A paperless world was envisaged when computers and email where invented. We hoped we would have less paper to deal with and much more would be done electronically. Unfortunately it didn’t work out this way at all and we now have triple the amount of paper to deal with then the previous generation. Today’s blog is all about the paper that comes through our door and into our home. I want to share with you my top tips on how to reduce and deal with the amount that comes in, so it’s easier to sort out what is important.

1: Put a “no junk mail” sticker on your letterbox. You can order a sticker online, use a labeller to create one or just write it on a white sticker and put it on your letterbox. Just by reducing the amount that unnecessary falls on your doormat you will gain control of your paperwork

2: Unsubscribe from magazines and papers that you never read. If you find yourself constantly recycling a magazine without even taking the plastic off or if you have a year’s subscription in your to read box it’s time to unsubscribe and save some money as well.

3: Stop the clothes catalogues coming in by looking online. How often do you really have a look these days in a paper catalogue instead of searching for a certain item online? This will reduce again the paper coming in and it’s better for the environment.

4: Resist picking up every leaflet, folder or paper you come across during the day. If you see something that interests you quickly scan the leaflet there and then and if it is truly interesting take the leaflet. If not put it back and don’t bring it home with you. You can also make a photo of the leaflet with the website details so you can check it out later when you get home.

5: The post that comes through the door needs to be looked at the same day. The first task is to throw away the envelopes in recycling immediately after opening. The second task is to decide if the paper needs to be recycled (if it is junk mail after all), it needs to be shredded (it has your address), it needs to be filed (put it on the “to file” stack) or it needs action (put it in the “to do” file). If it is a quick action (sign a form for your kid to go on a trip) do that right away. If it involves a phone call, filling in a form or do some research put it in a “to do” file and make time that week to do those tasks. After the task is done again ask yourself if this piece of paper now can be recycled, shredded or needs to be filed away.

I hope these top tips will help you to get control over your paper. Next week my top tips are about dealing with information coming into your inbox.

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