5 Easy Ways to Reduce Paper Clutter

As Spring moves toward Summer and the outdoors beckon, it’s easy for clutter to get out of control inside our homes. Paper can be a necessary nuisance. It will pile up if you let it. Here are 5 easy strategies to get paper clutter in check and enjoy summertime activities.

#1 – Cancel unwanted catalogs and other types of paper mail

Catalogchoice.org is a free service that will send merchants your opt-out request on your behalf. It’s a non-profit organization on a mission to stop junk mail for good. If want to support their cause, they’ll gladly accept your donation.

#2 – Cancel magazine and paper newsletter subscriptions

Go digital where you can. Sign up to have your subscriptions delivered to your email inbox instead. Do you really need to print that article on paper? Instead, print it as a pdf or save it to a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Doxo or Evernote to read at a more convenient time.

#3 – Opt in for paperless billing whenever possible

Many businesses allow access to your statement and pay your bill online – anytime, anywhere. In addition to saving trees, going paperless saves you money (postage) and is much more secure.

#4 – Designate one spot in your home or office for paper

During busy times, it helps to designate one location in your home for all incoming paper to land. This can be a file, drawer, box or basket. The key to success is to schedule a regular time each week to review what has accumulated and decide whether it requires action, or needs to be filed, recycled or shredded.

#5 – Implement a self-purging filing system

A system like FreedomFiler brings sustainable order to paper clutter. It reduces filing time dramatically by organizing papers according to how long they need to be retained. Newer documents replace older ones, and the footprint of the filing system remains the same. For more information about the theory behind FreedomFiler, read Seth Odam’s article Filing 101.

It takes a little time to win the never-ending paper clutter battle, but it’s worth the effort. You’ll save time and money when it’s all said and done. Oh…and the planet will thank you, too!