L.A. organizers give tips to tackle paper clutter

L.A. organizers give tips to tackle paper clutter

I try to keep my home office organized, but I still have papers — articles, recipes and important mail — laying around in three different rooms. What can I do? — Kathy Sain

Paper is many people's No. 1 organizational problem, says Pamela Morency, owner of highly rated Creating Clarity in Glendale. "We deal with paper every day of our lives," she says. "It's almost impossible to become completely paperless."

To taper down the paper tower, Morency suggests having a designated inbox for mail and other papers that make their way into your home. "Make sure your inbox is by a recycling bin and a shredder," she says. "That will allow you to immediately get rid of junk mail and envelopes."

Nonnahs Driskill, owner of highly rated Get Organized Already in Los Angeles, says once you've weeded out the junk, the paperwork you plan to keep should be given an expiration date before being filed. "There should be a limit to how many articles or recipes you keep," she says. "If, after a few weeks, you haven't read it or bought the ingredients to make the dish, throw it away!"

Both Driskill and Morency say there's no one-size-fits-all organizational system, so a professional organizer can help create a tailored paper-management plan. "A good organizer will put customized systems into place," Morency says. She estimates Los Angeles-area professional organizers typically charge between $50 and $175 per hour.

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