This week over on BlogHer's Life Well Lived series they are discussing paperwork organization. They asked, "How do you organize paperwork both online and off? Share your tip(s) to managing physical and digital clutter?"
HA! I am horrible at paperwork organization. It absolutely overwhelms me. I have great intentions, but I just can't keep it going to stay on top of things. I should plan a weekly time to file away important papers. I have done a few things recently that has helped:
- Pay bills online and register for email statements as opposed to paper. This has really cut back on the amount of physical paperwork we receive and it is very "green." It also makes it really easy to search for account info, since the websites organize it for me.
- Online banking: this has been a lifesaver for me. Not only do I save money and time from writing checks and mailing payments, I can check instantly what has been paid and what hasn't.
- Junk mail recycled immediately. This is an ongoing battle for me. We get much less junk mail these days as opposed to three years ago, but we still get lots of unsolicited mail. Instead of letting it pile up, I try hard to deposit it in our paper recycling bin ASAP.
The biggest paper clutter I have to deal with besides filing bills and receipts is magazines and catalogs. I try to read them as soon as I have time, but I'll find a recipe I like or not enough time to finish an article and the piles begin. Every so often I go through the house and toss the magazines that haven't been read. If it's a cooking magzine, sometimes I tear out recipes I like, but with the internet, there is a lot online. One thing I really like is electronic periodicals on my ipad. Eventually, I might have to switch all my subscriptions to just e-versions. My husband did this with the daily paper and it has considerable cut down on the paper in our home.
And in regards to electronic clutter, I'm embarrassed to say that in trying to find an email from someone who I couldn't remember their email addy, I read through all my emails on my main email account. I deleted as I scrolled through until I found the email I was looking for originally. When I finished deleting all the junk and old emails, I realized that I had deleted over 7000 emails! That is insane. I don't even want to look at my google email accounts. I am awful at deleting!