Tip of the Day: Eliminate the Paper Trail

Paper clutter is still a huge problem in my life. Here are some tips to avoid the pileup!

  • Place a small recycling bin/wastebasket where you drop your purse or keys. Sort mail immediately upon receipt. 
  • Go paperless! If you pay your bills online, check with the company to see if they can stop sending paper statements. 
  • Many magazine subscriptions offer discounts if you purchase them on e-readers such as Kindles or iPads. If you’re a magazine fiend, but hate the resulting piles, sign up for a digital subscription instead.
  • Invest in a shredder. There’s something inherently satisfying about sending a paid bill through the shredder. It also helps keep your personal information more secure. 

If you are unsure whether or not to toss an important-looking paper item, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this information easily found online?
  • Is the information old or outdated?
  • What will I NEED this document for? Why do I need to hold onto it?

When in doubt, a good scanner/printer combo might be all you need to save important documents without the paper trail to match. If you’re really concerned, you can always scan the document for backup, but toss the paper copy. Always remember, recycling is your friend! (This is a particularly helpful tip for children’s artwork, cards, or pretty wedding invitations that make you smile, but take up unnecessary space). 

Note: I am not a tax expert. If your tax professional suggests keeping important documents like receipts and pay stubs, listen to them, not me. I can honestly say though, I’ve never once needed a paper copy of a pay stub that wasn’t the absolutely most recent, so think about that when you’re deciding whether or not to keep it. Also, there are ways to get your address off of junk mailing lists, but I’m a fan of coupons, so I don’t mind it as much as most people. 

 

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