Are you overwhelmed by your paper clutter? That’s completely normal. Paper is continuously coming into our lives, either through paper bills, newspapers, or receipts. And now that most of us are planning the summer vacation, it’s almost impossible not to end up with a mess of brochures, booking confirmations, passports, and so on.
If you are on a significant downsizing journey, paper clutter is something you must address. You can do this by simply scanning copies of your documents and creating a digital archive that can also be used as a backup. Even if you don’t have a document scanner, you can create your personal archive with a smartphone and a few apps. It’s really straightforward! Here are a few tips that will help you deal with your docs.
First things first: before you begin scanning your paperwork, you need to know about encrypted documents. Adobe and Microsoft Word, amongst several other programs, allow you to set up your documents so they can only be accessed by providing a password. Especially if you’re using external storage (like a USB stick) to back up your personal and travel documents, we thoroughly recommend you encrypt everything.
Organize and digitize your documents
Gather all the documents you want to digitize, such as visas, passports, and so on, and start scanning them! To do so, you must obviously have access to a scanner and a computer with an Internet connection. If you don’t have these at home, you can find this type of equipment at libraries, community centers, Internet cafés, and copy shops. As an alternative, you can also use your phone. Just browse your app store and download a mobile scanning app. These apps use your phone’s camera to capture an image of the page. That image is saved as a JPG or PDF file to your phone or, if you rather, to an online storage site.
Keep them in the cloud
Worry not: storing your documents digitally is now more secure than ever! Popular services like Dropbox or Google Drive allow you to save your personal documents to an account and access them from anywhere in the world. And the best part? They’re free to use! Create your own personal, password-protected account, and start saving your files there.
Use a purpose-built travel app
And for those that don’t have time to lose and prefer an all-in-one solution, here’s our suggestion: download a travel app. There are so many options nowadays, from TripIt to Roadtrippers. You simply have to synchronize the app to your email, and it will automatically search for your booking information, adding it to your app-side itinerary. Most apps also have a feature to add your passport, driver’s license, and other important information to the Travel Documents tab.
The old USB stick
And if you don’t fully trust the cloud or your internet connection, there’s always an old-school alternative that can be of great help: using a USB stick. Even though they can easily break or become corrupted, they’re still an inconspicuous way of back-up your documents while you’re on the road.
In short, having access to all your essential travel documents at all times can save you some stress during your holidays. On the other hand, our tips can also prevent you from traveling with endless folders of paperwork. Are you ready to give it a shot? If you still feel like you’re unsure about where to begin, remember that at ClutterBGone we’ll be delighted to help you declutter your paperwork in the most efficient and secure way!