How to Declutter your Papers the Konmari Way | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

How to Declutter your Papers the Konmari Way | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Welcome everyone to day three of our Seven Day Konmari Declutter Challenge!

If you haven’t been following along to the challenge, let’s get you caught up.

Decluttering your space is easiest when tackled by categories, organized in order of easiest items to discard, to hardest, like sentimental things. This is why the Konmari Method was developed. Marie Kondo, a Japanese Decluttering Consultant, is an expert of her work, helping hoarders to declutter things they could previously never part with and in turn shift their lives around because as they let go of their unwanted items, they simultaneously seem to let go of their unwanted thoughts, release negative people, and shake bad habits as well.

In the book she wrote “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” she walks the reader through the same process she walks her clients through. The method is more deeply illustrated in my previous article How to Declutter the Konmari Way | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo but, in short she guides the reader to start with the one category, take all the items from that category out from anywhere in the home and place it out so you can see the mass of all the items you have in that category, then to hold each object and see if it sparks any joy to you. Going with your intuition, you will discard anything that doesn’t spark joy! For whatever reason, regardless of any excuse, it has to go.

This is the third category we are addressing now, so if you missed the first of the series go ahead and click here to tackle that one. If you’re all caught up to speed, let begin with category three.


Papers include but are not limited to:

  • Insurance policies
  • Bank statements
  • Coupons
  • Business cards
  • Bank account information
  • Mail
  • School papers (tests, lecture notes, event information, project instructions, ect.)
  • Announcements and flyers
  • Brochures
  • Advertisements of any kind
  • Taxes
  • Files
  • Receipts
  • Warranties
  • Owner manuals
  • Greeting cards (non sentimental)
  • Checkbooks
  • Recipes

It is important not to include any notes or papers that are sentimental in any way in this category, according to Marie Kondo.

After you read through the document to see if it’s actually necessary to keep, I find it helpful to arrange into three piles, one to shred, one to recycle immediately, and one to keep.

This process can be daunting but papers are pretty annoying to hold on to, and I promise you don’t actually need 75 percent of what you have.

Once you get your papers into those three helpful piles, take the keep pile and create another two piles out of it. One is anything that can be scanned and saved into a Cloud Drive, and the other are hard files that may need to be kept in their physical form like your passport, birth certificate, and any business licenses.

Pretty much everything else can be scanned. Think of how much space you will be saving after everything is digitized and organized in files somewhere so safe that even if your house caught fire and your computer was destroyed, you can recover it.

That is the beauty of Cloud storage. Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, and ICloud are excellent options that don’t charge anything when you stay within a certain amount of storage.

I have minimized my files dramatically, and now can easily access what I need when I need it. I’ve gotten rid of lecture notes I literally never study, and taken photos of what I may reference and saved that into a note on my IPhone.

I’ve also completely gotten rid of any business cards other than my own by snapping a photo and saving them to another note within my phone for quick easy access anytime I may need that contact information.

Marie Kondo also mentions that you should always store whatever papers are left vertically so that you can see clearly how much you have accumulated, and when it may be time to discard again. Of course, discarding as you go is key to staying tidy.

Like I mentioned in previous articles of this challenge, remember not to organize so much just yet, just focus on the discarding. Day seven of this challenge will be involved with organizing the Konmari way.

We are almost completely decluttered but we have four more challenges full of discarding and organizing to go!

Until then, take a breath in knowing that your important papers are accessible to you, and you don’t have a stack of mail to be attended to either.

If your ready, take on the next challenge by clicking here!

Thanks for reading,


Add Yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s