9 EASY WAYS TO EFFECTIVELY
Organize, Digitize and Minimize Paper In Your Home For Good
Consider Going paperless
Do you ever feel that you’re drowning in paper? Junk mail, receipts, bills, newspapers, magazines collect so fast it’s hard to control it.
Stop for a minute and look around your house…do you see piles of paper? If so, you’re not alone.
But, thankfully, all it takes to reduce paper clutter from your home are a few simple and effective steps to organize, digitize and minimize your paper clutter for good. We have provided 9 easy steps to do this effectively.
It’s nearly impossible to have a mindful home if there is lots of paper hanging around. If you are looking to simply your life, you will appreciate the following steps to help you get more organized.
ARE YOU READY TO GO PAPERLESS?
Luckily, the digital world has made it easier to live in a simplified paper free manor. With that said, it takes time and effort to make it happen. Trust me, it will be worth it. It’s a good idea to consider going paperless… At least as much as possible.
I have been inspired to do this more than ever after watching my mother go through all her paperwork, mail, books, journals in her home. She feels so much better after organizing her paper and freshening up her entryway design and decor.
My sweet Mom retired from being a successful pediatrician for over 40 years. She loves reading and has collected many medical journals, books and other interesting reading materials over the years. As a single mother, she has never had enough time to sit down and read as much as she wanted to. As a result, she has accumulated lots of paper.
Witnessing this painful process, it’s become obvious to me how valuable it is to minimize paper in the home. Paper accumulates so fast if you let it and it creates a feeling of unrest. Despite banks and other service organizations offering paperless billing and payments, most of us collect hundreds or thousands pieces of paper each year that leads to way too much clutter and unnecessary chaos.
During our moving process, Steve and I both carefully went through our filing cabinets and made it our priority to shred any paperwork we no longer needed. We signed up for e-statements and scanned documents and filed them electronically. We have also put some daily habits into a place that have paid off. We have discovered so many benefits with the reduction of paper clutter.
7 Benefits Of Minimizing Paper Clutter:
- Save time and gain more time to do what you want to do.
- Collaboration: When you use digital storage, it’s easier to share the info with your spouse and accountant.
- Reduces clutter makes for a mindful home.
- Better Organization- Get access anytime and anywhere
- Go Green and save trees
- Security: Digital cloud services and paper-free tools protect your business data better than you might think. They usually utilize highly secure encryptions to protect your business data. Also, paper documents are not bulletproofed, too. They can easily get spoiled or lost.
- Easy Access to what you need.
9 EASY WAYS To Minimize Paper
Clutter In Your Home:
1. Opt out of Junk Mail Lists
According to the Center for Development of Recycling at San Jose State University, an American adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail a year. To supply this much paper requires cutting down somewhere between 80 million and 100 million trees annually. If left standing, these trees would absorb 1.7 million tons of CO2 a year.
Minimize the amount of mail you receive by opting out of junk mail. Services such as DMA Choice manage the influx of junk mail you receive therefore a great tool. Catalog Choice also helps control the amount of mail sent to your home. Like the DMA Choice service, Catalog Choice allows you to pick and choose what you want to receive.
2. Sign Up for E-Bills and Statements
Sign up to receive electronic bills and statements. Instead of receiving paper statements each month, companies send electronic statements and bills to your email. Entities offering electronic statements include banks, cable companies, and utility companies.
3. Purge and Recycle
Take baby steps to sort your paperwork and tackle one small stack of papers each day. As you review, keep in mind that the National Association of Professional Organizers estimates that we never look at 80% of the papers after seeing them for the first time. So, every day when the mail comes in immediate sort through it and recycle the paper you don’t need.
Sort everything into three piles: Recycle, Scan, or Save.
Put important documents like tax returns, medical files, insurance papers, and leases into a pile to be scanned onto your computer for safekeeping. Save any special photos or sentimental cards you absolutely can’t bear to part with, then recycle everything else.
Shred the necessary documents.
4. Digitalize Your Documents
Scan documents that you need to keep and store them electronically on computer hard drive. Scanning papers saves a ton of space and reduces clutter. Make sure you backup your paperwork.
Use three digital formats to store data. Hard drive, computer. Cloud based backups or DVD. It’s recommended to also store hard copies of essential documents somewhere else besides your home in case of disaster.
You can also store photos and documents on many reliable online backup sites. Mozy and Backblaze are popular options, and Dropbox charges $9.99 a month for 50 GB of space. Scanning and organizing your digital documents is a time-consuming process. Take it slow, working on a few papers every day.
5. Prioritize your Books and Magazines
Look through your recipe books and donate the books you don’t use. Consider sourcing your recipes on-line. Go through all of your books and donate outdated books and books you will not be reading in the next several years.
With the Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, and all the other e-book readers on the market, it makes sense to move away from paper books. Recycle old books and buy e-books in the future to cut back on the waste of paper.
After you have read a magazine, hand it to a friend and let them enjoy it. Try hard not to hold onto magazines for a long time.
6. Digitalize Your Signature
It’s a really good idea to have a digital signature to use for documents youmay need to sign digitally. If youhave an iPad, youcan download the free PowerPad Lite App, which allows youto sign PDFs with yourfinger, and then submit themelectronically. PowerPad Lite also allows users to write out notes on the iPad, instead of typing them.
7. Re-evaluate Your Subscriptions
I don’t know about you but we no longer get the newspaper delivered at the house. Instead, we read the news on-line. This has eliminated so much paper in our house. Also, the news on-line is in real-time.
8. Organize Kid’s Art Work
Scan and or take pictures of artwork that will fade over time. Keep each piece of artwork in your child’s folder on your computer and then when you have time, make a digital photo book of all all the work.
Do the same for special notes from your children. I choose to keep most of these but I also want a digital copy of them for safe keeping.
9. Always ask for digital versions
Whenever someone wants to share a physical document with you, ask for a digital version. For instance, company newsletters, insurance companies often need your permission to send information to you via e-mail.
My good Gal Pal Holly, discovered simplifydays.com site that offers a great on-line course to learn how to be paperless. Check it out.
Please let us know how your paper organization, digitization and decluttering projects go. Please send pictures too! More posts on Follow my blog with Bloglovin” target=”_blank”>BlogLovin.