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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eliminating Paper Clutter in a Modern Way!

Blank White Note Book

How do we accumulate so much paperwork and clutter in our homes? It seems like everyday I am going through papers and "stuff" on the counters, in drawers, and most often, my desk! I have a filing cabinet that stores all of our important papers, bills, coupons, etc. I think I did a pretty good job color coding, labeling and organizing our filing cabinet, but there are so many papers in there. Storage is minimal, especially since our daughter's things have taken over our home and storage unit!  My husband and I are both self-employed so unfortunately, we have a lot of paperwork to save for 7 years... it is time to rethink our filing system. It's about time our modern conveniences transformed our clutter, right!

See how long are we supposed to keep bills, statements, and important documents at

I wanted to share steps that I have used to eliminate paperwork, clutter and files from our home. I hope you find it helpful!

Organizing your papers:
1. Sort your papers into categories (a few examples below):
Important Personal Documents
Miscellaneous Paperwork
School Paperwork

2. Can any items be saved electronically or scanned? -
Think of what items can be scanned and saved into your computer to eliminate paperwork. Make sure you always keep originals of important personal documents.

3. Organize your notes and miscellaneous papers with Evernote! -
Check out a website called This is a free service that allows you to save information and access it on your phone, ipad, and computer. This is truly modernizing clutter! Jot down a few notes, take a picture of meeting notes or a business card, save magazine articles or recipes, pretty much anything you can copy or take a picture of can be saved and filed on evernote! It's amazing! Then anytime you need to see it, just search for a few words in the document and it pops right up, even hand written notes! This is great for us moms who have a hard time remembering anything! :)

Organizing your bills and statements:

1. Check the length of available statement history with your bank/credit card company-
Review your credit card and bank statements online to see what length the bank holds records of your statements. Some companies have records up to 6 years, and others, only one year. If your credit card or banking institution holds your statements for 6 years, there is probably not a need to personally save all of the statements.
2. Save E-Statements on your computer-
Sign up for E-statements. The e-statements I receive in my email, I then save the pdf file of my statement in "My bills" file on my computer. I have a seperate folder under "My Bills" for each credit card or bank. If you prefer paper statements by mail, you can easily scan your bills into the computer and then save them in the same way.

3. Purge your saved E-Statements to a CD-
Every 6 months, I purge all of the information from my bills file and save it onto a computer cd. The cd goes into our fire-proof safe and I have all of our records for tax purposes, should we need them.

I'd love to hear your ideas on getting rid of clutter and unnecessary paperwork! Please share your ideas with us!

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