14 Types of Paper to Throw out Immediately

Do paper piles give you anxiety? Make a big dent in your piles by tossing these papers ASAP (and please recycle if possible!)


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13 thoughts on “14 Types of Paper to Throw out Immediately”

  1. Thanks for your motivation and challenges. I’ve been working on paper in my house for a month, and I’ve made a huge dent in it. I’ve put out 4 lawn size trash bags of shredded paper and we have filled our 55 gallon recycling can every week. Other than coupons that sit on the kitchen counter (I should say used to – I’m not using them now since I am shopping less often, hurrying in and out of the store, or doing online shopping), my papers were all neatly stored in file boxes or file cabinets. Out of sight, out of mind. But I decided to tackle it and I’m amazed at what I found. Boxes and boxes of old bank statements, cancelled checks, and credit card receipts. All gone! Copies of college applications for my now 33 year old son. Also gone. Even the stray elementary school menu somehow made its way into the organized file drawer. It feels so good to have space in the cabinet and on the storage shelves in the basement.
    I also went through the wrapping paper (funny how we all keep scraps that we will never use), Christmas paper, gift bags, tissue paper, bows, etc. All jobs I thought would take forever and have been putting off for years. It really didn’t take much time and now I will even save time by having only the things I can use here and in an accessible place.
    Next on my list is the paper I have for paper crafting. I KNOW I don’t need it all and certainly don’t need all the scraps I’ve kept for smaller projects.
    Thanks for all you do and hope you and your family stay safe and healthy.

    • Gifting wrapping paper, tissue paper,
      Bows etc to the art department in a local school could be a good place to recycle to??? I know our art department so some very creative things with all sorts of recycled paper scraps ????

  2. Throwing away the takeout menus and magazines were the difficult ones. The rest made complete sense. But I hate it when you go online to look at takeout menus and they don’t have a very good website.
    Also, I think I need to figure out a better way to save recipes on the co outer. I like having that magazine right there. I’m a very kinesethic person.

    • Mary, I used to keep a file folder for all the take-out menus I wanted to keep to refer to for future ordering. That way I knew exactly where they were but they were not cluttering up the counter or desk..

  3. You would think this would mostly be common sense but that line “how much scrap paper does one need???” has been a problem all my life!!! I just can’t bear to part with still-usable, clean and even attractive bits of scrap paper. But you are so right … it just becomes a bigger and bigger pile, and more becomes available all the time. How often have I used an old envelope to scribble down a note, and left my lovely stash of scrap paper undisturbed. It doesn’t really need to be there taking up space to start with!!!

    • I think we are kindred spirits. 🙂 Here’s an idea that may help a bit… okay, two ideas. One, have a “contained area” (aka container of some sort) for your scrap paper, and only keep that much on hand – recycle the rest. Two, make little notebooks of the scraps you like. I know there are more labor-intensive methods, but gathering same-size papers and stapling them makes an effective-enough notepad. I like to re-purpose all the one-sided inserts from our church bulletins this way. They are often pretty colors, too. 🙂 I tuck those half-sheets in a special place, and when I have enough, I use a paper cutter to halve them and make a few notepads. Not too long ago, I had a sizeable stack, and I had my kids help me. They enjoyed arranging the colors into stacks of 15 or so, and we took the notepads to church for people to grab. If you have scraps that are “attractive”, you can make little gifts this way… you can even put a cute little stamp in the corner of each sheet. Bonus idea: (for you or kids your know) create torn-paper art collages. There are people who sell these!

  4. Oh, yes, the magazine backlog is a real issue! But now that I’m sheltering at home, I’m reading through one magazine a day, and I’m halfway through the pile. Should be done by the end of the month (yes, it’s only May 2 as I write this.)

    I’m pretty good about the scrap paper (all those free little pads from charity solicitations in the mail!), but I’d appreciate any advice on what to do with pretty little notebooks and journals. I buy way too many when they’re on sale, and then I don’t want to mess them up by writing in them!

  5. I know that most people don’t have newspapers anymore but people do save newspapers and if they’re over a day old throw them away and start again

  6. Thanks for all the really helpful tips Sarah ,
    We’ve been de-cluttering here n our home in the UK since the new year , remember then !!
    Been shredding bills from 2009 , that were at the back or drawers boxes etc , Car insurance documents for cars long gone.
    Yesterday I had another go at my office now I’m home (all the time) more , a little here and there gets the job done without being overwhelming.

    Just a note about Newspapers and magazines, In my younger days I collected a few newspapers of ‘Special’ events and once ebay started I looked to sell them online , One I sold was to a USA radio station from a UK newspaper from the day Bill Haley died in 1981 , it wasn’t in the best condition , but I got a tidy sum for it.
    Also I run a website and look out for old magazines related to the websites theme (often paying $5-$10 just for an article in it),
    So before you throw out old mags and papers just have a quick look to see if there of any value to anyone else,
    remember the saying
    “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” Sarah has something on the site about it I’m sure, just can’t find the link

    • Craig … thanks a million for your comment … I have really old magazines (People/Life/National Geographic and newspapers (think time frame of John F. Kennedy assassination; Challenger, etc). Anyway, your comment made me think twice about disposing them. I see you used ebay … I may give it a go. Did you straight up sell or set up a bid and how did you know what to price it at or did you just give it what you thought might work? Thanks!

  7. While I think this is somewhat helpful, losing your spouse makes some things very precious…I look for the little love notes where ever I can. I recently found my husband’s calendar from the first year we were married…there is a heart on the day of our one year anniversary; throughout the calendar are memories of us. I can’t throw this out. Empty calendars, no problem, but not this one. Most of this – done! But very personal cards, calendars, anything that keeps this link (of our love) alive…no can do.


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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