How to Quickly Tackle Paper Clutter

How to Quickly Tackle Paper Clutter


Brains help! There’s a monster in the room! A paper monster. [music intro] If you have ADHD, like me, you know that out of sight means out of mind. If I don’t see a reminder for something I’m probably going to forget to do it. Paper reminders can be really helpful. The problem is when those paper reminders pile up and turn into paper clutter. Paper reminders, good. Paper clutter, bad. Paper clutter can turn into paper monsters. How do you know you have a paper monster on your hands? You see a giant pile of papers and you run. You think, “I will deal with this later. I don’t want to tackle it right now. I will certainly be a better person tomorrow.” The problem with that is if you leave the paper monster alone it gets bigger. And then you don’t even want to try to attack the paper monster because it’s too big. It will hurt you. It is scary. Plus, paper cuts. Ow. How are we supposed to fight it? Take it down to size! Separate the paper monster into three or four smaller piles based on how they can be defeated. Each pile should represent how to attack that particular paper monster to take it down for good. Aw, little paper monsters. They’re not big and scary. They’re cute. Meet the paper monsters. There’s file! Any paper you’re going to keep long term goes in this pile. That would be tax documents, school records. Anything that you might need to go back and look at later. Action! If you need to pay a bill. Make a phone call. Anything. Any action that you need to take goes in this pile. Trash. Don’t need it. Don’t want it. Tired of looking at it. Trash. If throwing things away feels too scary, there’s also a fourth option. The slow paper bin. The side kick of trash. It’s where papers go if you don’t think that you’re going to need this paper again but you can’t be totally sure and you don’t really want to throw it away with last week’s garbage just in case. Slow paper bin! Now that your paper monsters are a more defeatable size it’s time to attack! [intense music] Meet your weapons. File folders and a label maker. Markers! [music intensifies] Trash can! Slow paper bin. This is where it gets good. The trash pile goes in the trash. The slow paper pile goes in the slow paper bin. And you already knocked out half the monsters. Now you’ve only got two monsters left. The file monster and the action monster. But those two are a little bit trickier. The file monster. First of all, file only what you need to. There’s a great article that lists what documents you need to keep and which you don’t and that’s listed in the description below. Second. Use labels that make sense to you. It doesn’t make sense to file car insurance under “insurance” or “AllState” if you’re more likely to look under “car” when you actually need it. Color coded folders are really helpful. If you use, say, red for school stuff. Blue for house stuff. Green for money. You know that if you’re looking for tax documents it’s going to be in a green folder. And the biggest and baddest of all. The action monster. Only actions will take this one down and a lot of times it’s going to take more than one attack. Take a marker. Write on each page what you need to do next. Not what you eventually need to do with it – pay bill – but what you need to do with it first. Order checks. And don’t get complicated with it. You’re in the middle of a fight. You don’t have time for complicated directions. Call this person by one pm. Turn in homework tomorrow. Pay by the twenty-third. Copy for Mark. Figure out who Mark is! Then you want to put those papers somewhere where you’re likely to take that action. If you pay your bills at your computer set those next to your computer. You’ve got grocery coupons, tape ’em to your fridge. If you like to make phone calls while you clean your room, tape that to your bedroom door. If you get overwhelmed, remember: the paper monster is slow. If you’re FAST, you can beat it. File. Action. Slow paper bin. And Trash. Ah. Ah?… Ahhh. That’s an acronym. Then all there is to do is celebrate. You have defeated the paper monster. You are a hero. Every conquering hero deserves a party. So pull up a chair, drink some mead and sing. Let me know how your battle with your own paper monster goes and hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, comment below and I will see you next week. And the brain says to subscribe. He’s very insistent that this is an important thing. So please do. Oh! I’ll play you out. [flute plays] Deep in the paper jungle. [more flute playing] The hero encounters the monster. With nary but a paper cut he takes it down. Fast. The paper monster is conquered and the hero’s home is clean once again. Bye brains! [music outro]

100 comments on this post

    Sabrina Lim

    I don't have paper monster, I have book monster, my room full of books top up into a mountain

    Reply

    Nelson Argolo

    Weird thing is sometimes (like once a year) I just feel super into cleaning my room! Last month I got about 4 years of papers (most of them survived the previous cleanings, when I didn't use folders, and so they were just lying around in drawers) and did a super clean! I found out that, if you're into other languages, labeling them in other languages really help you don't just stop the cleaning halfway through! My folders aren't color coded, but I labeled them in english and japanese, so even looking at them is funnier.

    And I'm loving your videos so much! You're just so easy to relate to and the animations really help! Congratulations for the good work!

    Reply

    oathblade

    Reminds me of the laundry monster <.<
    Im thrilled to hear someone else knows what Mead is. I get so many blank looks when I ask about it. πŸ™‚

    Reply

    AllenNoTalent

    who ya gonna call if you see a paper monster… GHOST BUSTERS πŸ˜€

    Reply

    veshmah Lalwah

    I always thought that the goal was to catch up to the way other did it cause my way was wrong thanks our brain works differently

    Reply

    German Haimovici

    Very pretty!!very!

    Reply

    Sister Monica Martin

    This has been a huge time saver for me, thanks!

    Reply

    sillyfly

    Still not sure if I actually have ADHD (pending official diagnosis in a few weeks), but interestingly that's basically the way I have found to tackle my paper monsters in the past. They still occur too regularly, though.

    Reply

    Zach Walker

    A video to share with family and friends so they better understand would be helpful. πŸ™‚

    Reply

    Valerie Young

    Paper monsters…I end up building a relationship with my paper monsters. I am a compulsive hoarder! I file stuff in stupid places, then I'm more likely to return to said stupid place. (Stupid places entertain me). I love tidy, but need a bit of clutter to level me out. I'm a bit of a night mare of contradictions. Is this why ADD is so hard to nail down and largely accept, especially when ADD and ADHD, is a relatively new diagnosis? I'm 53, it is nice to know I'm not on the slippery slope to dementia. Mixed with menopause.

    Reply

    Judith Jimenez

    I got distracted by the file paper anima and once it got to action I didn't hear one word you said….he he oops

    Reply

    maddie anzevino

    πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Reply

    Kelda Lundmark

    Thanks for your videos, Jessica! My desk was full of paper monsters a few weeks ago. I hadn't seen this video yet, but I had watched your video on helpful apps. Evernote had also been suggested to me and so I decided to try it out! Evernote lets you "scan" paper documents with your phone and create a note with it. I made files in Evernote of papers I needed to keep (receipts, student loan info, car stuff ect). Evernote also lets you set reminders on notes, so I could make sure I took action on certain papers I scanned because a notification was sent to my phone! I still use Evernote a lot and just immediately scan paper items so that I'll never have a paper monster again! I would recommend it to anyone with ADHD or anyone just looking to get organized. πŸ™‚

    Reply

    Squarewave

    Great googly moogly I can't get over how great this channel is for me. My girlfriend discovered it and you're making my life so much easier. Thank you!!!

    Reply

    Cynthia Danu

    nice flute playing!

    Reply

    pnl16991

    I do this with mail! It's so baddddd.

    Reply

    L F

    Errr, recycling?

    Reply

    Chris Blue1030

    Excellent video! Keep up the Great work. πŸ™‚

    Reply

    lexican foreigner

    your movement in all the videos distract me.. Really quickly and I dunno what's being said during the video so my focus sucks because then I start staring at your eyes too.

    Reply

    Patti M Hall

    Can I tell you again, I just love what you do. I use your videos with my clients every day!!

    Reply

    mystery box

    amazing.. thnku so much

    Reply

    Lola Kelly

    lol u are so funny and thanks xxx

    Reply

    Walker Tullos

    fun easy way to attach

    Reply

    Walker Tullos

    I mean attack

    Reply

    Walker Tullos

    wow after I saw this channel every thing made sense

    Reply

    Walker Tullos

    I knew I had ADHD but I didn't no how bad

    Reply

    Walker Tullos

    and actually really really really really really really really really really bad

    Reply

    Walker Tullos

    I felt every day of school I would get in trouble 20 times a day and always reminded to stay focus stop tapping they called me lazy dumb and crazy btw last part is true

    Reply

    Walker Tullos

    you encourage me keep doing what you're doing

    Reply

    Walker Tullos

    πŸ˜‰

    Reply

    Tiffany Doris

    OMG!! I love everything about this video! The little paper monsters are sooo cute! The music and story at the end is adorable! And it is especially ironic that my paper monster is sitting right in front of me πŸ˜›
    MAybe I should stop binge watching your videos and go tackle that…..

    Reply

    Erin Campbell

    I love your videos! I don't have ADHD, but I have a slew of other mental problems that leave me like a depressed version of the dog in Up. Squirrel! I have a lot of anxiety and short attention span and your videos are helping me tackle things. So thank you!

    Reply

    Zonecore

    how do u even finish these videos haha i would of stopped after filming the the footage would just sit there never to be edited again =P

    Reply

    Abby Rene

    I DIDN'T KNOW YOU PLAYED A FLUTE!!!!!! I PLAY A FLUTE TOOOOOO! I'm going to continue my binge watching of your videos before I "do" laundry….. Or not….. πŸ˜›

    Reply

    dee rasta

    you're a good producer/director

    Reply

    SuperDrummerJay

    Acronyms are awesome! So is Mead!

    Reply

    eon star

    figure out who mark is

    (totally me >.<)

    Reply

    eon star

    Any suggestions on how to stay consistatly organized because at the start of every year I look like I'm probably going to be the most organized person ever. My binder is color coded and in order, I have Pens and Pencils of different colors for organization, but it all falls apart with time and ends up looking like an absolute mess… And it can be annoying when you just did your homework the period before and you can't find it to turn it in for the class….

    Reply

    magical dork

    my hole room Is a paper moster

    Reply

    Nadia Bozarth

    Thanks so much for this video. About to tackle my paper monster right now!

    Reply

    ferretmaster62

    with each vidio I watch, I have more "THAT'S ME!" moments! thank you!

    Reply

    Tracex 45

    You were suggested to 'me' by the wonderful 'Clutterbug' – she loves you and suggested you to all of her viewers !!! Now we've all found you too and so glad we did !!Β  P.s. Your so cute and funny – keep up the great videos !!

    Reply

    Nancy H

    I need to figure out how to finish projects. I get 85% of the project done and can't get the last 15% done…help please!! Thank you!

    Reply

    Nancy H

    What about receipts???

    Reply

    Aaron Brown

    I like that you used mead. Good job. XDDD

    Reply

    Trevor Simpson

    omg your awesome!

    Reply

    Tim Tim

    She's so funny hahaha " das uh acronym " rofl rofl

    Reply

    Hadleigh White

    omg she plays the flute!!😊😊

    Reply

    Hamzei

    why is she so freaking adorable XD

    Reply

    Marie Rohde

    The paper monsters are still there, but at least I know how to fight it now πŸ˜‰

    Reply

    lizzie0hair

    I'm actually in tears! Thank you so much for this video, for the first time ever I don't feel like a big, lazy freak because I'm afraid of tackling the "paper monster" (especially Trash Monster!)

    Reply

    Dab Yolo

    After watching this video I was thinking maybe I should do this,so I to my plies of paper and yelled"OH MY GOD, is GODZILLA!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    BatMan Miller

    Your funne… I BATMAN!!!! πŸ˜„

    Reply

    SMSTA !

    Paper monster battle;
    It is 70 ft big by the time I go to face it. πŸ˜‘
    I take out my war hammer (mom) and attack
    Sadly it comes back after awhile

    Reply

    Efflorescentey

    I kept finding I struggled with what needed action and what needed filing. For example tax stuff has an action but not for a long time. I had to have a rule where if I hesitated on what pile a thing went in, it automatically goes in the ACTION pile. The action here is decide what to do with it! This way I avoided getting overwhelmed with making 'perfect' piles or 'perfect' decisions.

    Reply

    a916pocahontas

    I have digital paper monster, hep hep!

    Reply

    J Sophie Thelen

    I came to this video seeking how to tackle an essay (oh, synonyms!) monster! Could you please do one on how to break down–and get started sooner on–big long term deadlines/projects like that? Especially if you're already terrified of it?

    Reply

    Maegrauko

    #GAMERcube You told and played the song of our people on the flute at the end of the : How to Quickly Tackle Paper Clutter video. (This one in fact) Hear Hear!

    Reply

    Alexandria Seeger

    #gamercube "How to Quickly Tackle Paper Clutter"

    Reply

    Hirsh Agarwal

    this one (how to quickly tackle paper clutter) #GAMERcube

    Reply

    Ballistic

    #GAMERcube How to Quickly Tackle Paper Clutter

    Reply

    JG16riffin

    I HATE paper clutter! >.< I find people give me all this paper notes to remind me of stuff, and then I forget all about those reminders and I forget about the stuff anyway. I'm a paper hoarder as well, I rarely get rid of stuff in case it becomes important, and yet all the paper scares me away from even reading it.

    Reply

    A Schoolbus

    U should get an insta

    Reply

    Caitlin P

    I just shove everything in a big box and pretend it doesn't exist the only problem is I have two of these boxes and they're both full and I can't be bothered to clean them out.

    Reply

    Delaney Powers

    I just get overwhelmed by paper monsters and throw it all away

    Reply

    Roxxy

    I love your video and I subscribed immediately!
    I was overwhelmed by the videos on overwhelm but I found your video and it all seems simple!
    I'll comment after I've tamed my paper monster. It's a big one so it may take a while.
    Thank you.

    Reply

    Diane De Assis Villela

    For years I thought I just love paper all my life but not I have a lot of paper issues! I love your personality! I need a file cabinet! I hate the action papers. At work it's easy but at home it is so hard. Actinium is awesome I love those.

    Reply

    Yi Z

    Lmao the flute at the end πŸ˜‚πŸ‘Œ love it!

    Reply

    alice angela

    sounds like my washig uo monster.. clothes monester, bin monster.. waaaahhhh house of monsters, haaahaha. Great vids! yays for you ((and us)) ! oooh lable maker
    xxx

    Reply

    kvernon1

    Good stuff. Only thing I would suggest is that we RECYCLE the paper instead of throwing it away whenever we can. That way, even throwing out the paper is for a good cause, and can make it easier to part with if we have difficulty throwing things out.

    The only drawback is that now the Acronym changes to "FASR" … which doesn't work as well! Maybe if we rearrange the letters somehow… let's see… "SRAF" . Or "FRAS" . Sorry, I'll need to think about this more. Any suggestions are welcome!

    Reply

    Tacoteacher

    As a teacher this is something I'm seriously struggling with this year. Your awesome

    Reply

    Nastassja Riemermann

    I'm having trouble finding a good container to use for my "slow paper bin" – basically all boxes I can find are designed for hanging files, which doesn't really make sense for slow paper.

    Reply

    Marko GrΓΆnroos

    That's about how I'm handling papers, although getting into doing it is the biggest problem. Another issue is that I'm a document hoarder and want to archive EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING! Sometimes even ads if I consider them as good examples of exploitative advertising. Hence, way too many archive folders mostly full of old bills and such. The solution: scanner. I nowadays scan the EVERYTHING, and then just archive the FILE documents and the rest goes to TRASH. The problem with the ACTION pile is that I always forget to pay the bills and such, so it gets rather thick with all the payment notices and later the court letters.

    Reply

    Sierra Stephenson

    I PLAY THE FLUTE I’m also in the marching band and have adhd

    Reply

    Alison Jordan

    Jessica, you are pretty funny. I am actually quite organized. The problem is that I can't always win the level. And some things, I get talked into which I regret later as it messes with my life and sense of self worth.

    Reply

    Dylan Muller

    Jessica thank you for being so awesome! You are an inspiration!

    Reply

    Jeromy Hunt

    Schools are the worst about beaurocracy golems. They send home a notice every time a teacher wipes his or her butt, I swear!

    Reply

    Natalia Correia S.

    I usually do worse. I hide paper monsters in my bedroom to attack them lateeeer lol. Thank you for the tips. I'll try it.

    Reply

    armadilly

    fun!love the play-out! beats shame and overwhelm by a country mile, dude

    Reply

    Angelica Porro

    You accidentally spelled and said recycle like the word trash, rookie mistake.

    Reply

    Karen Rojas-Martinez

    Can you do a video on how to clean my room?

    Reply

    Quickfirefly

    I saw a paper monster in the 360 video paper monster!

    Reply

    Stergios Dikos

    Crazy, I've been doing exactly the same :). Thanks for making this nice video!

    Reply

    LucidLili

    AAHHHAHAHAHHA! I have paper monsters!
    I acted F.A.S.T but then realized while looking throught all the paper, it was all trash…

    Reply

    Rocking Dan Teaching Man

    Great tips Jessica. I like the FAST folders set up. The paper monsters can get big very quickly. I hope you figured out who Mark is.

    Reply

    marcypan

    Lovely flute playing at the end!

    Reply

    darw2

    I even have a problem with procrastinating sending my papers to the tax consultant so she can rob me. So I'm constantly behind in taxes.

    Reply

    Marijane Akuma

    honestly organizing is always something I push off bc it's such a hassle to come up with "logical" and "well structured" system, but there were a lot of good tips in your video on which steps to take and how to take them (for example making the action papers a seperate thing) and then how to overcome that special type of anxiety (making system that only make sense to me never occured to me, or the slow bin, which eradicate the fear of accidentaly throwing out something important or forgetting where I put a file I may need quickly) that always comes with the extreme forgetfulness. Thank you!

    Reply

    Aman Chaudhary

    Thank you for this! Paper always gives me mild anxiety. The FAST acronym is wonderful!!!

    Reply

    Giavonna Campana

    out of sight out of mind if my math book is closed I shall no longer do math or wear pants

    Reply

    kattwin1

    Your videos are awesome AND make me smile and laugh. ^_^

    Reply

    Danny L

    These ideas do work. I do some variation of all of them to help me get through my most dreaded task. Thank you. Keep up the good work.

    Reply

    Josh Roeger

    I am loving these videos. Thank you for making them!

    Reply

    Lani Franz

    One of my biggest organizational issu- my biggest organizational issue is that I have 3-5 ways I try to organize each thing. And then everything gets lost. And then I decide I need to reorganize. Except I stop because my method doesn't make sense or is overcomplicated. And if I try to organize things one way, I'll realize later that oh no! I forgot a category, and the need to introduce that (somehow?) throws everything else into it chaos.

    It's especially difficult for things like craft supplies vs paperwork, but the paperwork thing is messy, too. I have a file box I've been planning to transfer to the filling cabinet for over a year, and now new things should've been added that almost definitely won't be. Mostly cuz half the work I already did probably needs an overhaul…

    Reply

    Beth N

    Loved your video. I will try and apply these techniques. The visuals really helped me to stay focused w my ADHD.

    Reply

    Random Person You Might Know

    lol i tried this with purging my stuff, and made different categories, like trash, give away, projects, keepsakes, and misc.

    …everything went in misc.

    Reply

    Andy Wolf

    i use white board

    Reply

    Demoulius

    I love this. Paper monsters are something I really struggle with πŸ™

    Reply

    Amanda D

    Only had a file of things.Most is 'slow' but I made a small pile of trash/shred while watching this .I've got really old school related paperwork from 08.Im restarting in August.IDK what I should keep IE a list of school contacts,or will I get a new one?

    Reply

    I am curious

    That is one of your greatest videos

    Reply

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