Our digital world has dramatically reduced the amount of paper that goes into our homes. While it has become easier to manage, there are some things that just don’t escape us.
Our daughter stared preschool this year and holy moly, the amount art and paper she comes home with was overwhelming. Realizing this wasn’t going away anytime soon, we had to make adjustments. For starters, all art projects come into the house. Depending on the art project, we’ll decide if we keep it or throw it away. I will admit at first, I couldn’t throw anything away, she made it. I was so proud but realized if I kept every single art project, we were going to have a major problem. She comes home with at least 2-3 a day. We also learned when throwing away her art projects, not to do it in front of her 😉 She would keep every single one if she had a choice.
Kids papers are just a small portion of what paper we still deal with. Setting up a paper system will help manage what you keep and what you can throw away.
Here’s how you can start:
- Open up mail in the same place every day. Mail is something that isn’t going away anytime soon. When you get your mail and bring it inside, put it in the same place. If you aren’t able to open it immediately, you’ll know where to find it and prevent anything from getting lost.
- Use a filing system or letter sorter. Once you’ve opened mail, decide if you will file it or throw it away. Use file trays or a letter organizer and label them Bills or To File. Each week, store the papers accordingly that you need to file in a filing cabinet. If you receive magazines in the mail, create a space in your home where they all go. For us, it’s in our command center. The magazine immediately goes into the section for magazines even if we haven’t read it yet.
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- Automate any bills. Set up paperless billing for any bills that you might have. You can even take it a step further to auto-withdrawal from your checking account to save you time and money.
- Is it essential or necessary? Ask yourself this question when trying to figure out if you need to keep it. There are important documents you do need to keep such as:
- Tax Returns
- Mortgage Information
- Birth Certificates
- Marriage Certificates
- Social Security Information
- Car Titles
- Student Loans
- Bank Information
- Medical Records
- Unsubscribe from junk mail. Chances are you usually throw the junk mail in the garbage. Make your life easier and step it a step further by removing yourself from direct mailings. It’s less paper that comes into your house. You can do it here
When you establish a paper system, it’s much easier to manage. Use an area in your home that you can dedicate to your mail and know you will use it every day.
What is your favorite tip when it comes to managing paper in your house?