When computers were first introduced, they were going to save the planet with all the paper they were going to reduce. Everything would be stored on computers and trees would be saved.
Well, many years later I think we’re producing more paper than ever and organizing all that paper is still a big challenge for many of you. Let me help you with some ideas on how to organize, and reduce much of that paper.
Deal with it now
The best way to organize paper of course is to deal with it as it arrives through your door. Rather than placing everything into an in box and getting around to looking after it later, deal with it when it comes into your home or office. Separate the junk from the required paper as soon as it arrives and recycle what you can. This will save you time in filing later and reduce the urge to save what’s not needed.
Easy to say for those that embrace technology but many of us have a reliance on being able to touch and keep paper. It’s a tactile thing.
Take a real hard look at the paper that comes into your home each month and decide what you really have to have in paper form. Most of your bills can be sent to you electronically and can be paid that way too. If you have to save a copy for your records save the electronic copy to your computer where it can be stored and easily retrieved. Voila! Less paper right there.
Scan it and file electronically
If receiving your bills electronically isn’t for you than perhaps you want to scan the document after you have dealt with it and file it away on your computer. Dispose of the paper copy after it’s been scanned of course so you aren’t duplicating your filing system. Now you still have the document and it’s not taking up any space.
For you “techies” you can store documents in the cloud.
There are a host of secure sites that will allow you to store documents, pictures and a host of other things on servers that are maintained by companies like Apple and Google. Most of these sites will give you a certain amount of free storage that will generally fit your needs for quite a while.
Filing and maintaining paper is not your favourite chore. Keep it simple to reduce the time spent filing and accessing paper. Rather than filing everything away alphabetically, create sub sections like Utilities, Taxes, Auto Expenses and similar. Create your files within these subsections to save time when filing and retrieving.
Make it a habit
Maintenance is the key to everything and filing is no different. Allot some time each month to review your files and toss what’s not needed. Discard the oldest statement when filing the newest and perform a good purge at the start of each year.
Paper can easily get out of control but with a little bit of discipline and utilizing some of these ideas you can better control the paper monster that you have in your home. If you aren’t up to the challenge of taming your paper clutter contact me at ClutterBGone to learn how we can assist you.