It wasn’t too long ago that it was predicted that we would be a paperless society by now. While we’ve made strides to storing documents on computers and in “the cloud,” we find that almost all of our clients face the dilemma of what to do with all this paper. Read more for our tips from a professional organizer for businesses in Northern Virginia.
What Should You Retain in Paper Form?
- car titles, diplomas, business licenses, marriage licenses, birth certificates, social security cards, official forms of identification, property deeds, stock certificates, special commendations, and memorabilia and historical documents that can’t be saved any other way.
What to Consider Storing Electronically?
- mortgage and car loan paperwork, bank statements, financial statements (retirement, college savings, other investments), medical receipts and diagnoses, insurance policies, tax returns and supporting documents, and school transcripts.
Then there are things that you really don’t need to retain at all, but still enter your life in paper form.
When to Scan and Discard?
- utility bills, business cards, expense receipts, school reminders, junk mail, credit card statements, home repair receipts, insurance claim statements, children’s school artwork, and holiday cards.
When to Hire a Professional Organizer for Your Business or Office Project
With all this paper swirling around, it’s no wonder that paper management has become a niche organizing specialty. You can certainly hire someone to help you with your incoming paper, but sometimes changing a few habits will get you well on your way to taming the paper monster.
How to Organize and Declutter Your Mailbox
First off: junk mail. First area that you can declutter easily. Have a box or a bag right inside your door and toss the junk in there before it lands in your home. Be ruthless. It’s estimated that 50-60% of delivered mail is solicitations that you didn’t ask for. Don’t let it in.
Go Paperless for Less Mess!
Next: go paperless. Most banks, credit card companies, financial institutions, and utilities encourage their customers to go paperless. (It saves them printing, mailing, and personnel costs, and streamlines their financial processes.) They have images of your bills that you can access easily on their websites, so you don’t need to receive the statement in the mail. They will send you emails with amounts due so you can pay them online, thereby saving you time, postage, and the hassle of managing the paper.
Enroll in paperless billing and you will see a drastic decline in your incoming paper. (But realize that you must closely monitor your email for bills that need to be paid.)
Finally: ask yourself if you really need to keep something in paper form. This requires a little extra effort, but it’ll become easier as it becomes more routine.
Professional Organizer for Businesses in Northern Virginia
You can tame the paper monster. Make 2020 the year you take control of your paper. Call us for help on your bigger projects from a Professional Organizer for businesses in Northern Virginia!