KonMari on Paper Sorting


Marie Kondo's basic principle on paper is to throw it all away haha but she admits some papers need to be saved.

Keep things that fall into these 3 categories:

  1. Currently in use

  2. Needed for a limited period

  3. Must be kept indefinitely

**This does NOT include sentimental papers**

Of these 3 categories, divide them into two categories

  1. Papers to be saved

  2. Papers that need to be dealt with (bills to be paid, forms to be submitted, letter you need to reply to etc)

Keep all such papers in ONE SPOT ONLY! Never let them spread to other parts of the house.

She recommends a vertical organizer.

All items that require attention can be put in here without separating them.

As for papers that must be saved, these should be subdivide according to frequency of use. They fall into two categories:

  1. Frequently used

  2. Infrequently used (insurance policies, guarantees, leases, etc)

Infrequently used papers she recommends putting into a single ordinary clear plastic folder without further categorization.

She feels you only need 3 folders, one for each category and should not subdivide any further. When I first read that, I hated the idea and it made my skin crawl, I love subcategorize. She does have a point though. This method will force you to go through each folder periodically in search of one item; but as you do, you will see the other papers in the folder and can reevaluate if you still need them. Papers that are out of sight are easy to forget about.

“What if, for example, they need the contents of a document that they disposed of earlier? First, because they have already pared down the amount of documents they own, they can quickly confirm that they do not have it, without having to search all over. The fact that they do not need to search is actually an invaluable stress reliever. One of the reasons clutter eats away at us is because we have to search for something just to find whether it is even there”

You will also know exactly where to go for a certain item and if it is not there you will know you do not have it.

Paper organizing has been known to spark dread in my clients. Marie recognizes that your papers will never really spark joy but they are a necessary evil. Down size them as much as possible so they take up less space and require less energy.

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