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 /


Leave a Reply