I started to realize that there was clutter in other forms other than things that I didn’t need or want to keep. There was clutter in what I DID want to keep too. There were papers I did want to keep and I knew there must be a better way to keep them but still have access to them. A year or two ago, my mom took all of her lesson files and scanned them into the computer.. She said it took a long time and now she has some CDs burned with those files on them. Now she can go right to the CD and just look at it when she wants to or when she needs to. She has also given a copy of the CDs to me.
I thought this was a great idea, realizing I was more likely to access whatever I need to on the computer since I am on it quite a bit during the day anyway. I started doing the very same thing. My mom was right about one thing; It has taken a while, especially with me going back to school. That makes things busy really fast. This hasn’t been the only thing I’ve been doing. I have been typing up notes I’ve had for years. This is also something I am still working on. Some articles I have had in paper form I have been able to find online and save as files. Another thing I have done is to better evaluate whether it is ‘worth it’ to keep something. If there is a book I am considering keeping and it only has eight pages I might refer back to, I’m not going to keep it. I might as well scan or copy the pages I want to keep and sell the book. If there is a significant portion of a book I want to refer back to I will keep it.
The other thing I have done is to make things as paperless as possible. I had already made it so I can access bank statements online. This was primarily for security reasons and because we mostly did online banking anyway. It needless to say was a simple decision. I would rather get a text or an email as opposed to something in the mail. This makes things easier since I don’t have to go looking for the paper; I can just sign into a website for my accounts and there is a history of payments. I can also view my bill online. I can also download a copy of my bill to my computer. This makes things easy too. It’s taken a little while but I am starting to see the benefits of having my papers contained and not as noticeable as before. I am liking it. I do though still keep papers I need, but have folders set up in my cabinet where I file them as soon as I can. This is not to say that paper is gone from my life, but the amount of paper is minimal compared to what it was before with papers everywhere.