I’ve recently taken on the self-assigned duty of spending a minimum of 5 minutes each day de-cluttering my office. “Ah ha!” you’re probably thinking, “Even the professional can’t keep her office organized.” Not so fast, dear reader. My office is actually very well organized – it’s just time for my annual “review and pare down” routine. But rather than doing it in big chunks, I’m practicing what I talked about in my recent blog post – I’m breaking this project down into small steps to get it accomplished. Five minutes a day (ok, it’s so much fun that I typically spend 15 minutes a day) may not seem like much, but over the past three weeks I’ve pared down two file drawers and should have my project completed by the end of the month. Inspired by the multiple bags of papers I’m recycling and the shredder that’s been working overtime, here are some ideas about how to reduce the amount of paper flowing into your (and my) life.
Jettison junk mail. Junk mail can disguise itself as fun or interesting items, but it’s still junk if it’s not something you’ve invited to into your home. I’ve used both of the following free services and they’ve definitely helped lighten my mail carrier’s load:
- Catalog Choice is a one-stop website to simplify the process of unsubscribing from unwanted catalogs.
- OptOutPrescreen.com will help you opt out from receiving credit card or insurance offers.
Be sure to shred any unwanted solicitations that still slip through to reduce the risk of scammers subscribing for a credit card in your name.
Reduce the number of receipts. Consider whether you need to get a receipt for each of your purchases. If it’s not for something you may return (e.g., gasoline), you won’t need it for reconciling your debit or credit card statement, it’s not for an major purchase or item under warranty, and you won’t need it for budgeting or tax purposes, you can most likely decline receiving a receipt. Your overstuffed wallet will thank you.
Here’s a link to my newsletter where you can read more about the lists that keep me organized. I’d love to hear what other ideas you have to pare down your paper flow.
Wishing you simplicity, harmony and freedom,