A paperless home saves trees, reduces clutter, and makes it easier to find things. You should digitalize your surplus paper before getting rid of it.
To make your home paperless, handle all receipts correctly
If you’re serious about ridding your home of paper, you should first design a workable system to tackle your receipts. If you maintain your home on a cash budget and track every expense methodically, you should take care of all the cash receipts regularly.
Set aside some time each week to enter your expenses from all the receipts (use Pear Budget for this), and then put them in the recycling bin.
You need to retain only the receipts of only few purchases
For receipts that contain useful information, you should scan the originals using a simple program. This helps you in keeping track of vital information. “Neat Receipts” affords a compact solution for accomplishing this purpose. Otherwise, use a scanner. You should then shred the receipt and recycle it.
Use a simple filing system to retain the receipts you’ll need for future reference/use. Label these files by distinct receipt types, such as, “appliances”, “home maintenance”, and “electronics”.
Invest in a good-quality paper shredder to handle your mail
Keep the paper-shredder in an easily accessible place. This ensures that paper you don’t need doesn’t pile up. Shred anything that features your name and other information carefully. Don’t spare even the most lucrative offers you get regularly.
Pay your bills online
This prevents the avoidable piling up of paper. Besides, request these companies to send electronic bills instead of paper bills. Similarly, you should get your name removed from mailing lists and credit card offers. It may not stop all the “junk” mail, but it does help.
Maintain a simple filing system
File certificates of warranty/guarantee, birth certificates, copies of tax returns, and other important papers in a locker. Use a canvas file box to keep all your important documents.
To make your home paperless, shred any paper you don’t need
Shred credit/debit card bill statements, pay-check stubs, or outdated records (e.g. insurance receipts) that are older than three years.
Use digital tools to store all your information
Process all your financial bookkeeping with an easy-to-use tool like Pear Budget. Use Delicious to store all your recipes and other interesting articles you find on the internet. Use a digital calendar.
Cancel your newspaper and magazine subscriptions
Newspapers and magazines just add to paper you don’t need. You can access the latest news online free of cost. Besides, there are so many days when you too busy to even glance at the newspaper.
Visit your local library often
Before cluttering your home with books you’ll be reading just once (or never), read it in your local library. Contemplate on buying it only if you want it for future reference.
Design a workable solution for storing your children’s artwork. Retain only your favorites and repurpose or photograph the remainder.
Organize your collection of digital photos chronologically
You can also organize your digital photographs event-wise. Store them on uniquely labeled DVDs. Print only the photos you want to frame as art or present as gifts.
Cleanup your book collection ? regularly
Sell the books you haven’t read in a year, or may not read again at your local bookstore. Make an exception to this rule for high-quality children’s books. They will definitely serve the needs of future generations. Your children will be glad that you saved their books.
Cleanup your coupon stash once a week
When you compile your grocery list every week, cleanup your coupon stash. This will ensure that you will use them, rather than forget about their existence totally and permit them to expire.
Prevent the entry of wrappers & unwanted packages
Don’t allow these needles items to enter your home. Avoid buying individual-sized snacks. Opt for cooking from scratch instead of using boxed foods. Resist the temptation of purchasing more than what you genuinely need. Purchase family-size packs at the supermarket, and use reusable bags to carry them home.
To make your home paperless, understand the benefits
Getting rid of paper from your home saves money, reduces your trash load, teaches good stewardship, and conserves environmental resources. All this ensures that your home is clean, too.