How to create
a paperless household
Is paper clutter winning the battle in your home? Do you find yourself misplacing important documents and wasting time looking for them? Gain the upper hand by creating a paperless household. The key to paperless success is to make rules and create a system—then enlist every member of the family to help make it happen. Here are some tips to get you started.
Stop paper at the door
Once you’ve read them, relegate flyers, and other non-identifying mail you no longer need to the recycling bin. Spending a few seconds a day doing this will keep paper piles from starting in the first place. Keep a shredder in a handy location and shred any mail you wish to discard that contains identifying information such as your name and address.
Get your own personal vault
Next, sign up to get bills and statements sent to you electronically instead of receiving paper bills. Find a storage provider—one you can really trust—that lets you set up your own data storage system and organize it how you like. Create a digital filing system to keep copies of bills, banking and tax information and other important documents.
Scan it or take a snapshot!
Receipts, warranty information, elementary school art projects—they can all be scanned and stored online. You can buy a handheld scanner for less than $100. Or use your digital camera or smartphone to take photos of these things. Never lose important items again!
Reduce existing paper files and piles
Keep original important documents and identification like birth certificates and passports in a safe location in your home. But instead of keeping paper copies of these items and adding to your clutter woes, keep backup copies online using your secure cloud storage solution. To ensure you choose a company that will protect your private data and offer bank-grade security features, read our article Top 5 Security Questions to Ask Your Prospective Online Storage Provider.
and medical history are ideal candidates for your online safe deposit box.
Put your wallet online
Once you’ve found a security conscious data storage provider for your online personal vault, go ahead and put your wallet information online—credit card and bank account numbers, insurance, warranty and reward program information and even your usernames and passwords. (For even greater security, instead of storing your actual passwords, consider using password hints that remind only you of what those passwords are).
Health records thrive online
Health card numbers and medical information like prescriptions, allergies, immunization records and medical history are ideal candidates for your online safe deposit box. Not only will this eliminate the need to keep paper records of all of these hard-to-find items, it also means you can access the information from anywhere, and have it at your fingertips in an emergency.
Don’t forget the fun stuff!
You can also use your online data storage to back up your family portraits, vacation photos, home movies and all of your computer files in the event of a hard drive failure.