Clear the Paper Monster

filing clutterI have too much paper. I think I need to keep it….ALL? No, truth is, I don’t need much of it PERIOD.  But how to do it so I don’t start screaming when I tossed the wrong thing? Here’s my guidance – a first pass if you will – because I, and possibly you, need an effective system to thin the flotsam from the jetsam.

1. Where do I keep my manuals? I go there and toss everyone for products I no longer own.

2. Set aside all the manuals for the major appliances I own. I may need them and  should pass them on when I sell. I use an expandable plastic envelope. (It’s pretty fat…ummm)

3. Go online and check to see if the manufacturer of the appliances and devices have a manual on their site. If they do, download it and put it in a folder “Manuals”. Then toss the paper copies.

4. Shred (shredding can be fun!) the following:

• Credit Card applications.

• Unwanted paper that has my address, account number or access information: birth dates, driver license numbers, luggage tags, medical information, passwords, report cards, signatures, social security numbers, used airline tickets.

• Credit checks on tenants or home helpers. Passports, visas, any old identification cards.

That’s the start. This series will be continued!

PS – when disposing of the shreds (cross cut recommended) toss part into recycle and part into trash. Yes, it’s no quite as environmentally sensitive, BUT it’s a great deal safer from prying eyes.

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