Recently, my workshop for the Holistic Mom’s monthly meeting on “Paper Management for the Green Home” was rescheduled due to a foot of snow. Like many of us, you may be stuck inside during these cold winter days. So why not take advantage of being indoors and organize your home office? Here’s a plan to help you clear your desk while “going green” with less paper.
The first step is to go online and opt out of the unwanted mail coming into your home. Try DMAChoice.org for general junk mail, TrustedID.org for unwanted catalogs and Optoutprescreen.com for pre-approved credit card offers. Create a new email address for coupons and ask to have your monthly statements sent via email.
There are also some wonderful apps for your phone. Catalog Spree allows you to view a variety of different catalogs online. Retail Me Not offers coupons to local stores, and Snip Snap stores your coupons digitally after you take a photo of them on your phone.
Now that you’ve reduced the paper input, it’s time to tackle the existing paper piles.
- Sort the important mail from the unwanted mail which can be recycled
- Store coupons in your glove compartment
- Place bills in a basket on your desk
- Assign each family member a file or basket
- File your new insurance policy, bank statements and receipts immediately
- Add events to your calendar then use a clipboard for your invitations
- Shred monthly utility bills after the new one comes in
- Set up your files in alphabetical order
- Assign labels, examples include:
- Auto- EZ pass, AAA & car purchase receipts
- Banking- pin numbers, credit card information & credit report
- Insurance- auto, life & homeowners
- Medical- test results, EOB’s (Explanation of Benefits) & paid bills
- Anything with your social security number unless you need it for tax purposes
- Documents with your signature
- Forms with your birthdate on it
- Account numbers
Holistic living is a lifestyle which seeks balance knowing that all things are interconnected. What you bring into your home directly affects how you feel. How does your home make you feel? Is your home office stressing you out? Try to tackle your paperwork often, perhaps in short intervals, every other day. If you need help, get help! Remember, your home is your sanctuary.