliate links.

Guest post by Lisa of Organize365

Kitchen paper. Bills. Taxes. School work. Coupons.

Are you sweating? Did your blood pressure just go up?

I know, I’ve been there. Organizing paper is one of the toughest assignments I am handed as a professional in-home organizer. Second only to car organization it is the most requested and read blog post topic I write.


1. Everyone’s paper is different.

2. You think that if you can work through the whole pile you can “maintain” the pile in the future.

3. No one knows where to start. It’s SO overwhelming!

I want to reduce your stress, give you some quick ideas to implement TODAY and some resources for tomorrow.

Organize 365

My name is Lisa Woodruff and I am a professional organizer and blogger at Organize 365 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Humbled Homemaker and I “met” during the Ultimate Homemakers eBook Bundle sale in the spring.

Maybe you bought that bundle and already have my eBook, 10 Steps to Organizing Paper (affiliate link).

Well, I am here to motivate you to slide open your eBook and get your paper organized once and for all!

Everyone’s paper is different.

This is true, however, there are enough commonalities that we can get started. This school year I am leading my readers through organizing their WHOLE house in 40 weeks. We are starting with kitchen paper.

We are starting in the kitchen because it is the hub of the house. One loose paper becomes a mountain just like one unwashed glass becomes a sink full of dishes. Both must be maintained.

paper organization tote

My #1 tip for getting your kitchen paper under control is to re-purpose or buy a file tote for the kitchen counter.

Some common files to include in that system are: coupons, bills, kids, taxes, medical, recipes, projects and schedules.

Here is a post I wrote about how to set up a kitchen counter filing system.

You think that if you can work through the whole pile you can “maintain” the pile in the future.

I fall prey to this one All. The. Time! I set out to “get it all done.” Sometimes I even succeed for a day or two. And then low and behold I am surrounded by slips of paper, post-it notes, and scribbled reminders everywhere.


Most recently I started organizing my to do list with post it-tabs. In the past I have organized a SUPER to do list using colored pieces of paper.

Related to this “to do list fiasco” is dealing with the daily onslaught of mail. I have really become disciplined in how I process mail around here. When we got back from a vacation I snapped a few photos and wrote out step by step how I will be organizing my mail.

No one knows where to start. It’s SO overwhelming!

The first step is always the hardest isn’t it? As homemakers and women we do not usually have long uninterrupted blocks of time to work on projects.

Think back to when you had your first child. Likely you had to reorder your schedule and create systems to make your household function.

Do you have two or more children? Each additional child and stage requires additional adjustment and reorganization of your space and days.

One good bout of the flu and our home spirals out of control. It takes awhile to get the laundry caught back up and the kitchen clean again. But I can do it, because I have a system that works once I get caught up.

40 Weeks 1 WHOLE house

The same is true for your paper. In order to feel less overwhelmed, you need systems. You can follow along over the course of this school year as I help you create systems to organize 40 areas of your home starting with your kitchen office.

Maybe you just want to tackle your paper. Then read my eBook you received when you bought the bundle or buy it here (affiliate link).

Is the idea of files on your kitchen counter new to you? You can check out the tote I use and get a 10% off discount code here.

sophisticated file tote

You can do it! Once you create systems for your paperwork you will be less overwhelmed and feel more in control of your day to day schedule.

Which area of your home is the biggest organizational disaster? What are your organizing goals for this school year?

This post includes affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

CROPPED-lisawoodruff color picmonkeyLisa Woodruff shares her organizational tips, her entrepreneurial spirit and humor to encourage other moms on her blog,”Helping you organize your home and your home based business.” She has published multiple books, including 10 Steps to Organized Paper and Organizing the Business of Direct Sales.

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat


  1. Teressa says

    Best advise I ever got, touch it once and don’t touch it until your ready to touch it once, backpacks, the mail, coupons. Touch it once, and put it where it needs to be, if it’s trash, round file it now. Remember your only going to touch it once so decide now. Happy touching!

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