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Conquering the Paper Monster – Part 2

Now that you’ve stopped the giant influx of junk mail and other papers, it’s time to start purging!

The easiest paper products to start with are magazines, catalogs, and newspapers.

  • Magazines – If you haven’t gone through them in the last 6 months, they belong in the recycling bin. You can hang on to the last 6 months’ worth of magazines as long as you can be good about the one in-one out rule. This means when a new magazine comes in, you recycle the oldest one.
  • Catalogs – Recycle them. If you are hanging on to it because you might get around to buying something you want – why haven’t you done it yet? If you’re second guessing a purchase – even for price – you don’t need that item. Find the item on the catalog’s website and bookmark it if you really think you might buy it down the road.
  • Newspapers – If you have kids, hang on to a couple days’ worth to serve as disposable glue or paint catchers. The rest should go in the recycling.

Other mail 

  • Credit offers – Shred them
  • Utility bills – if you can’t get them online, hang on to the last 3 and shred the rest.  They can be useful when getting a mortgage or otherwise proving your residence.
  • Bank and Loan statements – If you can get them online, shred the paper statements. If not, keep the last 3 and shred the rest.

Other paper

  • Receipts – Hang on to receipts needed for warranties, taxes, or proof of purchase. For the rest, shred them after you check against credit card transactions.
  • Warranties – Hang on to until the warranty expires

Citigroup and Women & Co came up with a fantastic infographic describing what papers you should scan, shred, or store. It echos some of the information I mention here, and it talks about the tools you need to conquer that paper monster.

If you need help getting started, call or email Organized Logic!

Image courtesy of scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Conquering the Paper Monster – Part 1

Do you get a lot of junk mail? Are you still getting bills in the mail? The first thing you need to do is stop more papers from entering your home.

Stop junk mail.

  • Stop unsolicited pre-screened offers for credit at OptOutPrescreen.com. Use the permanent option.
  • Stop unsolicited commercial mail (magazines and catalogs) at DMAChoice.org
  • Stop receiving catalogs and other unwanted mail from companies you have done business with at TrustedID (formerly CatalogChoice). This can also work for some charity mail that you receive.

Stop getting bills and statements in the mail. Here are just a few types of companies that offer a paperless option for billing and statements. Visit their websites and look for the paperless option or email/online-only.

  • Credit cards
  • Banks (checking and savings accounts)
  • Utilities
  • Loans

How else do you accumulate papers? Can you stop them from coming in?

  • Magazines. Do you actually read the magazines you buy? If so, be sure to toss them when you’re done. If not, cancel that subscription and save money and space!
  • Newspapers. Do you read the paper or just get the paper for ads and/or coupons? Most of that information can be obtained online or in mobile apps.
  • Flyers. Try to avoid picking up flyers. Or if you do, deal with the information immediately then toss the paper.
  • Printed paper. Think twice before printing something. Can you just bookmark a website or flag that email? Can you use a smaller font and save paper and ink?

How else does paper get into your home? Think about how you can stop it. If you need help, send us an email and get us on your schedule!