Does anyone else always seem to have piles of paper lying around the house?! Like, ALL the time? They seem to collect and breed like bunnies in the spring. They show up on the kitchen table, on the counter tops, in the entry way, in your office. We aren't sure what to do with the contents so we let them sit, and then they start growing. And then maybe we even begin to feel attached to them. They become like little house pets! OK, I'm getting carried away. But you know what I mean! These dang PILES!
One of the biggest categories of paper waste is junk mail. Credit card offers, insurance offers, etc. If these aren't already, junk mail should go straight from the mailbox into the recycling or garbage. Don't even let it make a stop on the counter or the table. It doesn't deserve that precious space of yours!
I know in our house we get a lot of product catalogs, especially for stores I don't even shop at! How do they know me?! If you get these too, take a few minutes next time to call or visit their website to opt out of their mailing list. This 5 minutes could prevent a lot of future junk mail, so it's worth it!
Ok, household bills are inevitable. But why do they need to send us so many papers?! The best tip to handling papers with bills is to go paperless. Opt out of paper bills on your providers website. While on the website you can go one step further and set up auto payments to draw automatically from your accounts. For bills that rarely ever change this is a great option. Some companies even give you benefits for going paperless like reduced or no fees.
When paperless is not an option, or you just like to see and pay your bills the old fashioned way, there are still tricks to keeping the paper at bay. First, open your bills immediately, and throw EVERYTHING away except the bill itself, even the envelopes and all the inserts. These are unnecessary. Then, unfold the bill so it lays flat, and put it in the "bill spot".
You have a "bill spot" right? If not, it's time to find one. Our "bill spot" is this one specific fridge magnet clip where the bills go, in an area of the fridge that is always kept clear. When there's anything in the "bill spot" it is a clear indicator that there's a bill to pay. It doesn't have to be fancy, but wherever your "bill spot" is, only put your one individual bill paper there, and get rid of the other paper waste.
Weddings, birthday parties, school events; the list of activities is never-ending and the papers just pile up, often lingering long past the event! My favorite tip for reducing clutter here is to put any events or reminders right into the calendar on your smart phone. Once you do this you can let go of the paper. For events that have a lot of details, it helps to attach a picture of the invite right to the event so you can reference the details later without needing to hold on to all the paper. Make sure to dispose of all paper from events that have passed.
Protecting Your Info
For any paper that has your name and address or any other personal information, shredding is a good option. But sometimes it can take a while and then you might start to accumulate a "shred pile". I let this happen for way too long, way too often. But there is a solution! I can not recommend enough these awesome ID Theft Ink Rollers, they have changed my life. These are a quick and easy way to feel confident recycling or throwing away any mail with your info on it.
What are some tips you like to use for keeping the paper piles from growing in your home?!