With your first breath, you were gifted a new identity on paper, captured in ink on your birth certificate. From that moment on, your relationship with paper became a pivotal part of your life, and how you handle it can have far-reaching consequences. Whether it’s managing bills, tracking important documents, or organizing information, your ability to locate and access the information you need can greatly impact your financial stability, legal standing, business success, personal growth, relationships, and overall enjoyment of life.
Think about it, a single mislaid piece of paper can lead to headaches and heartache – be it a missing receipt for a tax write-off or the brochure from a cherished European getaway. But with a little effort, you can take control of the paper in your life and turn it into a manageable, organized asset.
Here are seven ways to get started:
Embrace the Art of Wastebasketry. Don’t be afraid to let go of papers that no longer serve a purpose. If you can live without it, then shred, recycle, or dispose of it.
Opt for electronic billing. Say goodbye to paper bills and the piles of financial statements that come with them. Set up electronic payments and keep a watchful eye on your online accounts with strong passwords.
Scan important documents. Most printers today come with a scanning function, making it easy and affordable to store important information in an electronic format. Remember to keep personal identification information secure.
Minimize printing. Keep your digital documents organized, so you don’t feel compelled to print out every email or document. Make sure you have a backup system in place, too.
Receive newsletters and reports electronically. From travel statements to industry updates, switch to digital delivery to save time, space, and resources.
Manage your magazines, newspapers, and catalogs. After reading, recycle and donate to local organizations.
Make recycling and shredding easy and accessible. Take advantage of free shredding services offered by local businesses, and protect your identity while reducing your carbon footprint.
Start small and work your way through the list. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can reduce the amount of paper in your life, and how much more organized and enjoyable your home becomes. Live life more productively, without the weight of paper holding you back!