Unstuffing the files, part 1

April 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

This sorter with a slot for each day of the month (and a drawer with a section for pens and space for stamps or envelopes or whatever) seemed like a good idea at the time. We bought it for tracking bills and other date-sensitive mail… and as long as we filed the mail when it came in and checked the slots regularly, it worked just fine. And when we didn’t (which was frequently the case), it really wasn’t any help at all.

These days, most of our bills arrive via email, and the majority go directly to our credit union‘s online bill payment system. I check a couple of times a month to be sure that the bills have arrived and the payments are going out as they should, and that’s it! We haven’t yet reached my goal of a paperless home office, but we’re getting closer.

Since we no longer use this nice organizer, it’s leaving our house. I hope someone else may find it useful.

While we’ve succeeded in reducing the amount of the paper coming into the house, we still have to deal with the reams of paper that we already have… more than enough to fill the pair of 2-drawer filing cabinets that we have.  I’ve spent hours this year sorting through a decade of files, figuring out what to keep and what to toss. Much of what we’re tossing has enough personal information on it that I don’t want to get rid of it without shredding it. Our small shredder has been getting a workout, but shredding papers is boring, noisy work. Happily, our credit union had their semi-annual Shred Day today. At several of their branches, they had shredding trucks that would take two file boxes or a garbage bag of papers and shred them for free! (Have I mentioned that I love our credit union?) This morning, I took a 10″x12″x15″ box stuffed with sensitive documents to one of the branches, where it took just seconds for the young guy who’d been soaking up rays by the shredding truck to take my box, dump all that paper into the shredder, and hand me the empty box. Success!

That’s 15 linear inches of papers, plus the bill organizer, making 16 “items” unstuffed today.

Coming soon: getting rid of paper copies of documents we need or want to keep.

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