What You Want Wednesday: Paper Chaser

Tori Daly Decor + Design, Family, Lifestyle, Organization

We’re not talking money here but rather the dreaded, unending stream of papers coming home from school, especially in those first few weeks. Paper clutter, in general, is one of the top complaints people have when it comes to clutter problems mainly because it seems like it is never ending, even in our heavily digitized era. In our home, there are times we let paper clutter build up so much that I go nuts + other times I can manage to stay on top of it. I’ve researched some methods that others use to stay on top of paper clutter and how to manage the forest that seems to come home with your children on a daily basis. {On a side note I get really annoyed at how much paper is wasted by companies, school…whoever. It just seems so irresponsible.}

We’re lucky to have most of our correspondence from school come via email but it’s also a challenge because I have to make sure I actually check the website often for updates too. When papers do come home I have found these tools + tricks to be helpful at keeping me sane + organized:


On the tech end of things, I love Evernote. I was introduced to it a few years ago while working in the event industry. It was a great, compact way to carry all those sticky notes without fear of losing important information. Just snap a picture, and store it in a folder on your phone. You can also set reminders for yourself {I’m still learning all the ins + outs of this app but so far it helps me in so many aspects of home +work}. This is really only good if you don’t have to actually keep the physical paper. If it’s something like a permission slip, sign the bottom to send back then take a picture of the top with the information…then recycle the actual paper. Read on for how to manage the papers you have to keep.


For those who like to get creative + want to put together a full command center, take a look at this post from Organized Chaos. So many great ideas on how to organize pretty much ALL daily school items. For me a simple filling system by the door is sufficient enough. I don’t want to spend time on something that will require more maintenance by me + I’m not at the point where it’s completely necessary or feasible. Something like the pictures below, hung by the door will work just fine for now {and it’s less stuff I need to purchase/more aesthetically pleasing in our small home}.

Ikea Kvissle 5 Shelve Metal Wall Magazine File Rack, White

Wall File Holder Metal Mesh Wire Shelf Hanging Folder Mail Document Organizer Office Storage Black Rustic Industrial Design Black

Designstyles Copper Plated 2 Tier Metal Wall File Holder


This is a big step on our end as parents. We need to be proactive + make it part of our daily routine {as if we didn’t already have enough to do…insert eye roll} to check these papers. The first part on the organization end of things is to get your kids- and teachers!- on board, too. Give them a folder for all paperwork they receive throughout the day that needs to be seen or handled by you {the parent}. If your kids are in preschool, kindergarten or younger grade levels, touch base with the teacher and let them know your process {they can help to make sure the papers actually make it into the file}, this way they will also know to check the folder for any returning items {permission slips, book orders, lunch orders, etc.}

I also love this post from Living Well, Spending Less. Her tips go well beyond that of just school paper clutter + are definitely worth a read.

Unfortunately, we are constantly bombarded by ads, junk mail, magazines, coupons…you name it. Make it a point to mentally note what is worth keeping + what is not. I know that when the mail comes, circulars, magazines + junk mail are recycled or shredded IMMEDIATELY. Then I can intentionally go through the rest of the items without feeling like I’m sifting through a huge pile of paper. The sooner you deal with things, the sooner they can be off your mind + allow you to focus on more important things.

How do you handle all the papers that come home with your kids? What tips + tricks do you use to stay organized + on top of the daily paper mill?