Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › How to Control the Paper Clutter in Your Small Space

In a small apartment, even the tiniest of items can create clutter — you know this if you have a paper problem. Whether you stash piles of receipts, stack your mail, or simply hoard all of your paper-based memories, you know just how much space a bit of paper can take up.

Take the following four ideas into consideration to ditch the clutter and make the most of your small apartment — paper and all.

Go Digital

If you find your filing cabinet overflowing with important documents — and you don’t have space to stack another drawer on top of your existing storage — then it might be time to consider going digital.

There are multiple places you can store your important documents on your computer or on the cloud so they’re safe, regardless of whether your computer crashes. Simply scan them into your computer, file them away and shred the sensitive documents once you’re done. Then, you can free up the space the documents and your filing system were taking up. Voila.

On top of that, try and have bills, catalogs, and other mailers sent to you via email. You’ll save paper as well as space. Plus, it’s way simpler to clear out your inbox with a click of a button — and way easier to unsubscribe from any type of mailer you don’t want, either.

Check Unwanted Mail at the Door

Chances are, the majority of the mail you receive is junk. Where do you keep the flyers, takeout menus and coupon booklets you’ll never use? If you’re putting them on your desk or otherwise letting them pile up, it’s time to sort your mail —and keep the habit going.

Make a point to go through your mail as soon as you collect it each day. Stand by the recycling bin as you evaluate your envelopes, tossing the paper you don’t need and sorting the bills, invites, and other important documents. This process will help you stay up to date on any required payments and keep your place clean, which is a total win-win.

If you can, set up bill payments to be automatically withdrawn. It will also cut down on the stress of trying to remember when bills are due and will clear up the clutter of having envelopes hang around till you have time to send out the bill. According to this money management infographic, by paying your typical monthly bills electronically you can save over $264 in stamps over five years.

Create a Command Center

Once you have the mail sorted, where do you put it? If you said, “In a pile on the counter, of course,” you need to take your organizational pursuits one step further. Creating a command center is a great way to get yourself organized, both in terms of paper and beyond.

Most command centers include baskets for mail, as well as a calendar to keep track of upcoming events and payments. By having the bills organized next to the calendar, you can take immediate action to pay them when it’s time, then toss the paper once the payment is made. On top of that, a calendar can help keep your upcoming events, family commitments, and everything else organized.

Take Notes in One Place

Finally, if you’re a post-it note or scrap paper note addict, it’s time to pick up a new habit. Rather than reaching for notepads and creating more important papers to keep track of, invest in a single notebook or whiteboard where you track your to-dos.

If you’re digitally inclined, you can forego the notebook altogether in favor of using your smartphone, since it’s likely your phone will always be by your side. There are several note apps like Evernote or even just the generic note or reminder applications that come pre-programmed on your phone. It’s just another way your phone can help you stay organized, save paper, and keep your apartment tidy.

Of course, these aren’t the only four ways to keep your apartment clutter-free. However, they are great places to start, and you’re sure to note a difference right away if you’re diligent about recycling, digitizing, and organizing. Once you get into the habit, your place will start working so much better for you —and it will start feeling a lot more like home and a lot less like a storage center for all that miscellaneous paper.

Organization doesn’t have to cost a fortune either, first time renters, and anyone who is money-savvy, can shop at the dollar store for so many home organization hacks!

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About :

James is a kombucha tea-sipping blogger who focuses on sustainable living and DIY project via his blog Homey Improvements. James is "Alaska Grown" but now resides in PA. He had a stint at a realtor and soon found he would rather be improving homes than selling them. His diverse background in home improvement, design and traveling gives him an unique perspective on homey living. Connect with him on Twitter at @DIYfolks.

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