As part of my monthly resolutions I decided that in January I would try to eliminate negative words from my vocabulary and also clean out ALL of the paper in my house.  Well I succeeded at one of these goals 🙂  

I had planned to clean out all of my documents and bills from my filing cabinet but I decided to take it one step further and clean out the wrapping paper, cards, magazines, and scrapbook paper.  I wanted to share how I did it and how I’m organizing the paper to make it easier to know what I have.  
the filing cabinet:
I cleaned this out first because I was dreading it.  For this you might need your significant other’s help because some of the documents could pertain to him or her too. 
 Here’s my advice about the files:
Get documents OUT of the envelopes.  I bet I threw away 60 or 70 envelopes that my bills had been mailed in.
If you have bought a house and could sell it in the future, keep a separate file for that particular house to hand off to a new buyer someday.  This could have paint chips for all of the walls, manuals for appliances that stay with the house, or receipts for new windows, etc.
Keep a copy of your will in the very front of the file.  We are in the process of finishing ours up and I know it’s something no one wants to think about but it’s very important especially if you have kids.  Make sure a family member has the original or that it is in a box at the bank so they could find it if something ever happened.   
Here is all of the trash from the two drawers of the filing cabinet.   I felt lazy and didn’t want to sit there with the shredder forever so I thought I could burn them.  I was home alone but I thought that I could just light them and they would burn slowly.  
I lit the paper and wow…things escalated pretty quickly from there.  All I have to say is that if you are ever burning something in the fireplace, you should open up the vent to let the smoke out first.  I got to open the vent after a tearful call to my husband with an oven mitt on my hand.  Smoke filled the house and I got to spend some time out in the back yard 🙂  I guess next time I’ll leave the playing with fire to the husband!
Since most of what was in my filing cabinet was trash, I only had to use the top for documents.  This gave me a great extra drawer to store all of my scissors, brushes, and other supplies.  
the scrapbook paper:
My scrapbook paper wasn’t nearly as out of control as the filing cabinet.  However, it was just two big stacks of cardstock, paper, and scraps and it was a nightmare to find what I needed.  I use this paper ALL of the time so I wanted a better system for storing it.  My mother-in-law gave me these sets of drawers a few months ago and I realized they are the PERFECT size for the 12×12 paper. 
 I separated all of the paper into 9 different categories:
Printables, Calendars, Letters
Paper Scraps
Printed Cardstock
Cool Colors Solid Cardstock
Warm Colors Solid Cardstock
Neutral Printed and Solid Paper
Cool Colors Printed and Solid Paper
Warm Colors Printed and Solid Paper
I also tore apart all of my packs of paper so that each paper was individually stored and organized.  I love this new system and it makes finding exactly which paper I need super easy!
Before…just one big stack

I just typed these little labels and taped them to the inside.
the notes:

My mom has been storing cards in a vintage suitcase for as long as I can remember.  I had an empty one that I had fixed up and so I decided to do the same.  I just separated them by theme and put little labels in that I made with scrap paper.  This is also a good place for your address book, labels, and stamps so it’s all in once place. 

There it is stored in my back closet with everything else from this post.  I also threw away all of my magazines and only saved a few Do It Yourself issues that I love and can’t part with just yet.  I stored them in the little orange container and decided I won’t have more than that container can hold…sad day I know 🙁

the pages from magazines:
I LOVE magazines and was keeping every magazine I got in the mail.  This obviously caused a storage problem and so I decided to create a file for ideas that I really loved.  I created some categories and when I love an article, recipe, or idea I tear it out and file it for later.  I started this a very long time ago, pre-Pinterest, and still do it.  It’s fun to look at every once in a while to get inspired!
How do you manage your paper?  Any creative storage ideas?