Clutter Clear Your Paper

Here are 3 simple ways to start that can be done in under an hour!

Are the paper piles taking over your space and your life?

Getting in control of your paper begins with clearing the clutter.

Start with your purse or wallet, the kitchen counter, or your desktop.

Marla Dee

If you were looking at your desk right now, would you be ready to work or overwhelmed by the chaos? What if you were looking at your kitchen counter? Are the paper piles taking over? For some mysterious reason, paper lands in every nook and cranny of our homes and offices.  You will find it on the kitchen table, the bedroom dresser, top of the washer, in the bathroom, piled high on desktops and all horizontal surfaces across the nation. Never before in mankind’s history have we had this much information coming at us. 

I want to offer some simple places to start since this project can feel huge. This starts you clearing without getting lost in the details. Keep in mind we will take you through SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT. PAPER next. Choose one of the following ideas, schedule the time, turn on music and dive in. Have boxes and bags on hand for goes elsewhere, shred, trash, and goes to someone else.


Set your timer for one hour and journey around your home or office gathering all the garbage paper such as old receipts, junk mail, out-dated papers, etc. Keep in mind that you are only going after the obvious and easy stuff. If you have to stop and think about it, then wait. You can also clear your purse or wallet. You are only doing one hour but you might be surprised and amused by how much goes away.


Gather all the paper on your kitchen counter and sort into 4 smaller piles labeled Read, Action, File or Toss (you will learn more about this later). Do I want to read it, take action on it, need to file it or just toss it? Move the read and actions piles to their own container and location, the filing to your file drawers and toss into shred  or trash. Lastly, find a beautiful container to live on the kitchen counter for the future incoming.


Follow the guidance given above for sorting into R.A.F.T. Keep in mind that you are only sorting and don’t get sidetracked by trying to take the actions involved with the paper. Also, you will most likely find many papers and items that don’t even belong on your desk. Take the time now to remove them. It is ok to have open space left as you do need an area to work off of.

When you are done, take some deep breaths and notice how different the area you worked with feels. It can be fun to take pictures of all the stuff leaving. Let yourself take in the change and celebrate what you have done. 

Now enjoy fixing food at your kitchen counter and actually working at your desk!

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Your Guide Marla Dee. 

I love teaching the Clear & Simple Way to live free of clutter and get organized at last.

iRAFT Your Paper

Are you drowning in a sea of paper pain?

Did you know you can handle all of your incoming paper in less than an hour a week?! We know paper comes at you from all directions and you think it’s impossible to ever manage it all. Behold… iRAFT©! We have created a system that simplifies all your interactions with the paper & information.

Marla Dee & Kate Fehr

EVERY piece of paper and information that comes into your life can be handled using the iRAFT© steps beginning with Incoming, where it lands into your life and space.

  • Incoming – every paper item that comes into your life
  • Read – magazines, articles, letters, cards
  • Act – requires you do something (make a call, pay a bill…)
  • File – file it quickly and be able to retrieve it easily
  • Toss – shred or recycle

*Please note that we recommend implementing this system and starting in present time. Once you are familiar with it and have every step in place, then go to the piles, filing drawers, etc. to clear out and clean up. Paper is its own beast and is very overwhelming. If you desire the help of an organizer, please connect with us.

Get iRAFT© For Your Paper in our free Paper Guide

INCOMING: In the same way that incoming emails land in the inbox, it is vital to create a container and spot for mail, thoughts, and information. The key elements when establishing a place for incoming communications are:

  • The location of the container needs to be close to the place of entry.
  • The container size needs to take into account the volume of information coming in.
  • The container should ideally be vertical with a large, open entry. If you use a horizontal container, select one that is open and comes with a lid.
  • The design of the container is important. Match the environment & personality of the user.
  • Process weekly into R.A.F.T.© – READ | ACTION | FILE | TOSS

READ: Choose a container for fast reading on the go, like a mesh folder in your briefcase, and a larger container/location for reading while you are sitting, both for personal and work. Keep the following in mind:

  • The right size of container is critical.
  • Location of the container is key. Put it where you will do the reading.
  • There is a difference between “quiet” and “active” reading.
  • There needs to be a system for when the reading happens.

ACTION: Everyone needs an action system for the communications that require action. Please keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • It is imperative to have a container for papers that need immediate attention, action, and decision.
  • The container for your action file should be visual, vertical, and easy to sort into and work out of.
  • Coupled with the container needs to be a system to address how often you will take action weekly.
  • Refer to the action system section below for details on these areas.

FILE: In this container place items that are ready to be filed as reference, storage or archive.

TOSS: It is so helpful to have recycle, shred and trash bins close to your processing area.

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Clear & Simple, Marla Dee, Kate Fehr, SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT., iRAFT, Organize Your Paper
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Clear & Simple, Organizing, Systems, See It Map It Do It, STACKS, iRAFT Marla Dee, Kate Fehr

Check out the entire iRAFT© System here.

Your Guides, Marla Dee and Kate Fehr

We love teaching The Clear & Simple Way© to live free of clutter and get organized at last.