If you are the kind of person that already keeps everything clean and ordered in a binder, you probably can skip this step.
I started decluttering my home with papers when I realized that this was one of my big problems. Papers everywhere. On the fridge, on my desk, on the countertop, on the coffee table... Everywhere!
But I own a beautiful gray binder in my home office... so why let papers everywhere? Because it has some utility, like a visual checklist that I can see everyday:
- This bill has to be paid.
- This gift certificate has to be used.
- This is a reminder about plastic recycling categories.
- This drawing is a souvenir.
- And so on.
Create a Google AccountBut no excuses! First, create a Google account if you don't already have one. You can use Dropbox or OneDrive as well, but I am a big fan of Google Apps.
Think About your Folders NamesThen, think about your folders names. Here is a suggestions list based on mine:
- Bank Accounts
- Credit Cards
- Driver's License
- Installation Guides
- Papers for (Name of your child)
- Payroll statements and contracts
- Show Tickets
- Succession and Will
Scan, scan, scan.
Finally, scan everything and toss it to the recycling bin. Don't forget to pay your bills first! ;)
Free tip 1: If you don't own a scanner, you can take a picture with your phone. It'll do the job. Google Drive makes it possible to upload directly on your Drive from a picture. Drive can also create PDF documents with multiple photos from your smartphone.
Free tip 2: Share any folder that your loved ones would be interested in.
For anything that can't be scanned, there is this good old binder, or a drawer if you prefer. But keep it to the strict minimum.
Make it an habit
And lastly, make it an habit to scan (or put in the recycling bin automatically) as you receive some more mail or papers. And do it as soon as possible. This will keep your house paper free and you'll feel liberated.
You can also ask institutions like your bank or your Internet provider to send their communications via email instead of paper. This should also make you save some bucks since they usually reward this "go-green" principle.
What about you? How do you keep your home paperless?
Are you afraid of using Google Apps or Dropbox? Do you see any folders name that should be added above?