KSDK - We all have a little paper in our lives, but how do you know when you have too much?

Professional organizer Janine Adams says if you find yourself scurrying around to hide paper because company is coming over, then you have a problem.

So how do you from out from under the stacks?

Adams says you need to begin by setting aside some time. 

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"I'm a big fan of using a timer," she explained. "You can get through a lot in 15 minutes."

The next step is to divide and conquer. A good approach to this is to put things into three separate piles. 

Title one 'paper for action.' These are the papers you need to take care of, like bills to pay. Adams suggests you also write done what needs to be done.

“A task list to accompany action file, they work well together,” Adams said.

Title another pile ‘papers to file.’ These are things like credit card statements, medical papers, and insurance documents. If you need to trash some of these things, using a shredder is suggested.

“The shredding is really important because of ID theft," explained Adams.

The last pile should be papers you need to throw away. This ranges from newspaper to old coupons to junk mail. Some of this is stuff you could toss as soon as you get it.

“Best thing to do with mail is bring it in everyday and immediately get rid of everything you don’t need. Limit the paper that comes into your house,“ she continued.

Adams believes organization is the real key to keeping things from getting out of control.

“Organization is the way you make your life easier.”

And then you make a habit so that you can stay on stay on top of those piles of paper.

“Really is all about habits to keep you from going back to where you were," she said.