Are paper piles stressing you out? Try this from

During the course of preparing for the holidays (decorating, tidying up for guests or holiday parties, etc.) chances are that you’ll encounter a stack of paper that needs to be sorted through and dealt with. You might be tempted to stuff this paper into a bag to deal with later. But, if you’re like many people I’ve encountered over the years, “later” never really comes. Instead of stuffing and stashing, give this idea a try.

First, take your stack of paper and flip it over. When you do this, the oldest papers in the stack are now on the top of the pile. Chances are good that while the paper has aged in the stack, decisions that were once difficult are now much easier to make—allowing you to gain momentum and feel a sense of accomplishment right from the start. Coupons may have expired or you may have bought a different item and no longer need the coupon. Or a newer version of the magazines and catalogs may have arrived in the mail, making the older versions less valuable to you and therefore easier to let go of. You may find notices for events that have come and gone, making it super-simple to pitch the invite.

Turning the stack of paper over has another advantage. Many of the papers in the pile will now be facing downward. As you pull the top piece of paper off the pile to decide the appropriate action, you’ll be less distracted by the content of the next paper on the stack. This forces you to stay focused and make just one decision at a time—whether that is filing into a paper organizing system, taking action on the piece of paper, or tossing it and getting on with things!

A pile of paper is literally a pile of decisions to be made. Each piece of paper represents at least one decision. Should I file this? If so, how long should I keep it? How am I going to remember to do this?

If you have piles of paper that you need to address or if you struggle with the decision-making process, give my Organize Your Paper Clutter class a look. It will show you how to organize and file every piece of paper in your home using a simple, step-by-step process.

Happy organizing (and happy holidays!)


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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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