paperwork

5 minimalist tips for decluttering your paperwork

When trying to declutter your home and minimizing your stuff, one of the biggest obstacles will definitely be the household paperwork. When you no longer live under your parents room, there is a lot to manage, pay, monitor, request and track. You have to pay the rent, pay for the car, put some money into the savings account, organize the bank statements, look into the health insurance, fill out the tax returns and so on. Without a good system, all this paperwork can turn into a nightmare. It’s about time to dive into it and declutter this paperwork for once and for all. With these 5 minimalist tips I will share today the household paperwork will become a whole lot easier and manageable.

#1 Organize

paperwork

The most important step in any minimalist undertaking and good home administration is getting organized. Yes, you will have to gather all the paperwork in and around the house and carefully browse through it all. Remember: it is just for this one time. If you get it right, you will never have to reorganize it again.

#2 Sort it out

paperwork

Once you gathered all the paperwork from every single box, drawer, basket and bin, it is time to sort it all out and arrange it by date, category or person. How you arrange it is not important, as long as you sort it in a way that suits you and your family and makes it easy to find the right papers when you need them. After you sorted out everything that you had, make sure that the incoming paperwork will get sorted in the same efficient matter. We use a small mail sorter for this. We have one slot for all the things that are already taken care of and need to be filed and we keep one slot for all the things that need to be looked at or payed at a later time. It works like a charm!

#3 Digitize

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One of the most efficient ways to manage the household paperworks is by digitizing them. A lot of companies nowadays offer the possibility of sending their information through e-mail instead of mail. This saves a lot of paper and gives you the oppertunity of storing all the important papers on your computer or the cloud. Once you arranged for a good filing system, you can even choose to scan all the paper documents that you have in your home and file them digitally. Just imagine all the space this system will create in your home! Just make sure that you choose to save your documents in a safe environment with proper passwords and make sure to have a backup, just in case.  All the documents that you digitized can be shredded afterwards (if you are not required by law to keep them).

#4 Reduce

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When you are sorting through all your paperwork, ask yourself how important all these papers really are? I can imagine that you want to hang on to your bank statements, insurance papers and business administration, but do you really need to keep all the bills from online orders and pension updates? Most of these things are easily looked up online and just clutter your house or your paperwork folders. Be critical of the things that you want to hang on to and want to be updated on.

#5 Refuse

paperwork

When I speak of being critical of what you want to be updated on, I am referring to the enormous pile of mail, both real and digital, that we receive on a daily basis. It is not possible to stay on top of all the paperwork if you receive so much of it. Be strict when it comes to this paperwork and select which mail is actually important and what you can do without. When you have a membership on a magazine, but you hardly ever read it, get rid of it. When you get tons of newsletters in your inbox and you don’t even look at them, then unsubscribe. You will do yourself a huge favor and it will make the important mail that comes in feel like less of a burden. Trust me.

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