Paper Chase

Do you know where your electric bill/ credit card statement/ child’s permission slip is? Chances are it’s swimming in one of the piles of papers flooding your home.

Paper clutter costs time and energy. Hidden bills lead to late fees. A hide-and-seek permission slip makes you late out the door. Take back your time and save your money and energy for better things by following these simple tips to reduce paper clutter.

1. Walk straight from the mailbox to the recycling bin or trashcan. Dispose of the junk mail immediately.

2. Set up a file or basket for each member of your household. Sort mail, papers to sign, bills to pay, and to-do lists into the appropriate container.

3. Recycle periodicals constantly. When a new magazine or newspaper arrives, dispose of the old one, read or not.

4. Rip out interesting articles when you first receive your magazine. Put them in a “to read” file or basket. No more stacks of bulky magazines!

5. Set up the simplest filing system possible. Use broad categories and you’ll be more likely to file. Buy a portable file box and file papers once a week as you watch TV.

6. Keep only the mail order catalogs you think you’ll actually use.

7. Sign up to make bill and credit card payments online. Although the companies may still send you paper statements, you can now file these statements without worrying about forgetting to pay.

8. Keep a file, folder, or envelope for receipts only. File receipts daily.

9. Organize recipes in recipe boxes or photo albums with dividers.

10. Purge your files at least once a year. Toss outdated information.

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