I’m Giving Up Paper (& How You Can Too)

I don’t know about you but my office looks like an entire forest has just disintegrated into piles of paper.

Every few months, I get frustrated with the state of things and spend the afternoon clearing piles, filing, and stashing away the unfile-able in drawers. Afterwards, my world looks great. I have pens (who knew!), I can find my daytimer, and there are actual flat surfaces in my office. Huh.

A week or two later, however, it all returns. Or, it rebounds, as Marie Kondo would say.

Marie Kondo is the newest lifestyle guru making the rounds in the bookstore these days. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to read her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and then I did. And now I’ve been convinced that a virtually paperless existence is possible.

And now I’m pursuing said existence.

My Big Plan

As an entrepreneur, I do need to have some paper in my world. I need to have my credit card statements and my receipts. The kicker is — I need little else in paper form!

So, my big plan is this: I’m going to use Kondo’s suggestion of putting all the paper from my office into one spot. Honestly, that will probably be in the middle of my livingroom floor. Then, I’m going to go through it piece by piece and put it in one of three piles: recycle, shred, or save.

What am I saving?

  • Taxes: receipts and the GST reminders (until they’re filed)
  • Stationary: my thank you cards are the first thing to come to mind, envelopes and postage too
  • Notebooks: I brainstorm into notebooks. These are being kept
  • Printed marketing pieces: I have a print material portfolio
  • Mortgage and insurance papers: I’m sure I could scan these but, for now, they’re staying

What am I getting rid of?

  • My old client files: truly everything I need is in electronic form
  • Business cards: no need to keep cards from years ago
  • Inspiration boxes: I have boxes of inspiration tear outs and brochures. I never look at them
  • Scribbled notes: if they’re not in a book, they’re not staying (I may transfer a few notes into books)
  • To Read Pile: If it hasn’t been read yet, I doubt I’m going to. Time to move along

Recycle vs. Shredding

When in doubt, shred. Why leave yourself open to injury? BUT, shredding does cost money, so if it’s just tear outs from the inspiration box, those can be simply recycled.

Note: you can shred yourself and I do, at the request of an old client, have a shredder (which is in pristine condition). However, my life is too precious to spend over a loud shredder for hours, especially when there are companies that can throw a whole box into their shredder every few seconds! Pay the approximately $10 per box it costs and get on with your life.

When Is This Miracle Happening?

Well, soon. I think it’s going to take several solid hours to do this and, so, I need to schedule a day to get it done. I will do that soon and post the results. Stay tuned!