5 Reasons You Fear Paper Clutter

July 19, 2023

Paper is the third of five signature clutter categories within the KonMari Method® and one of the most feared. The good news is, in my world, we embrace radical self care projects that are unglamorous, underrated, or uncomfortable, so we can learn and grow. So, let’s address five common reasons why paper sparks fear, dread, guilt, and even anger in your home and life.

Paper has a low joy factor

I don’t know anyone who gets excited about filing their insurance card, birth certificate or passport. Taxes aren’t really fun and manuals are usually pretty boring.

It’s really hard to associate joy with paper.

That’s because the joy often lies in how useful or accessible the paper is and the ease in which we manage it.

Paper clutter is EVERYWHERE

Paper is so thin and elusive. It finds friends and shows up in every room (even bathrooms and kitchens). So, the narrative or story becomes “it’s a big problem because it’s everywhere”

In reality, when my clients pull all of the paper in their home together from every room, cabinet, closet or drawer their reaction is almost always the same – “I thought I had way more than this” or “It’s not as bad as I thought.”

Paper represents unfinished business/deferred decisions

This pile tends to be the largest and evokes the most dread, guilt, or even shame.

Parking paper in a pile is a way to save it for later, which turns into too many tomorrows. Which is why I designed my FREE mini-series to move you from a place of absorbing tips on how to tidy up your paper to taking action.

You think the clutter will return and go back to being a mess

I address reasons why this simply isn’t true in Day 4 of my FREE mini-series when we talk about maintenance.

You don’t have a clear definition of what paper clutter is

So many of my clients stuff so many things that are technically made of paper, but not paper clutter into this category, unintentionally making it feel a lot more overwhelming than it needs be.

Here are some examples:

  • Blank greeting cards, stationary, journals, or notebooks – made of paper, but not paper clutter.
  • Photographs of any kind – made of paper, but not paper clutter.
  • Kids or adult’s artwork, journals with deep thoughts or creative projects, your honor roll merit certificate, or that news article you were featured in – made of paper, but not paper clutter.

As a reminder, there are five signature clutter categories in the KonMari Method®: Clothing, Books, Paper, Miscellaneous, Sentimental.

Anything thing that evokes feelings of tenderness, sadness or nostalgia should not be in the Paper clutter category. It’s should be in the Sentimental one. And anything that is an office supply should be considered Miscellaneous clutter.

How to move through fear and into action:

File cabinet next to the text "cut paper clutter for good"

If you’re looking for something to help you move through fear and into action when it comes to the paper in your home, join me in my Cut Paper Clutter FREE mini-series.

It will help you permanently declutter, organize and maintain a home that’s paper clutter free, for GOOD.

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