De-cluttering Life with Less Paper

Can you relate to the freeing feeling of sending an entire bin of paper off for recycling?  De-cluttering our home and especially my little blogging desk is a priority as we start the new year.  Wouldn't it be great if we didn't have so much paper clutter in the first place?  Sure, I've tried filing and organizing in baskets, even reusing a piece of paper after printing on the first side.  But admittedly in 2013, our household still hasn't moved into paperless mode.

A group of business innovators is joining forces for Paperless 2013, calling itself "a campaign to remove the need for paper from 'paperwork.'"  Most offer free or free trial services to help small businesses or individuals.  They're challenging people to go paperless, asking us to take a pledge via their coalition website.  I admit I'm a bit taken aback by the idea of going completely paperless.  Even for those who want to hold the written word in their hands and feel the texture of the paper under their fingers like I do, there are baby steps.  We can try some free services that eliminate the need for paper in the first place.

Imagine, for instance, not receiving any paper bills in your mailbox, but being able to manage them all, neatly online, in one place.  Imagine not losing your scribbled note about a password written down for some obscure account you need to access.  Imagine being able to quickly locate the receipt for the item you need to return.  Imagine not needing to run to the office store at 15 minutes before closing because you need to fax a signed copy of an agreement to purchase a house.  These solutions are all possible now, often for free.  

It's a matter of changing old habits.  Instead of keeping those cumbersome folders full of receipts and other things we might need at tax time in seven years, it's possible for a household to keep all of those records in electronic form.  I questioned whether online record-keeping could really be as secure as a stash of paperwork at home.  Spokesperson Joel Andren with Paperless 2013 partner HelloFax responded, "chances are that your online solution is much more secure than your paper solution."

This is an article, not an advertisement, so I won't name all of the coalition partners here.  But if you doubt their influence on the business world and the way we conduct household business, you must know that Google Drive is one of the names you'll find in the Paperless Coalition.  Here's to a 2013 that at least wastes less paper at our house, although we're not ready to go completely paperless.

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