As you make your move towards living paperless, know that you’ll still have SOME papers you have to keep.
Paperless Myth: You can be completely paper free.
The truth is you are required by law to keep tax files, birth certificates, and proof of ownership paperwork… just to name a few.
But don’t let this get you down. The paperwork that you are required to keep can be safely stored and filed in less space then a single bankers box or similar.
Going paperless with all of the remaining paperwork that you receive on a daily basis can be significantly reduced or eliminated all together. And let me tell you from experience, letting go of paper is an immensely rewarding lifestyle change. See the image below in which we store our personal paper files and our business files in just one filing cabinet. The remaining important documents that we deem important to refer to, but don’t require a hard copy of are stored digitally.
5 Tips to get started going paperless
- ONE: No Junk Mail – get a piece of masking tape and write “No Junk Mail” and affix this to your mail box. Believe it or not, post office workers obey this instruction. It won’t stop all unsolicited mail from getting in your mail box, but it will reduce it.
If you have a private box, you can leave these instructions in person at the post office where you pick up your mail.
- TWO: Recycle Bin – get in the habit now of making a decision the first time you read your paper work and have a recycle bin in place to toss papers that you do not need to keep.
- THREE: Paperless Billing – switch over your monthly bills to digital (you’ll be forced to eventually) and create a habit or routine to make sure you know how to find and pay your bills as they occur. We’ll dive into Digital Organizing in a later blog, if you want to learn more on this topic send us an email.
- FOUR: Let Go – the most challenging step of going paperless is letting go of the backlog of paper work you have in your spaces. If you have difficulty knowing which papers you need to keep and which papers to let go of speak with the professionals in your life with whom you trust. If you want to learn how to Tame the Paper Clutter we have a course for that 🙂 Learn more about the course.
- FIVE: Set Paper Limits – Of course keep those papers that you deem irreplaceable, but set limits on how much you’re willing to store. I personally have a hat box that I keep stored under my dresser that holds a selection of cards, notes, letters, and other memento papers that I don’t want to part with. The hat box is the perfect storage space for these treasured notes, but it has a limit in what it can hold. As the box gets full, that’s when I know I need to declutter and par-down my collection.
Do you have a story to share about paper?
Paper is the most time consuming form of Clutter. That's why we created our course Tame the Paper Clutter.
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