4 Steps to Successful Paper Organization & Management

We reached out to Mara Dowler, a Kon Marie Consultant and professional organizer for an answer to the teetering pile of papers that lands on every available flat surface. Here’s what she had to say.


From Reactive to Proactive
4 steps to successful paper organization and management

It can be rough transitioning back to work or school from the lazy dog-days of summer, and with it comes a predictable stack of papers: time-sensitive forms, reminders, and To-Do lists with various degrees of importance, and yet they all demand your full attention.

Here are 4 steps to help ease your transition, shift your energy, and set you up for a smooth re-entry into fall.

1. Pause and Prioritize

Awareness comes first. Before initiating any new organizing system, it’s important to first become aware of what you want to change and why. Then you can decide how to improve your lifestyle based on your priorities. It’s not about doing more—it’s about realizing your priorities and doing that!

2. Plan and Prepare

Schedule it in. Make an appointment with yourself (and don’t cancel it!). It’s not too late to schedule some time to regroup and set yourself up for a new season, knowing that schedules will change and routines will shift. When we anticipate what is to come, we can align with our priorities and allow ourselves to execute them proactively.

3. The Principle of Proactivity

Organizing 101. When everything has a designated space in your home, you will be able to quickly and easily find what you need when you need it. This is especially helpful when it comes to papers, which seem to accumulate in piles around the house, or mysteriously go missing before we have addressed them. One solution I teach my clients to help them shift from “reactive mode” to “proactive mode” is the Sunday Basket® paper solution system. It is a singular, physical place for all of your active papers, reminders, and To-Dos. It lives where most of your papers accumulate; it eliminates your paper piles; and it helps you plan your week for optimum efficiency and productivity.

4. Practice Patience

The key to any successful organizational system is you!  Ask for help and support when you need it, but know that the best organizing method for you is the one that you commit to maintaining. Even the best laid plans can change beyond our control, so we need to have the flexibility to pivot. Remember your motivation to change so you can stay the course.

Investing time in these steps will propel you to success, and you can enjoy the benefits all season long—and beyond!

Mara Dowler, Bluebird Home Organizing, LLC

Certified KonMari Consultant

Certified Sunday Basket Paper Organizer



(203) 843-2634

Just for E List readers, take $10 off Mara’s upcoming workshops at the Lyme Public Library with code: ELIST10 (Regularly $45).

Fall 2022 Paper Organizing Workshops:

September 14, 2022

October 5, 2022

November 2, 2022

December 7, 2022

6:00 pm, Lyme Public Library

Follow Bluebird Home Organizing on Facebook and Instagram for upcoming news and event details.

Sign up for workshops here:  https://app.squarespacescheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=25573629&appointmentType=category:Paper%20Organizing%20Workshop

To purchase the Sunday Basket® directly from Organize 365®: https://organize365.com/affiliate/maradowler

Read our article about Mara and my closet organization here: https://the-e-list.com/dispelling-the-myths-of-marie-kondo-a-session-with-an-uber-organizer/