No matter how many organizational systems you have in place, certain piles can creep up, especially when it comes to paper.

“Paper clutter is one of the things most people have a challenge with, even very organized people,” professional organizer Monica Ricci said.

Paper can accumulate when we print recipes, store receipts and clip out articles. Paper clutter also can come from outside sources such as mail, catalogs and children’s homework.

Using Pinterest is an easy way to clear up paper clutter—and keep it out. For instance, if you find recipes online you might want later, don’t print them out, Ricci said. “Instead, pin those items to a Pinterest board where you can access them from any computer or mobile device,” she said.

Read on to learn how to set up Pinterest and use it as a tool to organize ideas.

1. Get an Account.

“Anybody can hop on Pinterest,” professional organizer Seana Turner said. Plus, it’s free to use.


2. Start Pinning.

After creating an account, you can set up areas on Pinterest, known as boards, to keep ideas organized. For instance, you might have one board for decorating ideas, another for storage solutions and a third for recipes. You can add and edit boards as needed.


When searching through Pinterest, “if you see something you like, you can pin it,” Turner said.

Many websites include a Pin it button, which allows you to store the information from the site on one of your Pinterest boards. You also can install a Pin It button on your browser to pin items you find on the web.

Then, when you want to revisit those ideas, you can look through your boards. By clicking on one of the pins, you’ll be directed back to the site that holds the information you’re seeking.

“I’ve pinned tons of ideas for organizing my closet, and it’s encouraged me to get rid of the things I don’t need so I can really utilize the things I have,” said Liz Thomson, the blogger behind I Heart Vegetables, a health and lifestyle blog.

One of the tips Thomson found involved flipping all of the hangers in a closet to face one way, and then turning a hanger back to face the other way once you wear an item. “After a few months, the hangers that are still backward are the clothes you can probably get rid of,” she said.

3. Reduce the Influx of Paper.

By accessing and storing ideas online, you can cut back on the mounds of paper that come into your own home.

co-founders of Pinterest
Evan Sharp (left) and Ben Silbermann are co-founders of Pinterest.

For instance, unsubscribe from catalog mailing lists by signing up at Catalog Choice, Ricci said. Then search for every unwanted catalog you receive and opt out.

She added that you should cancel subscriptions to magazine that you never get around to reading. Furthermore, Ricci said, you should consider putting a recycle bin or trash can between your mailbox and house so you can pitch unwanted mail before it enters your home.

As far as the magazine racks you won’t need after canceling subscription, try using them to hold kitchen items like aluminum foil and plastic wrap.


4. Customize Your Solutions.

In addition to being free to use, Pinterest provides many low-cost strategies. “Most of the content on Pinterest comes from bloggers,” said Rachael Nichol, social media manager at National Builder Supply. “Bloggers are great at being resourceful when it comes to organizing their home without spending a fortune.”

Turner said the beauty of Pinterest is that you can search it by keyword. For instance, if you have a tiny kitchen pantry, you can hunt for ways to organize a storage area in a small kitchen. You can scroll through the results to find a space that matches yours.

Rachel Hartman