two tall stacks of paperwork and files

Paperwork Challenge Day 1

Even if you usually run a pretty tight ship, paperwork probably makes you groan. Sorting through it seems so daunting, so time consuming, so incredibly boring. To celebrate the end of 2020, I’ve got you covered with a New Year’s Challenge that’ll show you how to tackle your piles the Joyful Surroundings way. Each daily post will cover a step at a time so you can do this without getting overwhelmed.

If you’re not signed up to get blog posts in your email yet, go ahead and do that at the bottom of the page (on a phone) or the right hand side of the page (desktop) so you don’t miss a crucial step.

So let’s get to it – Day 1. Today’s step is to collect your papers in one spot. If you have 76 boxes of paper in the attic, a dozen more in the basement, and stacks more in the garage, you can still do this challenge but ignore those boxes and let’s deal with the random piles of paper floating around your living space first.

Where are they hiding? Some of it’s in plain view on counters and desks but some of it tries to fade into the background. Look on top of the microwave, behind the couch, under the couch, in your bedroom closet. Find all the sneaky places your paperwork has spread to and scoop it up and bring it all to a place where there’s some room to sort. If the dining room table’s full, try clearing off a bed in a spare room. You want a flat surface where you and your papers can spread out a little.

That’s it! Come back tomorrow for Day 2. You can do this!


    1. How cool that paper organizing is your favorite, Julie. A lot of people get deterred by how long it can take, so my challenge has a couple of stops along the way to call it done 🙂 That way, maybe paperwork will become more of a favorite for more folks.

  1. Isn’t it funny that papers can get everywhere! And, is so easy to forget about. I recently went through bins of old papers and shredded a 3 foot pile of them. Well, 3 large garbage bags later, we were able to clear out a huge section in our closet. Yay. It’s not fun, but boy is it worth it to have extra space in the closet. =)

  2. I love that phrase, “sneaky places your paperwork has spread.” It’s so true how paper can take over. Gathering the loose ones into one spot is an excellent starting point. And if that seems daunting, doing the collecting of papers in one room or one surface at a time, can also work. Papers take patience to sort, but it’s well worth the effort. So much of what we keep isn’t needed and can be routed to the recycle or shed piles. Have fun with the paper challenge. What a great way to begin the New Year!

  3. I totally agree with step 1, if it is possible. Last year I worked on paperwork in the attic, and the first step was to get all the boxes into one area so i could grab one at a time and bring them down to sort. I’m ALMOST finished… I think I have two left!


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