Declutter Paper and Stop it From Coming Back!

No matter how “green” we try to be, there always seems to be an excess of paper clutter in our lives. If you need to know how to declutter paper you're in the right place.

First and foremost – if you struggle with getting rid of paper clutter – you need to realize that 99% of the papers can be stored electronically.

Common Paper Clutter That Can Be Done Online

– Credit Card – Utility Bills (Water, Gas, Electric, Trash, etc.) – Mortgage (Keep the Original Papers) – Insurance (Keep the Initial Policy) – Auto Loan (Keep the Bill of Sale) – Tax Documents (Keep at Least 3 Years) – 401(k)/Investments – Bills (Phone, Internet, TV, etc.)

The only receipts you should keep are those for big purchases, like furniture or jewelry, and any for your taxes, like expense receipts.

Decluttering Paperwork Steps:

While I advocate for digital storage solutions, you still need to have a system for your must-have documents.

Step 1 – Gather the Paper

If you have more than one area where paper piles up, gather it all together.

Step 2 – Know What to Keep

Before sorting the documents, you need to know what paper documents you actually want to keep.

Step 3 – Sort the Paper

Begin at the top of the pile, and then put like documents together.

Step 4 – File Neatly

Once you have your keepers sorted, let's get them filed. It's recommended to have vital documents stored in a fireproof safe.

Step 5 – Shred the Trash

If you have access to a paper shredder, you will want to shred any documents with personal information about you or your household.

Step 6 – Maintenance

Set an alarm to remind you to sort through the papers in your staging zone and discard any documents in your files that are no longer needed.

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