How much time do you spend organizing your papers? Add up the hours and think about all the things you could do with that time instead. Don’t organize paperwork, eliminate it! Here are some quick things to get you started in reducing paper and paperwork.
Reduce junk mail. Tired of all that crap that comes in the mail and immediately fills up the recycle bin? Take a couple of minutes and visit DMA Choice to get off mailing lists.
Stop unwanted catalogs. Have you purchased something online recently? If so, you were likely added to a mailing list to receive catalogs from that company. Unfortunately, this also means your contact information was shared with other companies issuing catalogs. Visit Catalog Choice to stop the avalanche.
Charity solicitations. Solicitations from charitable organizations are also a phenomenon that seems to multiply like rabbits. Give to the Humane Association today, and tomorrow you will start receiving solicitations from other animal-related charities. Some or all of these organizations might be completely legitimate and worthwhile. However, getting unwanted solicitations is a waste of time, effort, and paper. They could also be a pitfall when it comes to straying from your carefully planned budget.
When I respond to mailed requests from charities I routinely support, I take an extra thirty seconds to write on the donor form I am returning, “Do not share my contact information.” Post a note to yourself wherever you normally pay bills to remember to include that note when responding to your chosen charities.
Credit card and insurance offers. Ugh. These can mount up in no time. At their peak in our household, we would get at least three or four per week. We almost never get one now. How did we do it? We utilized the government’s Opt-Out program.
Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information page about prescreened credit card and insurance offers. Here you will find information about how to opt out for five years or permanently. While the permanent version will take more work, it is worth it.
As a bonus when you visit this site, click over to the Do Not Call Registry and get your phone number removed from junk calls. I have found this to be less than perfect, but better than nothing.
Some of these tasks need to be done at regular intervals to ward off all that wasted paper and subsequent wasted time. Take five minutes to do one of them right now. Then keep going or schedule another anti-junk task for tomorrow. Before long, you will notice less mail in your mailbox, and fewer junk calls.
And THAT makes for a simpler, more peaceful life.
What did I miss? What other resources are there for preventing those piles of unwanted paper and paperwork? Share your ideas below.