It’s the weekend, and I’m sending extra encouragement to everyone dedicated to spending at least 20 minutes a day tackling household papers.
For some instant inspiration, check out Steve’s tidy table over in the Money Diet Community Facebook Group. He even posted ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos, and his results are amazing!
If you can only do one task in this #PaperFree challenge, this is the one thing that will make a huge difference:
Drastically Reduce Your Junk Mail
Go to the Direct Mail Association’s DMA Choice and register for an account. There is a $2.00 fee to activate the service, and it’s worth every penny.
Once you have an account, you can quickly opt out of catalogs, magazine offers, credit cards and other offers. From start to finish, the process took me less than 5 minutes.
Speaking of mail, it helps to have a recycle bin and a shredder right near the path where you pick up or receive your mail. Drop it in the bin or shred it on the spot, and those flyers and mailers will never worm their way into your home.
What’s In Your Stacks?
Yesterday I showed you our Hot Spot, the kitchen counter where papers tend to accumulate. I sorted everything into piles, and here’s what I unearthed (clockwise from upper left):
- Unread magazines
- Junk mail
- Financial statements
- School papers
- A pizza take out menu
(Plus sunscreen from my walk, and earbuds that just needed to be put away.)
More Paper-Reducing Strategies
Most magazines and periodicals are available in online versions now. Go digital and avoid magazines piling up. Or check out magazines–either the paper or digital version–from your local library.
Sign up for online billing instead of paper bills.
Ask banks and investment companies to send you digital versions of annual reports and statements.
Ask your child’s school to utilize email and online resources instead of sending home papers.
Don’t save take-out menus. Just visit the restaurant’s website when you’re ready to order. (Also, here’s a great homemade pizza recipe.)
If you receive an unwanted phone book, immediately unsubscribe. Do the same with free newspapers that show up in your driveway.
How About You?
What other tips do you have for reducing incoming paper? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Here’s to making good progress decluttering our paper piles this weekend, and you’ll hear from me again on Monday with more #PaperFree tips.
About Eliza Cross
Eliza Cross is the author of 17 books, including Small Bites, 101 Things To Do With Bacon, and BERRIES. She enjoys sharing ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, and home projects. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.