Declutter Tips

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tips for Dealing With Paper Clutter

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Are you drowning in a sea of paper? Are you deluged by a torrent of catalogs? In the never ending battle against paper clutter, there are three must-have tools you'll need to win the war. Take note before you go into battle--


I can't possibly emphasize how great these are. Get one that is rated to shred staples, credit cards, and compact disks. It's so gratifying to see all those odd bits and pieces go bye-bye. Afterwards, you can dump it in a recycle bin. If you're like me, you probably have old installation discs from various and sundry computer programs that are obsolete. Trust me, Windows 3.1 is not making a comeback. Then there are the CDs you've saved who knows what on. Shred them as well, and you won't have to worry about someone digging through your trash and finding private information. A shredder equals peace of mind. Just make sure to shred the discs separately from your paper trash if you plan to recycle.

Multifunction Printer Scanner Copier

These machines are cheaper than ever. If you watch for sales, you can get a good quality, brand name machine for around $50. Even when they're not on sale, a nice one is $100 or less. For three products in one that's a bargain. If you don't need to have the original document but still need a copy, scan it and save a copy to your hard drive. It's also a good idea to make a backup copy--one on your hard drive and another somewhere else like a USB or ZIP drive. Make sure you name the electronic document clearly so you can find it easily. It's probably a good idea to set up electronic folders on your computer for different things like Income_Tax or Utility_Bills 2004. You can plug the numbers into a spreadhsheet and track your costs over time. If you're the type that feels guilty when you toss your kid's refrigerator art, go ahead and scan that too. At the graduation or wedding you can do a slideshow retrospective. Your child will love you for it.

File Cabinet

If you're thinking of the old-fashioned metal file cabinets found in offices, think again. These days file cabinets come in various wood tones to match your home decor. This trend started because of the popularity of home offices. As more and more people were able to work from home, they wanted office equipment that fit in with their home surroundings and manufacturers have obliged.

Go ahead and get some hanging folders and file folders. If there is a page in a catalog you want to keep, tear off the cover of the catalog and the page you want to keep. Staple them together, and file in your file cabinet. Toss the remainder. When you're ready to order, you'll know what catalog it came from.

? 2006, Clara Myers. Are you struggling with clutter? Check out the Orgnaization 2.0 Blog at for tips and suggestions on how to organize yourself.

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